Prezi vs PowerPoint: Which One Should You Use? (In 2021)

Written by:
Orana Velarde

Last Updated: 12/16/2020

In this comparison guide, you'll learn what tool is best for your presentations in 2021.

Choose the element that you’re interested in from the navigation below and find out what option is the best for your presentation needs.

Let’s get into it.

 

Jump to the Section You Want

What is Prezi?

What is Microsoft PowerPoint?

Prezi: Advantages & Disadvantages

PowerPoint: Advantages & Disadvantages

Comparison Point #1: Features

Comparison Point #2: Templates

Comparison Point #3: Cost

Comparison Point #5: Online vs Offline Performance

Comparison Point #6: Teamwork & Collaboration

Comparison Point #7: Storage & Backup

Comparison Point #8: Embedding

 

What is Prezi?

Prezi is a presentation app known mostly for its style of zoom navigation and a “slideless” design. The core concept of creating a presentation with Prezi is that all sections are connected and the presenter can zoom and navigate between them seamlessly.

This style of presentation is unique to Prezi and it’s their way of standing out above PowerPoint. Even though the zooming feature sounds complex as an idea, its ease of use is impressive, especially when following a template.

 

What is Microsoft PowerPoint?

Microsoft PowerPoint is the presentation software in the Microsoft Office Suite.

It has long been the most sought out software for creating presentations in both business and education. So much so that its overuse led to the term “Death by PowerPoint”.

The downloadable desktop app for Microsoft PowerPoint works seamlessly on both Mac OS and PC with Windows.

 

Prezi: Advantages & Disadvantages

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Prezi presentation software.

Advantage #1: Non-Linear Navigation

The first advantage of Prezi is the zoom and overview feature.

The signature navigation in Prezi offers a unique perspective for creating and viewing a presentation. Instead of adding one slide after another, a project is created in sections.

There is the main menu slide and the presenter or viewer can navigate back to it at any time. This Prezi advantage is particularly useful for presentation creators that are tired of the usual way.

Advantage #2: Integration Support

The second advantage of Prezi is the long list of integrations. Prezi can be connected to other apps like Slack, Zoom, and Google Meet. These integrations make it easier to share and present Prezi projects with teams and collaborators.

Advantage #3: Low Cost

The third advantage of the Prezi software is its low cost.

The free version is great for students that need the bare necessities for their projects without too much fanfare. The paid plans start as low as $3/month.

Disadvantage #1: Confusing Layout

Interestingly enough, Prezi’s first advantage is also a disadvantage. The frequent zooming in and out movement can be a bit overwhelming for some. Also, a Prezi presentation shared on its own can be confusing if the viewer doesn’t know how to navigate the functions.

Likewise, for the creator, it can be easy to go overboard with zooming navigation. If the slides and sections aren’t organized and easy to follow, it can be difficult to present cohesively.

Disadvantage #2: Paid Offline Access

The second disadvantage to Prezi is that if using the free or lower-tier versions, presentations depend on the internet to be viewed.

Slow internet speeds can make a Prezi almost impossible to navigate. Offline access is only available in the paid subscriptions.

Disadvantage #3: Limited Data Visualization

Even though there are some charts and graphs options in Prezi, they aren’t fully customizable or editable for a personalized look and feel.

Prezi did add a new feature called Prezi Design to improve the customization of data visualizations, but it's still limited compared to other tools.

 

PowerPoint: Advantages & Disadvantages

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of PowerPoint.

Advantage #1: Popularity

The first advantage of PowerPoint is its widespread use. Pretty much everyone knows how to open, use, view and edit a PowerPoint presentation. That makes it easy to distribute and share with team members and collaborators.

Advantage #2: Rich Multimedia Features

The second advantage of PowerPoint is the rich features for using multimedia in presentations. Users can add video, audio, voice-over and animations to keep viewers interested and engaged. These features help add a good dose of visual impact to presentations.

Advantage #3: Plenty of Templates

The third advantage of PowerPoint is a large number of available templates. Not exactly within the software itself but mostly through third party sites and marketplaces. Since PowerPoint has been the long-standing favorite in presentation makers, there are templates for every style and purpose.

