Well, the new world of remote work and remote education really demands we get our act together on audio visual presentation.
We all need to have a pretty good sort of package, not just sticking our face on a webcam, but frankly, most of us struggle just doing that.
We’ve got a guest who’s gonna have some answers about that Joseph Rasky is the CEO of Prezi.
A platform you probably know, as an interesting presentation platform in the cloud that allows you to bring elements in dynamically.
They really fly in and out and have much more of kind of a living, breathing feel to them.
Then, let’s say The typical PowerPoint, but they’ve changed quite a bit since the pandemic put us all on telepresence like we’re on right now.
Jim, tell me about your focus now.
Yeah, what Prezi Video is, it’s the ability to interact.
With your content, while you’re on, say, a conference call, like we’re doing here or doing distance learning, and it looks like this.
It’s the ability to essentially bring your content into the conversation so that you’re not having to choose between it.
Let’s say I’m a teacher.
And I I can’t go to Rome today our field trip is cancelled but I am able to bring Rome to us.
And today we’re going to actually Mr. Szafranski and we’re going to talk about the Roman Colosseum.
And not that it was just build-
Gonna be a test Jim, I gotta ask [LAUGH] No, but I could.
But one of the things you can do, though, to bring that understanding, so you could pass the test would be I could zoom in, and we could start talking about do Corinthian columns.
And essentially, what we’re trying to do here is engage our audience, so that not just I’m a better presenter, but that the audience has a better understanding of exactly what we’re trying to talk about.
What was the impetus behind this?
Did you see some change in.
Your business metrics Did you get a lot of feedback from people saying I want something else and how did they imagine they wanted this,
We started to see where people were doing presentations was starting to change.
And as opposed to being on that big stage.
Or just in a room where I had printed presentation saying in front of me, reasons patients started to go a little more virtual, let’s say almost three years ago is when the light bulb went off for us.
And so we wanted to start thinking about it.
So how can we help our users project the presentation and connect with their audiences when they can’t necessarily assume they are in the room.
And the actual genesis of this was actually a TED talk.
Talk where Robert Sapolsky of Stanford was a with the 10 really want him to speak on stage and he couldn’t go.
And so what we actually did is use early prototypes of what is now Prezi video.
That I showed there and Robert was able to project into the theater and be presenting and have his content alongside of them.
And so, and that just gave us, got us going that we were on to something and we just kind of kept evolving and evolving it to where we can offer it, on a low powered laptop where we.
Okay, that’s interesting.
So this actually began well before COVID.
That wasn’t the impetus for developing it.
But it sounds like, and we were talking to Chipotle a few months ago.
And they said, yeah, we got to work a number of months, a year or more ago, on really going heavy into digital and virtual ordering and quick pickup, and all that.
We didn’t see COVID coming, but the timing sure worked out.
Is that a similar case for you on this?
Yeah, crazy video we launched last fall 2019.
And and so put us in a good position to be helping during this pandemic.
To be honest a lot of folks who may have used Prezi before or maybe been familiar with it said okay, this is an alternative to PowerPoint PowerPoints, the big bear in the woods.
The scotch tape of presentation platforms, and you were very much I think, in direct comparison with that and maybe a couple of others.
Now it seems like you’re in a different lane and the direct comparison largely goes away because PowerPoint doesn’t do this as opposed to being compared, you know, Prezi or not.
It’s actually Microsoft is one of our biggest partners.
Through their video conferencing technology, Right?
Correct, their ms teams platform is an example of where we were anticipating good things going more virtual.
And yes, so for us, what we see right now is really some place for us where we’re partnering with a lot of people that frankly in the past, you would compare a presentation product-
Yeah, you’ve gone from and something you’ve done the classic pivot from competitor to being in Co Op petition.
If you will, at least at the high company to company level.
So just to be clear people this is something that looks like to me like most video telepresence platforms, you can plug into it.
Correct pretty much everyone in the world.
You can do it on your own and we’re in partnership with most of them at this point.
Presentation tools are great, but they don’t make us great presenters.
That’s a mind process.
That’s a skill at being able to lump a message together and figure out how it should be parsed out to an audience.
Is there anything coming where you can even further automate the process of creating a compelling presentation?
Cuz once people sit down at a presentation, whoever’s tool they’re using, go, ugh Here’s my first blank slide.
Where do I start?
I think the thing is going to help these users the most is that feel the confidence and be able to to interact with their content and being engaging?
Because you mentioned like storytellers over the years great storytellers, all they need is one picture.
You can tell a story and stories are engaging.
And so I will say for the folks that sit in front of that presentation to get started, and they’re wondering how am I gonna engage someone over zoom or something like that.
I do want a different way to engage people is that approach to kind of interact.
Draw people in and almost be more of a movie producer.
Then then think of yourself as having to be a great storyteller.
We have over a 400 million presentations that are publicly available to our users.
Most all topics that you can imagine.
the way we automate right now is is our community contributes their presentations back to each other.
And it allows you to basically get a jumpstart whether it’s a visual style, if that’s or maybe on specific content.
So there’s a bit of a SlideShare meets Cliff Notes Kind of a thing there if you wanna tap into it,
And then kind of an open source of content.
So that, again, it can be the design visuals of a template or it could be actual content if you’re doing something specific on COVID.
I read something interesting in some of your materials.
