Avoiding Death by PowerPoint (Part 1)
A PowerPoint presentation of 20 slides with fixed timing of 20 seconds per slide.
Pecha Kucha (ペチャクチャ), usually pronounced in three syllables like "pe-chak-cha", is a presentation format in which content can be easily, efficiently and informally shown, usually at a public event designed for that purpose. Under the format, a presenter shows 20 images for 20 seconds apiece, for a total time of 6 minutes, 40 seconds.
It was devised in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo's Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa), who sought to give young designers a venue to meet, network, and show their work and to attract people to their experimental event space in Roppongi. They devised a format that kept presentations very concise in order to encourage audience attention and increase the number of presenters within the course of one night. They took the name Pecha Kucha from a Japanese term for the sound of conversation ("chit-chat").
We wouldn't recommend Pecha Kucha for corporate presentations - but the idea of an agreed disciplined approach is very interesting.
"Attention Deficit theater"
February 05, 2008, 9:57PM
How hot was Ignite Portland 2 on Tuesday night?
So hot that 750 people filled the Bagdad Theater in Southeast Portland, and many more got turned away. So hot that the wacky, idea-sharing event rose to the second spot on the national Upcoming Web site, trailing only the wildly popular South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. So hot that the Bagdad ran out of pizza.
Crowds came to see 14 presenters, each giving a five-minute talk on -- well, just about anything. They got 20 slides, each displayed for 15 seconds, to tell a story about anything from building a rocket to ordering sushi. The show was, as one organizer described it, "attention deficit theater."
There were funny moments, such as Mario Schulzke's analysis of his native Germany's fascination with David Hasselhoff. "He fooled 80 million Germans for 20-plus years, and I'm going to tell you how he did it," Schulzke promised, backed up by German magazine covers and "Baywatch" nostalgia on his slides.
There were emotional moments, such as Adrienne Fritz's tale of overcoming a troubled childhood to rewrite the script for her life. "This is the only life we have," she told the crowd. "And it rocks!"
And there were calls to civic action, be it helping investors see Portland's potential or putting biodiesel in your car.
Ignite, a concept that began in Seattle, was intended as an event for techies. But organizers of the Portland version found presenters -- and audience members -- who spanned the continuum from proud-of-it geeks to creative types. One couple in the crowd won T-shirts for attending Ignite Portland as a first date (they met through Match.com).
If you missed Ignite, the talks should be posted in the next few days on theofficial site. Social networking sites from Twitter to Flickr will be abuzz (this crowd was so wired, organizers went online to update folks waiting to get inside the Bagdad).
And, hey, there's always the old-fashioned option: coming next time. Ignite Portland organizers hope to make this a quarterly event. Stay tuned for details on the next rendition.