It's similar to how there are thousands of Apple Keynote templates available on sites like Envato Elements and GraphicRiver.

Disadvantage #1: Death by PowerPoint

The main disadvantage of PowerPoint is the coined term “Death By PowerPoint” and the meaning the term carries along with it. It’s not uncommon to hear people say things like “not another PowerPoint!”, or “I fell asleep during the PowerPoint”.

This reputation was the catalyst for many presentation makers to offer different and more creative solutions.

 

Disadvantage #2: High Cost

The second disadvantage of PowerPoint is the ongoing cost of the Microsoft 365 Office Suite. Users can obtain PowerPoint on their own but the cost is high.

As part of the full package with Microsoft 365, it has a monthly fee. Buying the Software on its own doesn’t come with storage like with the Suite.

Disadvantage #3: Compatibility Issues

The third disadvantage has to do with how long PowerPoint has been around. It can happen that the software used is from an old computer and then it’s not compatible with newer media. Or the newer version of PowerPoint won’t open on older computers.

For example, if you want to collaborate on a PowerPoint and need to upload it to their cloud, a PPT file won't work. It needs to be a newer version like PPTX.

 

Features

Both Prezi and PowerPoint have many features on hand to help presenters create engaging slide decks. But in both cases, there are some features that stand above the rest. The one thing that makes the software a favorite among its users.

 

Prezi Feature #1: Zoom Navigation

The best and most notorious Prezi feature is Zooming navigation. Prezi created this feature as a differentiator from PowerPoint and other presentation makers.

Creators can design slides into groups or sections which are organized in the main menu on the first Prezi slide. The presenter can then navigate through a section and to the next or using the back button to return to the main slide.

When creating a Prezi presentation, this feature can’t be turned off. It’s ingrained in the program so creators must be sure that they want this style of presentation to begin with.

Prezi Feature #2: Prezi Video

Prezi recently added an integrated video feature to their software.

Prezi video is like a regular Prezi presentation with the difference that the background is the live video of the presenter. This feature is great for live webinars, meetings and courses.

To create a Prezi Video, users do have to use a different app in the Prezi Suite but can use already created Prezi presentations and simply integrate into Prezi Video.

Prezi Feature #3: Integrations with other Apps

Prezi has a number of practical integrations to share presentations in different ways.

For example, use Slack to share presentations with team members inside channels. Or, use Zoom or Google Meet with Prezi Video and create a presentation that you are a part of.

PowerPoint Feature #1: Microsoft Toolbar

PowerPoint has many notable features in its editor, but the most notorious is the Microsoft Toolbar with all the editing features a creator will ever need.

Microsoft Office Suite software like Word and Excel have similar toolbars to PPT and this makes it easier for users of all three programs.

Having an understanding of the Microsoft Toolbar is a time saver and offers a large number of creative and practical features for any PowerPoint presentation.

PowerPoint Feature #2: Layout Themes

Another notorious feature of PowerPoint is the starter layout slides. These are simple slides with a basic composition of images and text. These save time when creating new slides, as creators don’t have to insert new image and text boxes every time.

These are also pre-designed to look good and be effective. Using the layout themes helps create better-looking presentations every time, and customization is simple and to the point.

PowerPoint Feature #3: Export to Other Apps

Powerpoint presentations can be exported to use in other presentation makers.

Prezi is one of them. A PowerPoint presentation inside Prezi must be adapted to fit the zooming navigation by grouping slides into categories.

A PowerPoint presentation can easily be opened as a Google slides presentation with hardly any difference in editing features. This will work better on a Chrome browser.

cta presentations powerpoint import visme

 

Templates

Prezi and PowerPoint both have available templates to use in their software.

In both cases, templates exist in the editor, but there are also other template resources for both software. Let’s take a look at how the templates compare between the two presentation makers.

Prezi Templates

Prezi offers a variety of templates for their users. Recently they added templates for the Prezi Video feature and other engaging templates in the education and marketing niches.

As is to be expected, all Prezi templates are created taking advantage of the zooming feature.

