Pecha Kucha 20×20.

This summer, a group of faculty members at Trinity University are experimenting with the Pecha Kucha presentation format. If you have never heard of Pecha Kucha, it “is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images forward automatically and you talk along to the images.” The format was originally created by architecs, and it made its debut in Japan. The rationale behind it is very simple: Presenters often talk waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much, and the 20×20 format forces one into succinctness.

I presented my Pecha Kucha today, and I was surprised by how much it helped me focus and narrow down my topic to the bare essentials. Usually, I’m used to either blabbing on and on for an hour, in lectures to my students, or figuring out how to keep an audience interested for 15 minutes during a conference. With the Pecha Kucha format, though, I really struggled to get those 20 images down, and to time them correctly.

Of course, not being a graphic designer, my images were actually keynote slides, and my topic was television (it’s what I do). Here is what I came up with:

I put this together on Keynote, which also allowed me to record the audio from one of my practice runs. Both things were a first for me, and I found that it was very easy to do. Now, I’m pondering how to incorporate this presentation format into my fall courses. The format lends itself for brainstorming about ongoing projects. An added benefit, at least for my media students, is that putting one of these together challenges your creativity, and can teach you a thing or two about how to best use presentation tools, such as PowerPoint and Keynote. Thoughts? Please feel free to comment.

If you are interested in Pecha Kucha presentations, the Pecha Kucha 20×20 website has interesting ones you might want to check out. There may also be links to Pecha Kucha events in your city.