I know from experience that you can generate a lot of slides with a lot of info very quickly using PowerPoint. Most presenters go nuts with this tendency thinking that lots of information will make their presentations more valuable or perhaps make them look more knowledgeable or professional. In short, PowerPoint presentations tend to be killers because they are designed by the presenter, for the presenter, making the creation of a lot of information way to easy.
A new format called Pecha Kucha was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has grown into somewhat of a sensation, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world inspiring creative people worldwide.
The name Pecha Kucha comes from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat.” It is based on a very simple presentation format: 20 slides/images, 20 seconds each. Slides are auto advanced so that the presenter is done in 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
This format requires presentations to be concise and quickly paced, encouraging an emphasis on illustrations and emotional content (right brain) versus words and data (left brain). Designing an effective presentation in this format requires that you step into the perspective of your audience.
In the spirit Pecha Kucha (click here for more on the concept) enough said! Let’s talk about application.
Bring PowerPoint Back from the Dead
So how might one restore life to presentations as a facilitator or trainer?
- Present your main ideas in under 7 minutes, then spend the next hour in discussion or group activities to get the audience involved and experiencing your teaching.
- Use a modified version of Pecha Kucha, perhaps a 3-minute, 10-slide sort of affair for presentations at staff meetings. One of my audience members shared that their company does just that!
- Have multiple speakers present concise and entertaining pieces at conferences or other events in a way that’s informative and entertaining. I presented as a prelude to something called High Tech Happy Hour in Madison.
- Read this excellent, concise article that expands on the pitfalls and opportunities of PowerPoint, Really Bad PowerPoint by Seth Godin. Use this tool to engage participant’s hearts, and their minds will follow.
- For an example, check out my pecha kucha presentation by clicking here.
How might you try using Pecha Kucha as a facilitator, trainer or group leader? I look forward to your comments, insights or feedback about this article. Please share your comments, ideas, and experiences in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.