For Prezi users, using a template is always the best choice. This way, the navigation has already been optimized and only the content needs to be updated.

These are some of the available topics in the Prezi presentation gallery:

  • Video
  • Business
  • Business Review
  • Consulting
  • Education and Nonprofit
  • Finance
  • General
  • Healthcare
  • HR

Like many of its competitors, Prezi also has a large number of third-party templates to choose from. These are available on sites like prezibase.com and creatoz.eu.

On these sites, creators will find thousands of Prezi templates in many different styles and designs.

PowerPoint Templates

The templates available inside the PowerPoint software have been the same for years and feel a bit outdated. There are no more than 24 legacy templates that even though are a bit old, still help create presentations faster and easier.

Aside from Pre-designed presentation templates, PowerPoint also offers Theme layout options to pick and choose at the user’s discretion.

Additionally, when a presentation is created from scratch, the software offers “Design Ideas” with pre-designed slides in a scrollable bar to the right of the editor.

PowerPoint templates are available on many sites online. On Envato alone, there are over 1000 ready-to-use templates in many different styles and for different industries.

Given how there are so many PowerPoint templates on third-party sites, it's easy to understand why Microsoft doesn’t create more templates to add to their PowerPoint program.

Many of the PowerPoint templates offer tutorials on how to best use them.

 

Cost

Moving on to the cost of each presentation software. Let’s take a look at the different options for both presentation apps.

Prezi Pricing

The pricing on Prezi is much like any online app, there are options to choose from according to the industry or need of use.

The monthly plans, apart from the Free basics, start at $3/month and can go as high as $59/month and prices for teams and enterprises are on demand.

Pricing groups are separated into basic, individual, education, and business.

PowerPoint Cost

PowerPoint usually comes as part of the Microsoft Office suite, now called Microsoft 365. The monthly fee starts at $6.99/per month and increases depending on users and team needs.

Buying the software on its own costs $139 and doesn’t come with cloud storage.

 

Online vs Offline Performance

Presenting online and offline is a bit different between the two software. Let’s take a look at how they are different and how each software manages to present online and offline for their users.

In both cases, if the presentation is rich in interactive media and large photos, a slow connection will definitely slow down performance if viewed online.

In general, offline access is available on a limited basis.

Prezi Performance

Prezi works only online when using the basic free plan. On paid plans, users have the option of a downloadable desktop app to create and present their slide decks offline.

If they send the presentation as a link to be watched by someone else, the viewer will need a good internet connection to view it.

Additionally, there’s also the option of Portable Presentations, which can be downloaded to view offline and can be sent in an email and downloaded or through a memory stick.

Prezi users also have the option of using the Prezi Viewer Mobile app to present their projects with collaborators and team members.

You get both online and with offline access once the app has been downloaded. Prezi Viewer is available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

PowerPoint Performance

As PowerPoint is downloadable software, presentations can be created offline without the need for an internet connection. They can then be shared online or via a memory stick and easily presented or viewed offline as well.

PowerPoint functionality is best when used offline but there is also an online version of PowerPoint in the cloud called PowerPoint Online.

Additionally, PowerPoint presentations can be viewed on an iPad with iOS or an Android device. There's no mobile app functionality to create a presentation on an iPad or mobile device, but they're perfect for viewing.

 

Teamwork & Collaboration

Most Presentation software these days offer teamwork and collaboration features.

Working on presentations together is important for business and education. Let’s take a look at how Prezi and PowerPoint compare to each other in terms of collaboration.

Prezi

For team members to work together on a Prezi Presentation, they all need to have their own account or be part of an Enterprise account with different user logins.

The owner of the presentation can share the project with no more than 10 people at once. They need to be granted editing rights via the same email they use to log in to Prezi.

Collaborative editing on Prezi can be seen in real-time. This means that one user can see what another is working on and vice versa. Content from any other Prezi can be added to a group Prezi easily as well.

Apart from being able to edit together, collaborators can also leave comments in small post-it type notes.

PowerPoint

Collaboration on PowerPoint is possible but needs a bit of preparation.

