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5 Techniques for Representing Complex Information on Your Presentation Slides… So Your Audience Can Actually Consume It – Part 5


When you need to represent information within a larger context consider…


Technique #5

What if you have something more complex yet that you want to give perspective to and give more details such as a process or a hardware diagram or screen shots?

One option you might want to consider is an online application called Prezi.

For those not familiar with Prezi, it’s an alternative to PPT or Apple’s Keynote.

Rather than transitioning linearly from one slide to the next, all the information is laid onto a big mat, then you zoom in and out of the mat as you go from one point to the next.

An Example

So here’s an example, using some screen shots from the platform.

To illustrate what I mean, I’m giving an overly simplistic and extremely self-serving example!  (Please forgive and indulge me in the self-serving part :0)

I’ve built this illustration using a template found within Prezi.  You can use their templates or create everything by scratch.

This example is an overview of the process of working with me.


Prezi starts with this large overview

Appropriate use of Prezi

Then it zooms into an area – in this case, to the left side which represents inputs to the process of working with me.

Using Prezi to illustrate a larger process

Then it lands on the top area, and I say a few words…

Prezi to illustrate a process

Then it goes to the next point,

Kelly on Prezi

and the next.

Part of a bigger process

Each time it stops, I say a few words.

Then imagine it zooms out again, and goes to the next area.

There are probably ways you could do the same thing with PPT or Keynote if you worked at it.  PPT has some cool Smart Art which can help you represent processes and relationships.  But the zooming in and out of Prezi helps keep things in context and make it visible when you zoom in.

Here’s the Prezi itself so you can see the whole process in context.

Technique #5 – Represent complex data that needs a big picture for perspective using Prezi’s method of laying all the info out on a canvas, then zooming in as you cover the different aspects.


These 5 techniques will help make your content more consumable but…

…there is a trade off.

This approach is more time consuming.

It takes time to find and create graphics rather than typing in bullet points of words.

It takes time to modify the default charts in PowerPoint so that your audience can read the data.

It takes time to learning a new application like Prezi.

Weigh the decision for yourself.  Do what makes the most sense for you.

In the end, it’s all about results.  If you’re not getting the results you want, consider how you can simplify your data.