Pecha Kucha or how to get your point across in less than seven minutes?
Pecha Kucha (pronounced peh-cha ku-cha) is a presentation technique especially for those that love PowerPoint, and this method ensures it is fun, fast and interesting. The approach limits the presentation to 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide – a maximum of 6 minutes 20 seconds. A unique structure for a presentation. Challenging for any event where one person is facilitating the whole event – but great for conferences and multiple speaker events.
Why Pecha Kucha?
At a time when every person in the world can use PowerPoint – badly, and we are increasingly exposed to more and more presentations it is time to look at what we inflict on other people.
Pecha Kucha is a brilliantly simple technique to ensue that a presentation is not word bound. Is not boring and irrelevant (well it helps) and is focused on the key issues the presenter wants and needs to communicate to their audience.
The concept of Pecha Kucha was originally developed for the world of “creatives” in architecture as a way of encouraging individuals to share their creativity and maintain the passion by all parties, without boring people to death!
In the context of these events the format works well, but the format has a wonderful role in the training and development of presentations skills of business and school based presentations.
Pecha Kucha Nights
What is a Pecha Kucha Night?
Pecha Kucha Nights were originally devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham architecture), was conceived in 2003 as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. But as we all know, give a microphone and stage to a designer (especially an architect) and you’ll be trapped for hours. The key to an effective Pecha Kucha Night is its patented system for avoiding this fate. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.
Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for the sound of conversation or chatter) has tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown, without having to rent a gallery or chat up a magazine editor. This is a demand that seems to be global – as Pecha Kucha Night, without any pushing, has spread virally to over 100 cities across the world.
If you are interested in starting a Pecha Kucha Night in your city, please contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
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Application of Pecha Kucha
While originally developed for open style events the approach is valid for all forms of presentations, training, business pitches and staff communications.
This approach does require considerable discipline and some practise (yes a good presentation does need a run through or two first!) it is a freeing and powerful approach to presentations in a multimedia age. It encourages presenters to break out of the PowerPoint template.
I am not convinced that you could or should run any full event or meeting using this strategy – it is a powerful approach for introductions or for summarising events and workshops.
Practical applications of Pecha Kucha?
If nothing else, the basic aproach of Pecha Kucha is good training and good practice for anyone involved in delivering to others.
Everyone should try Pecha Kucha at some time or another; it’s a great exercise for getting your story down even if you do not use the method exactly for your live talk in your work.
Unless attending a Pecha Kucha Night it does not matter whether or not you can implement the Pecha Kucha “20×20 6:40” method exactly in your own organization, but the spirit behind it and the concept of “restrictions as liberators” can be applied to most any presentation situation.
Using this approach makes going into detail difficult. The key is to have a good discussion after a Pecha Kucha type of presentation and then it may work well in every situation
I can see trainees or students give this kind of presentation about their assignments or work followed by discussion and questioning and probing by tutors, facilitators and the class.
This approach would be more challenging for a student and a better indication of their knowledge and skills than a traditional 30-40 minute presentations
See an example of Pecha Kucha:
Rules of Pecha Kucha – 20×20 6:40
Here is the simple yet powerful framework to deliver your own Pecha Kucha format presentation:
- Use powerpoint to build 20 slides
- Set the timing on each slide to 20 seconds
- Use only simple words or a picture on each slide
- Use the slides as a storyboard
- Practice.. practice.. practice
The last slide is also only up for 20 seconds – when there are no more pictures – stop talking!
Then is the time for questions.
Pecha Kucha is a great way of introducing a longer session or to summarise learning or material covered. If you have any good examples please link to them in the comments with an outline of what your Pecha Kucha presentation is about.
Other formats of presentation skills techniques:
Lightning Talk – less structured approach usually without slides and of a variable length (1-10 mins)
Ignite an almost identical format but created later by another media company