Stay focused with what? Pecha kucha is quite the rage in PowerPoint circles. The name comes from a Japanese term meaning “chatter.” It’s pronounced pechàkchka (with the emphasis on the second syllable), but many people pronounce it as it reads in English, with the emphasis on the first syllable of each word.
You can read the Wikipedia definition. You can read more at the official Pecha Kucha Night site, where you can also find the cities that offer pecha kucha contests. But for our purposes, it’s simply a way to keep presentations short and focused by limiting them to 20 slides of 20 seconds each.
That’s 6 minutes, 40 seconds in all.
The idea is to force the presenter to speak concisely, precisely, and clearly. Typically, pecha kucha presentations are mostly images. The transitions from slide to slide are timed to 20 seconds, so that the presenter can’t extend the time.
Pecha kucha works well when many people have to present, and of course, when the material isn’t very lengthy or technical. Some companies have instituted pecha kucha for some internal meetings.
How do you create a pecha kucha presentation? Here are (appropriately) 6 steps:
- Write your script and time it.
- Create 20 slides that include a little text and large, striking images
- Write your script in the note pane of each slide, so that you know what you’ll say for each slide. Recheck the timing.
- Set the slides to advance after 20 seconds. Choose View> Slide Sorter and select all of the slides. (Click the first one, press and hold Shift, and click the last one.)
- In PowerPoint 2003, on the Slide Sorter toolbar, click the Transition button. In 2007, choose the Animations. tab. In 2010 and 2013, choose the Transitions tab. In the Advance Slide section, uncheck the On Mouse Click check box and check the Automatically After check box. In the Automatically After text box, enter 00:20 or 00:20:00.
- Practice until you can deliver the presentation within the allotted time.
[…] slides for six minutes 40 seconds. Why so precise a timing? Because this format, known as a pecha kucha, requires timed presentation of exactly 20 seconds for each slide, i.e. 400 seconds. You have to […]
I am a huge fan of PechaKucha Night and I love the fact you mention its focusing aspect. Many presentations get long and dull as presenters can go too in-depth into their topic, while all they were to do was a short incentive! But fortunately Pecha Kucha came for a rescue. I even wrote an article recently to promote this format, 20 Reasons Why Pecha Kucha is Great for You. Would love to know what you think.