Pecha Kucha

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Pecha Kucha, the Japanese word for chit-chat, was originally devised by two architects in Tokoyo as a way for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

The idea behind Pecha Kucha is to keep presentations concise, the interest level up, and to have many presenters share their ideas within the course of one meeting. In other words, get to the main point quickly, concisely and creatively, and then sit down.

The Pecha Kucha format allows each presenter a slide show of 20 images of their choice usually photographs, graphics, or video. The catch is that each of the images is set to automatically show for only 20 seconds resulting in a total on-stage time of 6 minutes 40 seconds for each presenter. While most presentations include an over-arching narrative to pull the work together, the speaker has no control over the advancement of the images.

When done well, Pecha Kucha presentations are fast, furious, fun, and somehow combine the best of meetings, poetry slams and performance art. Experts recommend a number of steps for building a Pecha Kucha presentation. For that matter, they probably are steps that should be considered for any good presentation.

Begin by choosing a theme. Tell a story. Don't just describe what's on the screen, reveal your thought process, your mistakes and your breakthrough learnings. By being authentic, the audience is much more likely to care and relate to your topic. It takes time to determine your theme, gather material, work out your script, and adjust rhythm and pace. Count on at least 6 hours of preparation spread over a few days.

Once the slides have been selected it will be important to rehearse until you feel a rhythm and cadence starting to emerge.

Do a test run through with a friendly audience. Pay attention to your body language and the tone of your voice. Make sure you stand straight and relaxed and look interested.


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