Interview with Pascal van Steen

With his 23 years, Pascal is one of the younger Prezi ambassadors from over the world. At Avans Hogeschool in Breda he taught students about Prezi and he gave seminars about online marketing. He himself is studying Small Business & Retail Management at Avans and he tries to put all his creativity in creating the most beautiful prezis. One of his newest babies is his ‘prezumé’: his own resumé in Prezi. Meanwhile his prezumé has over 23.000 views and his reusable prezumé template is used even more than 900 times. As a new popular Prezi user he is a busy man, but we were allowed to talk to him for a moment.

1: How long do you already work with Prezi and what for do you use it?
When I started my current education program in September 2011, a teacher told us during the first college that he liked presentations in Prezi more than the ones in PowerPoint. It seemed clever to look what it exactly was. When I tried Prezi for the first time, it already became clear that I could lose my creative compulsion way more than in the alternative; PowerPoint. From that moment I stuck with Prezi.

2: Why are you so enthusiastic about Prezi?
I value a lot to creativity and that’s why I believe that your message sticks with the audience way better by supporting your story visually and by visualizing relations between subjects. A lot of other creative minds think the same about this, by the way! Prezi offers me the opportunity to actually do this and that’s why I think it’s the best tool to share your ideas.

3: Where do you find inspiration for a beautiful prezi?
That’s different every time, but I do notice I try to image them as “Infographics”. This means I visualize information by using simplistic logos, images and symbols. I also watch a lot of presentations from others and I try to pay attention to the structure others use in their presentations.

4: Do you create the graphics in your prezi yourself?
At the moment I use the “Simple black” and “Simple white”-shapes from Prezi a lot; those are available for everyone. Besides I design some things by myself, especially using Adobe Illustrator for vector images and Adobe Photoshop for photo editing.

5: What brought you to the idea of creating a prezumé in Prezi?
I was looking for an internship for school and thought about ways to be noticed in between all the other candidates. Very soon I came by Prezi. Ironically I haven’t got a reaction from the company I initially created the prezi for. After that I translated it to English and asked people for feedback on LinkedIn. From that moment I honestly have gotten almost only positive reactions about the prezumé and the ball started rolling.

6: What do you think of the great interest people have for your prezumé?
Of course it’s always nice to get attention for something you’ve put a lot of time in! But actually, I never thought the prezumé would be such a popular success. I know have people on Skype from all over the world who I give feedback on their presentations. That’s really fun to do!

7: Did the prezumé really helped by finding a job/internship?
Yes. I have found an internship at a company that wanted to re-craft their sales trainings; both related to the content as visual. During my application I used my prezumé to pitch myself and my manager was almost immediately blown away. I also aroused interest at more companies. I received different e-mails from the “Head of International” at Prezi, who offered me an internship, as well as companies from South-Africa, Mexico and China. These are now all options for my graduation internship. I think I’m looking at a really good period!

8: Could’ve you used the creativity you put in this prezumé also in another tool?
Nowadays there are a few other tools available to create such a resume. Think for instance about start-ups like Sozi, Mural.ly and Emaze. However they don’t exactly have the same functionality as Prezi, people can use it to present and cooperate in a creative way. Still, I think usability is also very important and that’s what I think works best within Prezi.

9: Do you have tips for the Prezi user, about creating a prezumé?
Keep it simple! A prezi is the most effective when you don’t put too much information into it. Also keep an eye on the use of the different Prezi effects. Try to avoid too many ‘big’ effects, like moving more than 90 degrees in between frames, too deep zooms and too far ‘pans’.

10: How do you feel about zebras? 😉
I really love zebras. It’s maybe a little weird to say, but in the daily life I dress up as a zebra myself. So I’ll feel better. I think some people made some photos about that…

And yes Pascal, those photos are here!

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