The Pecha Kucha method of presentations

Remember when meetings were too long?

This was often the case with ordinary meetings in the past – until some bright spark thought of holding them without chairs.

Suddenly meetings were over far sooner and got to the point a whole lot quicker.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were something similar you could do to transform PowerPoint presentations?

The problem is that, in the wrong hands, PowerPoint can be rambling, repetitive, largely irrelevant. And boring. Very, very boring.

Step forward Pecha Kucha, the brainchild of Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham.

Japanese for ‘chit chat’, this is a simple but very effective way to revolutionise your presentations. Using this method, you’re limited to 20 slides of 20 seconds each – in other words, just six minutes, 40 seconds for your entire presentation.

No doubt you’ve been in meetings where the presenter took longer than that on just one slide. But how much of that was dreary and mindless waffle? Most of it. Having just 20 seconds really concentrates the mind. You don’t even start on the digressions and diversions because there isn’t time for them. All there is time for is what really matters – which is exactly what your audience wants to hear.

Set your slides to switch over after every 20 seconds, including the last. When it fades, it’s time to stop talking and ask for questions. The result will be an enthusiastic (and grateful) audience – one that stays with you rather than nodding off.

A word of warning: this does take practice. It’s not easy, particularly at first. You need to ditch the bad habits built up over months or even years. But it’s definitely worthwhile.

If you’re in any doubt, ask yourself this: which would you rather read, a luxury car advertisement of seven words or the manufacturer’s brochure of seven thousand?

By David Vickery


Published On: 17th Apr 2012

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  1. I like it …

    I may adopt it to see what response I get.

    Sunny 25 Feb at 1:45 am
  2. Last week I attended the Pecha Kucha night show, where about 10 people (artists, entrepreneurs, writers) present their ideas to the audience using this method. It was awsome, you get to see different presentation styles, done by people with different backgrounds. You can also find the videos in Youtube.

    Laura Cirocco 4 Sep at 11:21 pm