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How to give a Pecha Kucha presentation

Pecha Kucha is a presentation style which was introduced for the first time in 2003 in Tokyo. The idea behind Pecha Kucha is that you present 20 slides in 20 seconds each, therefore this style of presenting is also known by the name 20x20. Pecha Kucha is roughly translated into 'chitchat' due to the level of informality. This form of presenting has become a worldwide phenomenon: by now Pecha Kucha Nights are given in over 1000 cities across the globe.

Why would you use Pecha Kucha?

The strict format of Pecha Kucha makes presentations concise and very visual, it keeps things moving at a rapid pace. When using this presentation format, set a timer so it automatically goes on to the next slide. Also the slides contain no or limited text, your story should be leading and the visuals are there to support it.

Storytelling

Before you start to design your presentation, make a storyboard. What are you going to tell and which slides will you use? To make things easier you can start by writing down just a keyword, so you can find good images later in the process. Captivating your audience in such a short time and leaving an impression at the same time is hard. Very hard. Guide the people through your story by using a compelling introduction (an anecdote for instance) and don’t use too many dry facts.

Practice your timing

This is where it gets tricky. Because the transit between the slides is automatically, you should time your story accordingly. The total time of the presentation is 6 mins 40, so practice a few times beforehand to make sure your story matches the slides.

So how do you make a Pecha Kucha?

PowerPoint might be the easiest tool for this. Make 20 different slides with images, preferably no text. To set the transition time automatically (so you won’t be able to pause and cheat) go to ‘transitions’. Uncheck ‘at mouse click’ and set the time at 20 seconds in the box ‘after’. The duration of the transition can stay the same.