For a PowerPoint presentation to be editable as a team, it first needs to be uploaded to OneDrive or SharePoint Online for Microsoft 365. From there, collaborators can be added via their email.

Users can see when team members log into the presentation to make changes and can see what they are working on. If changes were made while a user isn’t logged on, they get a notification that changes have been made while they were away.

 

Storage & Backup

Losing a presentation after you’ve worked on it for a long time is never fun. Thankfully, most presentation software has storage and backup features, either on your own computer (Mac or PC) or as cloud storage.

Prezi

Both free and paid Prezi accounts have unlimited storage for created presentations.

Uploaded media storage is larger in bigger plans. For example, free and small plans can’t upload videos to their presentations. Larger plans offer that and the storage to keep the videos in the media library.

PowerPoint

Since PowerPoint is desktop-based presentation software, all your presentations are media are stored on your computer. Alternatively, you can store all your PowerPoint files and presentations in Microsoft OneDrive.

A Microsoft 365 subscription comes with a 5GB cloud storage plan that can be easily upgraded via the subscription page.

 

Embedding

Embedding features for presentations go both ways. In some cases, you can embed third-party content into a presentation and you can embed a finished presentation into a website. Let’s take a look at how Prezi and PowerPoint compare.

Prezi

Prezi presentations don’t have the ability to embed third-party content inside slides with I-frame or integrated apps. Their new app Prezi Design does offer iframe embedding but taking these designs to a Prezi presentation is not seamless.

Alternatively, you can easily embed a Prezi presentation into a webpage with a snippet of code.

PowerPoint

Content can be linked or embedded easily into PowerPoint slides, either through the linking or embedding features. First of all, any content created on other Microsoft 365 software is easy to add to a PowerPoint presentation.

Excel charts for example can be added as live data. As long as the data is kept on your machine or OneDrive folder, the PowerPoint presentation will show the changes if it’s also uploaded to OneDrive.

Embedding a PowerPoint presentation into a website is just as easy as with Prezi. All that’s needed is an HTML embed code. Copy and paste into a webpage or blog.

 

Is Prezi More Effective Than PowerPoint?

Both Prezi and PowerPoint have their own advantages and disadvantages. The question if Prezi is more effective than PowerPoint is relative to your own needs. Prezi’s unique zooming feature will make your presentation instantly recognizable as a “Prezi”.

Likewise, a PowerPoint presentation with too many transition features and excessive use of animation will be recognized as a PowerPoint presentation.

When it comes to choosing between Prezi and PowerPoint it mostly comes down to what style of presentation you want to deliver. More so, each tool has particular features that the other one does not.

For example, you can’t embed third-party content into a Prezi and PowerPoints already have a bad rep with the whole “Death by PowerPoint” situation.

 

Looking for a Free Presentation Tool?

If you read this far, you might already know if Prezi or PowerPoint is the best software for you. If you're still not convinced, we have another option for you: Visme.

With Visme, you can create presentations that look stunning and professional right inside your browser. You get access to hundreds of exclusive templates and premade slide layouts.

 

You can also edit your presentation in a robust drag-and-drop editor with all kinds of multimedia, animation and interactivity features you can possibly think of.

Embed GIFs, Google maps, Typeform surveys, live data charts, YouTube videos, quizzes and more. Or, add animated characters to make your presentation more engaging.

You can also add pop-ups, external links, hover effects, voice-overs into your presentations, and download them as PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and even offline web pages.

Another cool feature is you can upload your own brand assets into Visme and use them for all your designs, not just presentations. From your logo and color palette to your brand's typography, you can save everything inside your Brand Kit.

More Visme features include team collaboration, such as commenting and annotating, publishing and sharing designs online, and even saving directly into Google Drive or Dropbox.

Sign up for a free Visme account today and try out the tools your presentation needs to be outstanding and unforgettable.

Disclaimer: Information is accurate as of December 3rd, 2020

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    About the Author

    Orana is a multi-faceted creative. She is a content writer, artist, and designer. She travels the world with her family and is currently in Istanbul. Find out more about her work at oranavelarde.com

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