I think it was Confucius who said “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” I had heard and seen Prezi in action but had never tried it. A couple of days ago, we got the sad news that my father-in-law had passed away. Although he had been sick and in hospital for some time, it still came as a shock and the reality of not seeing him or hearing his voice again was undeniable. As by our culture, there would be a wake, funeral, burial and a thanksgiving service held, not necessarily immediately. In this case a period of 7 weeks would elapse before this happens. Before this happens though, we decided to have a ‘sitting-down’ ceremony in his honour at our home to enable friends and family to come greet his son, my partner.
So where does this tie in with prezi and the title? We decided that we would put together a presentation for people who would be coming to ‘know’ the person who there were coming to honour. Of course the first tool that came to mind was, ‘why don’t we make a power-point presentation about him’. As I started creating the slides with bare details of the titles for each slide, there was the light-bulb moment: I can try this with/in prezi! To be honest, I never seemed to find any relevant or interesting topic to use as an example and this was the perfect case. There was the importance of the occasion/topic and the fact that it would be a useful and important vehicle to inform others made it all the more worth-doing.
In total, I spent nearly 4 hours to register and create a simple biography for my father-in-law. I learnt how write, insert images and urls, group details, frame, pan in and out, change backgrounds, choose themes, link and order paths. One of my hurdles was figuring out how to rotate and the ‘zebra’ didn’t seem to register at all, till I used it by chance and wondered how the results came about. But once I got that, my only difficulty was identify what materials to actually include in the bio. I chose his family, his children (of which there are 30), his life and his legacy. Some of the details need to be tweaked and names and dates verified. But once I run the ‘show’, I was well impressed by how professional and well-cut it looked.
I can not say that I know prezi nor I understand prezi but I can say I have used it. I have done it and that is the beginning of my understanding of it. I will definitely remember it and so do I hope, that people who see the final product will remember my father-in-law. He will not be forgotten.