I recently went to a session demonstrating Pecha Kucha (Japanese for chit-chat) in action. For the uninitiated, this is the discipline of speedy but impactful presenting – presenters have to deliver 20 slides and can only spend 20 seconds on each before the slide automatically progresses. So each presentation lasts no longer than 6 minutes and 40 seconds. It was invented in 2003 Tokyo, by architects, and is apparently most popular in creative fields.
This was the first time the four presenters had used this method, And so I was expecting them to be a lot more rushed than they actually were. Instead, 20 seconds felt like more than long enough to get across key points. The Wikipedia article suggests that the method depends on strength of both personality and ideas. That was certainly the case in the examples I saw, while they all had a strongly visual element – as someone pointed out, a picture was literally painting a thousand words.
It’s something I’d love to try – although I don’t think I’d fancy the very public Pecha Kucha nights, which sound a little too public and competitive an introduction. But I couldn’t help thinking that the mixture of short sharp and incisive content really gels with what works in social media – so potentially an interesting way to explore its value to those who want to know more.