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Create gorgeous animated business presentations with Prezi

Already a champ at replacing static slides with swooping pan-and-zoom animations, Prezi has finally broken the sound barrier as well.

How can I put this delicately? Your presentations? Bo-ring.

It's not that your slide deck isn't chock full of useful information. It's that they've seen it all before. At the first sign of a static PowerPoint frame, their eyes glaze over.

To really engage your audience, show 'em a Prezi. This nifty presentation tool creates dazzling custom animations that make ordinary slide decks look like, well, ordinary slide decks.

This is perhaps better illustrated than explained, so take a look at this sample Prezi on social media:

Cool, right? This looks like something that a professional animation shop might take weeks and thousands of dollars to create. But it's really just a Prezi template stocked with various snippets of user-supplied info (the same stuff you'd add to PowerPoint slides) and some extra infographics.

Prezi has been around for a while; PC World's Helen Bradley wrote about it last July. But the service recently added a long-awaited new feature: sound. You can now include background music that plays during the presentation, or even add voice-overs or sound effects to "path steps" (i.e. the transitions between areas of the scene).

That may not seem like a big deal, but the first thing I noticed after watching the above sample is that it lacked audio. Prezi delivers such a smooth, cinematic experience, it almost begs to have a soundtrack.

That said, if you're talking over your Prezi anyway, you may prefer to keep it silent. But it's nice to at least have the option for audio.

What's more, Prezi now offers a creator app for iPad and a viewer for iPhone, meaning you can build and/or make your pitches on the run. They're free, as is Prezi Basic. Upgrade options start at $59 per year.

This is one of the coolest PowerPoint alternatives I've seen, period. If you're as sick of creating static slide decks as people are of seeing them, you should definitely give Prezi a try. It's almost criminal how fun it is to useand watch.

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