Remember the days when uncle Bob (okay, I don’t actually have an uncle Bob!) would force us through his slide show of the family road trip to the Grand Canyon? Or then a decade ago we had to sit through that work Power Point presentation on Diversity Training?
Recently I discovered Pecha Kucha. I loved it. This isn’t any ordinary slide presentation. In Japanese pecha kucha (usually pronounced as “pe-CHA-k’cha”) simply means chit chat.
Pecha Kucha Night was started nearly 10 years ago in Tokyo, Japan by a couple of architects. Most Pecha Kucha Night events follow this format:
- About 10 presenters
- Each presenter has 20 slides
- Each slide is shown for 20 seconds
Therefore, each presenter has just 6 minutes & 40 seconds to explain his or her ideas before the next presenter takes the stage. That’s it. Share what you got and move out of the way for the next presenter. It moves fast and most speakers were entertaining and had some pretty interesting ideas to share. Originally it was conceived as a platform through which young designers could meet, show their work, exchange ideas, and network. One of the attractions of Pecha Kucha Nights is the wide range of the 20×20 talks. Most consist of design professionals showing their creative work, but presenters often speak about their travels, research projects, collections, or other interests.
In 2004, PK began running in a few cities in Europe, and has since become a worldwide phenomenon, now running in more than 300 cities in almost every corner of the globe.
During our evening, I learned about “Pop-Up Art Loop”, Chicago’s initiative to turn empty retail spaces into temporary galleries. I was introduced to an amazing new start-up website that tracks all the world’s buildings with maps and GPS coordinates. One presenter focused on the real life Baltimore people that the characters in the HBO show, The Wire, are based on (I don’t even watch this show and yet the talk was fascinating). And I was very entertained by, Yuri Lane, an amazing beat-boxer and performer. The whole night was like a poetry slam meets a power point presentation meets a Ted talk.
The format keeps presentations concise, fast-paced and entertaining. It was totally entertaining and informative. I learned about a number of things going on in Chicago that I had no idea of and I am already looking forward to the next one.
I am thinking of presenting! Should I do it? Check it out and go to one in your city. I promise you will at least be informed if not thoroughly entertained. Interested? The next one in Chicago is on June 7th. Check out their website for other cities and more info.