The Power of Pecha Kucha presentations

When PowerPoint and similar technologies took the world by storm, they provided a great opportunity to stimulate a presentation. Rather than staring at a black-and-white financial table with lines of numbers indicating financial adjustments, the captive audience in meetings could see a variety of color and action. The problem with that though, was that the presentation host spent alot of wasted time reading what everyone else could already see up in front of them, without providing anything new and insightful to the presentation.

The successful orchastrating of meetings and other events, firstly needs a selection of great presenters, and secondly needs a fantastic presentation. Pecha kucha is the one possible solution to all of this.

What is Pecha Kucha?
Pecha Kucha is a presentation method, developed in Japan, that is reputed to improve audience attention. The term “Pecha Kucha” is Japanese for the din of conversation, like chit-chat and it has been described as forcing the presenter to talk from their heart.
Usually pronounced pe-chak-cha or pet-shah coot-shah depending on who you talk to, it is a method of presenting that ensures both content and length are kept short and to the point, hence the claim of ending the nightmare we’ve all experienced – death by PowerPoint.
Using this format, presenters are limited to only 20 slides, each of which can be shown for no more than 20 seconds each. This is strictly adhered to by using a combination of slide-show and automated timer functions on your computer, and limiting the entire presentation to only 6 minutes, and 40 seconds!
Where has it come from? It was created in 2003 by two architects living in Japan – Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham – to give young designers a venue to meet, network and show their work in public. Their intention was to find a way of improving audience attention, whilst increasing the total number of presentations that could take place in one event, and even encourage those more shy presenters to actually take part.

Can this format turn the traditional real-world PowerPoint presentation on its head, where slides are read off as a script and are not that stimulating to the audience? This creates a more engaging, passionate and memorable experience for conference and training participants.
Could Pecha Kucha play a part in this drive for more creativity in the workplace?
Success stories/case studies
On 11 March,2011, Japan suffered what has been described as a 1000 year event. The earthquake and tsunami destroyed 400km of coastline, killing over 15,000 people, leaving 400,000 people homeless, and triggered a nuclear situation that is still unfolding today.

On April 16, Pecha Kucha cities around the world came together and held events, broadcasting out to the world and Japan over Ustream. Starting from Christchurch and Tokyo and going all the way to Quito, the Global Pecha Kucha Day inspired Japan and the world through hundreds of presentations. To date more than $50,000 has been raised.
‘Inspire Japan’ events continued through-out May – http://global-day.pecha-kucha.org/ and on PechaKucha Daily ( http://pecha-kucha.org/daily/ ) more information can be found for upcoming events. All donations made at these events contribute to the ‘Inspire Japan’ efforts, with all money going to Architecture for Humanity and ArchiAid’s reconstruction work in Japan.

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