A short version is the CEO will be the CIO as one example of a new way of thinking about how people take ownership as I understand it, of messaging and their organization.
Eexpand on that for me, what is the kernel of that mean?
What do we really think is going on here as certainly we will head back into the office hopefully sooner versus later.
But I do believe that comes with the communications how we communicate will be forever changed by some of the benefits that we’re seeing around distance learning and remote work.
And I believe so, I think technical communications are is going to be something that’s a strategic issue for people building and leading companies from here on because there will probably always be Some amount of our workforce is going to be remote.
We believe there’s so many benefits to doing remote communications.
Well, that Yeah, like this is going to become a CEO topic.
They’ll partner with their CIOs, but it’s it’s going to stay mission critical for years.
It sounds like it becomes more a part of the warm side of the business.
Human Capital where we deploy our people, what’s the culture in the office and less about the cold side of the business?
How many desktops do we have to buy?
how many phones do we deploy?
What’s more important if you’re leading a company then making sure that human connections are happening within your church?
And with your customers.
Yeah, with your own team with your customers.
Now everyone thinks these days of live video conferencing, how can I get the best live thing?
How much bandwidth do I need?
What good camera do I need?
You can’t buy a camera.
I mean, they’re all sold out.
There’s more upgrades to bandwidth than ever live.
Live, live, live, live.
But you guys have seen some numbers that I noticed in some of your materials that you really think pre recorded is still a very strong and arguably dominant medium, at least in the education space.
What of what have you seen there?
Yeah, pre recorded is almost 80% of the videos that are being made today.
It’s specific for distance learning and remote work.
So we focus on teachers.
What we’re seeing for them is they’re basically anything that’s one to many.
And then they’re using the live sessions for things that are conversations that are many to many more of a collaboration or a discussion.
And the benefit of this.
There’s a lot the two that I would point out is when when teachers are offering their content in a pre recorded way, the students can sort of learn at their own pace, whether it’s fast or slow or in this case the parents can get it done when they can help.
Right and so, that model of sort of flipping the lecture to being on your time, not the teachers time is paying off a lot.
And then the the benefits obviously of is to reserve the time together that many make too many Time for collaboration, for interaction, not just for information sharing.
And I believe this is gonna go all the way into the workplace.
These teachers are expert communicators, they’re starting to get really good at it.
And they’re helping shape the tools like with us to do this.
And when it goes into the workplace, you could see a similar thing happening where.
Maybe ideally maybe less meetings we don’t like that.
But if we can’t get the less meetings at least the meetings will be many too many discussions, the actual information sharing one too many will have been taken care of what say a tool like Prezi.
Well, how do you see this very fractured market especially around telepresence?
Right now, there are a huge number of players.
Are all in the market heavily right now?
How do you see it shaking out and on?
What attributes do you think are gonna create the winners in the end?
If we come back to the fundamental thing we’re all doing is it’s video.
Right, it’s so I believe that whether it’s video conferencing or say enterprise messaging, the ones that do video best are going to are going to win.
I don’t think it’s now where you’re going to, you know, think creativity tools.
I make a presentation.
And say collaboration that whether it’s a live video conference call, you’re not gonna think of these as two separate things you’re gonna think of them as linked.
If I’m recording I’m going to do it this way if I’m doing it live I’m going to do this way and so I think the attributes of it shaking out will be which video conferencing platforms also marry up well with authoring and creative platforms and allow choices to their users to do it well.
And to do it well with video where you have to interact and ultimately be more cinematic.
There is such a benefit to being able to get out of like Pronouncing bullet points and using the power of video screen.
I think a lot of us, we’ve so far been trained to think I have a presentation I do over in this box with these tools, and I’ve got a telepresence platform I use over here.
There’s a button to make one show up in the other, but that’s a long way from integration.
That’s just connection.
Yeah, that’s a technical streaming mechanism, but it didn’t turn it didn’t make the communications better.
One of the things we’re doing say at Prezi that help on this is we have a new product leader Chris Ford, who came from Pixar as an example just again to show you what we think about is yeah is don’t think of it as streaming.
Think of it more as as an experience a Pixar hire at a at a key level.
That goes back to the mention you just made a cinematic also at the core of what we’ve learned over these 10 years and presentation is if you use space well You engage people, you talked about Prezi being dynamic, the whole key is space.
And, and so an example there would be whenever if we go back to the Greeks, the way they memorize kind of messages was.
To use what was called a memory palace.
You would think of the messages as different spots in the room or different places in an audience and then you would travel three days and you could repeat the message.
And today’s memory champions do the same thing.
You can memorize pi by associating with 100 things in your room.
The glasses three, the next, you know the pencil next to his one.
And so net net for us what we’ve seen is space matters.
And if you think about cinema, it’s always panning or zooming.
It’s using space in a very clever way.
And so that’s for us.
Ultimately what makes our product work well is is the the the fundamentals of using space and lighting and color as well.
And that kind of breaks away from the standard outline format that we all think a presentation is is bullets sub bullets indented bullets, right with a headline at the top.
Yeah, you absolutely do not remember things that way.
We have been talking to Jim Szafranski.
He is the CEO of Prezi, the video and presentation platform that is now much more integrated into the world of telepresence.
Well, the new world of remote work and remote education really demands we get our act together on audio visual presentation.