The first time I read about it---- it reminded me of the first time I saw a Japanese cartoon. Fast, disjointed, flashy and confusing. I was not surprised when I heard small children were leaving the theatres of the first POKEMAN feature films experiencing epileptic attacks.
But this style of presentation has grown in the public speaking world. In recent years I saw USA produced cartoons are taking on this fast pace, kind of like the Wildee Coyote cartoons played at fast speed. Many 30 second commercials also use this effect. As a grandmother I was concerned about my grand children's attention spans. But truly this New York style of fast learning is now the norm.
Pecha Kucha (Japanese: ペチャクチャ, IPA: [petɕa ku͍̥tɕa], chit-chat) is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each,
These two rules are strict in this presentation style.
The presentation is so popular there are world wide events usually seen in a multiple-speaker event called a Pecha Kucha Night (PKN).
It was interesting to me that chitchat was a Japanese word. When I think of the word chit chat, I think idle chatter. Not words spoken with focus or meaning.
Pecha Kucha Night was devised in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo's Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa), as a way to attract people to Super Deluxe, their experimental event space in Roppongi. Pecha Kucha Night events consist of around a dozen presentations, each presenter having 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds on a timer. Thus,
each presenter has just 6 minutes and 40 seconds to explain their ideas before the next takes the stage. Conceived as a venue through which young designers could meet, show their work, exchange ideas, and network, the format keeps presentations concise and fast-paced.
20 slides (that is a lot of slides), 20 seconds each (that is not a lot of time) ---- a 400 second presentation. A 6 minute 40 second presentation. I tried it on some genealogy material I was to present.
Even though I probably will not adopt this style for all my presentations--- the excercise did help me develope my presentation style.
I think equal time to each slide in important. I have been in the audience when a slide will be presented for a good two minutes and then the next two slides will go very quickly. As an audience member: my slide reading to meet the slower slide and lost all of the faster slides. Evenly timed slides helps the audience (match speed with the speaker). Using approximate time parameters I think would be helpful.
20 second limit----- a good number but with some flexibility maybe a 30 second limit. It helps develope your slides evenly. If you are only going to speak 10 seconds on a slide then maybe add a bit more to the slide.
A 10 second slide example maybe a photo of a land deed. To even out the time spent on that slide on that same slide I could show a photo of the court house where the land deed was found, and a photo of the land.
Instead of one 40-50 second slide
A page from a census page and a line item within the page. Break the page up.
Show two slides:
A slide showing the census page---with the census heading : state, date, district,
A second slide zooming in the line items of interest of Name, family, occupation etc.
Powerpoint Master Jean Hibbens does this with manipulating her powerpoint presentations with incredible skill. Some of us less skillful may use two slides until we learn the magic of powerpoint manipulation.
To master the presentation skills of
Pecha Kucha (Japanese: ペチャクチャ, IPA: [petɕa ku͍̥tɕa], chit-chat) is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, takes a lot of practice, good coaching and great feed back.
To learn more about Pecha Kucha, visit
Although I am unsure I could master the 20 x 20 methodology ---- I do think I will adopt and learn many lessons from this activity. I could lay out my slides. Probably less than 20. and try to capture an even distribtion of time for each slide.