October 11, 2008

Nonlinear Presentation Tools

I'm so jealous of Chuck Todd (MSNBC) and John King (CNN) who get to dazzle us with their fancy interactive displays. It's mesmerizing watching them use these non-linear presentation tools to help us understand the polls and electorate map.

The other day, someone on Twitter described their newest pet peeve--watching someone present about 21st century skills using 20th century techniques. That is annoying---and it's something I've been doing myself. In fact, that's been bugging me lately.

Traditional PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentations just aren't good enough these days to engage an audience, especially one comprised of 20 somethings or younger. Yes, people can be creative and spice up their presentations using PowerPoint and strategies to foster discussion, etc. Interactive whiteboards and even something like Inspiration software could be used creatively as a presentation tool. But, I still want that cool board that Chuck and John keep rubbing in my face on TV.

Not long ago, Microsoft unveiled Surface, their new interactive, touchscreen, multi-gesture, eye candy of a display board (actually, it's what Chuck Todd uses on MSNBC). It looked amazing to me, but I was really skeptical that we'd see it in schools anytime soon. Well, I'm starting to reconsider that assumption.

I think we may see the software that drives the interactive whiteboards and displays being used in classrooms integrate more use of gestures as part of their user interface. Since the iPhone, we've already seen an increase in the number of portable electronics that have a touchscreen capable of using gestures such as swipe or pinch. Check out the T850 from BenQ, for example. Very cool!

How great would it be to add these features to PowerPoint or keynote? Or better yet, give us a new Web 2.0 tool for creating interactive nonlinear presentations right in our browser!

Well, I'm really excited about a promising new solution I discovered this morning--ZuiPrezi (Hungarian?). I requested to help be a beta tester, and I'm super excited about the possibility of trying to use it for one of my upcoming presentations. It looks intuitive, extremely capable, and best of all--mesmerizing! Check it out for yourself--tryout their interactive demo or view some of the examples.


  1. Thanks for your post though I appreciate was some time ago. You may have covered the following question in a more recent post... is Zuiprezi the same as Prezi? Only on the video you included it looks very very similar.

    Also are you aware of any other newer non linear presentation tools?

    I'm interested as I am currently developing a commercial workshop on non-linear presentation skills.

    Lee - www.presentingclass.co.uk

  2. Yes, back in 2008 it was called ZuiPrezi, but now we all know it as just Prezi. It's continued to improve over the years and has become very popular. I still think the zebra was one of the most innovative & brilliant user interface ideas I've seen in years! Speaking of which, the Swype (http://swypeinc.com) text input solution just might be another of those game changers.