Blog Post Try a PechaKucha

Try a PechaKucha



Try a PechaKucha


I have recently attempted the challenging task of presenting a PechaKucha and I can tell you it was one of the hardest things I have done.

20 slides and 20 seconds per slide. Sounds easy enough but I have seen well paid, professional speakers fail to get it right, while amateurs often succeed.

The challenge is that we are no longer in charge of the timing, the slides are! I like to ad-lib but if you do too much, the next slide will come and go before you get to it. The whole thing has to be well practised and while many professional speakers find no problem improvising for 6 minutes they battle to do that with PechaKucha.

If you have never heard of this genre it was originally started in Japan (PechaKucha means chit-chat in Japanese), to gather design experts together to share their ideas in short presentations. The process has expanded dramatically since then and there are PKN (PechaKucha Nights) all over the world, in many other formats, in 900 different cities.

Putting a PechaKucha presentation together is not difficult although delivering it may be more challenging. Remember you only have 6 minutes 40 seconds to get across your message so make sure it is simple.

1. Start with an outline. Speakers are story tellers so your outline should encompass your story.

2. Put your slides together. We would usually build the slides once the presentation is complete but in this case you are controlled by the slides so they need to be compiled first.

3. Now build the words that will go with the slides. Have predefined words for about 80% of the time available to you, the rest will be filled with ad-lib material. (I speak at about 165 words per minute so I know that I only have about 50 words for each slide)

4. Practise. Have the slides automated at 20 seconds each so that you know how it all fits together.

5. Record yourself and listen to the recording.

6. Practise

7. Practise

8. Practise. (You only get one chance to get it right)

I love PechKucha and I have presented mine in Johannesburg and Cape Town. If you would like to see a recording of my PechKuch in Johannesburg you will find it here.


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