Prezi, if you haven’t heard yet, is the hot new presentation tool that’s sweeping the screens at events like TED and SXSW. It’s an alternative to boring PowerPoint presentations, it’s free to use, and you can present live or host your presentations on Prezi.com for the world to see.
While Prezi’s zooming and panning features bring your presentations to life, using video can add even more richness, engagement and meaning—and it’s simple to do.
Two ways to add video to a Prezi
You can add video to your prezi in two ways: link to a video on YouTube, or upload a video file directly from your hard drive and embed it into your prezi. In both cases, the video player is placed right on your canvas, and you can resize and place it wherever you like in your presentation.
Linking to a video on YouTube is the best choice if
• You’re not presenting live, and plan to host your prezi online
• You’re presenting in a location that has a stable and reliable Internet connection (hardwired if possible)
Since video files are large and take up a lot of storage space in your Prezi account, linking to a video hosted on YouTube is the economical way to go.
To embed a YouTube video in your presentation, click your Prezi canvas where you want the video to show, and then type in the link to the video. As soon as you click out onto the canvas, the image of the video will automatically be displayed. It’s that easy!
A YouTube video placed on a Prezi canvas
If linking to a YouTube video isn’t an option, you can upload a video file directly from your hard drive and embed it into your presentation. Prezi supports 10 different types of video files, but it will automatically convert your video file to the .flv format.
TIP: To ensure the best quality of video, it’s better to convert your video to .flv before adding it to your presentation. (To learn more about FLV video and encoding, see my Publishing video with the Flash Platform course on lynda.com).
Embedding a video file in a Prezi
Now let’s say you aren’t entirely happy with the size of your video on the canvas, or maybe you want it in a different spot. You can change its size, position, and rotation using the Transformation Tool, just as you would with any other element.
After you’ve added your video using one of these two methods, you’re in complete control of when the video plays. You can either use your controls to play the video when you click on it, or you can add the video to the path of your presentation and have it play automatically when you reach a certain point (and stop playing when you move to the next frame in the prezi).
As you can see, Prezi makes it simple to add videos—and thereby more dimension—to your presentations. To learn more, check out the full Up and Running with Prezi course on lynda.com.