Explaining Prezi’s Zooming Feature

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Among other useful things you can do with Prezi, there is this zooming feature that gives your prezis that special feel.

When in Present mode, you can use this zooming feature to focus on objects. This feature is a great way to move smoothly through your canvas and path. It is used not only for zooming in (to focus on an object) but also for zooming out as well (to set a distance).

When you use zoom out, it will take you one step further away from your current view. So, this means that if you have a hierarchy of frames, zoom out will take you to the frame for just one step larger than the frame you are currently focused on.

How does it work?

Prezi is a smart tool and when you click on any object when in Present mode, Prezi works out the best view for that object and presents it that way. This means that the object will be either centered, brought fully into view or your view will be rotated so as to match the rotation of the object.

Although the zoom feature sounds so cool, don’t overdo it unless you want your audience to get sick. You want them to enjoy a visual journey not to make them feel motion sickness because your presentation looks like a rollercoaster.

Luckily, there are a few suggestions that you can find useful when thinking about finding the balance between making a presentation that is at the same time dynamic and pleasing to the eyes. With these tips in mind, you will easily use zoom effectively.

So, let’s start.

When you use Prezi transitions, you first have to check that your content is on the path. This content may include images, text, videos, and symbols. The next thing you should do is organize your content into frames. After this, put the frames in the order you want and then you can position your frames to make your message clear. This is when you determine your transition because the position of your content on the canvas influences how your transitions will look like.

In that sense, you have to think about how to adjust your transitions. But how to do this? When adjusting your transitions, you should rely on three factors. These factors are proximity, rotation and scale/zoom.

What is proximity? When your objects are placed further apart, the transitions will be fast and abrupt. So, the first thing to keep in mind is to keep objects close to one another because you will get smooth transitions.

Rotation is the next element. If you rotate a lot, you will probably have some really sharp, spinning transition, which will surely make your audience dizzy. Now, you already assume that with small rotations (like 45 degrees and less), your transitions will be much nicer.

The third factor refers to zoom and scale. When your content is scattered all over the screen with no particular order and with lots of zooming in and out, transitions will not be only fast but also meaningless. On the other hand, if you put some effort into structuring your content logically, the transitions will be smooth and nice. What is an added bonus is that the audience will see the relative importance of your content.

Now when all this is clear to you (and you have to admit that this is not a rocket science), you can look at some additional tips to really master this zooming feature and use it to your advantage.

Show the big picture

Zoom is not only used to zoom in and present details. It can also be effectively used to zoom out to reveal the big picture as well. This is great to use when you have lots of small things to mention and talk about them and then you want to show how they all come together and relate to one another. So, using this zoom out, you will bring your ideas together. Otherwise, there’s no point in presenting lots of small ideas if they are not related.

Go into details

If you spend lots of time to collect good examples and details that will support your idea, then you should make sure that your audience has a view of these details as well, as that will help them understand the whole idea. Also, bear in mind that when these details are not given a clear connection to the whole, they can easily lose their meaning. So, if you want to relate these details to the big message, you can zoom into them from the viewpoint showing the big picture. In that sense, you will show the importance of these details.

Show spatial relationships between different points

The point of the Prezi canvas is to use it as a sort of a brainstorming space so that you can later on relate all those ideas into one meaningful unit. No matter what kind of idea you want to present, it is important that you lead your audience using fluid transitions and moving from one object to another. For instance, you can present a group of elements that are closely related and then present the whole picture, allowing your audience to see how and where these ideas fit into the whole picture. Then, you can move on presenting another group and then focus on their place in the overall picture.

As you can see, when used properly the zoom feature is actually a great tool for giving you an opportunity to visualize your ideas effectively. The next time you create a prezi, remember these suggestions and don’t get surprised if you leave your audience speechless.


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