Pecha-kucha is a global presentation sensation. It was started in 2003 by two Tokyo-based architects who were tired of the same old bullet point PowerPoint presentations that put them to sleep a million times. The pecha-kucha style is very straight-forward and simple. It is a fun and creative way to do presentations.
You must use 20 slides, each is shown for 20 seconds, as you tell your story in sync with the visuals. You have a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. No more, no less. The slides advance automatically, and when you’re done, you’re done. You sit down.
The objective of these restraints is to keep the presentation brief and focused, and to force the speaker to limit the presentation to the most important information. You can’t add a lot of extra information because you just have 20 seconds per slide. You must stay brief, to the point, laser focused.
Pecha-kucha nights are held in over 80 cities. The closest cities to us are Tampa and Jacksonville. Nothing in Orlando – yet. In many cities the Pecha-kucha nights are held in a hip multimedia space and often take on the atmosphere of a popular night club focused around cool user group meetings.
Pecha-kucha is a good training method for people wanting to become outstanding leaders who make a real impact when they speak. No one wants to listen to another “death-by-PowerPoint” presentation, but people will really perk up when they see and hear this type of presentation. It sends a clear message that you know what you are talking about and you are not here to waste anyone’s time.
The point is to prepare what you want to say, and then use visuals to enhance what you are saying. No one likes to have someone read to them. Our brains read faster than a person can speak the words. So by the time the speaker finishes reading the screen, the audience has already read it and is thinking about something else – probably how bored they are. Why would you want to lose your audience even for a few seconds every time you put up a new slide?
You might be thinking right now that you don’t know how to create stunning visuals to enhance your presentation. Maybe you’re locked into thinking of PowerPoint the way Microsoft wants you to think about it – over-used backgrounds, static headlines, and bullet points, bullet points, bullet points. Open your mind! Be creative. Let’s look at some examples.
Blogs are like sharks. What do you notice about this slide? It’s your typical PowerPoint slide. Boring background that has nothing to do with the topic. Bullet points that are hard to read because of the background. A static footer and page # at the bottom of the slide with a date that is 3 years old. Was this presentation customized for this audience or just dusted off?
Now, let’s look at a much more dynamic slide that enhances the speaker’s words. What differences do you see? Dynamic picture of a shark that correlates to my words. Main point – “Blogs are like sharks” stands out and piques your interest – makes you want to listen. Colorful background that flows with shark The Audience can hear my words while looking at the visuals that enhance what I’m saying.
What about when we present data? Look at this slide showing the number of sailboats sold. What problems do you see with this slide? Background picture interferes with the table of data making it hard to read. Color in the table is not coordinated nor does it stand out. Some of the numbers blend into the background. You have to study the table too hard to understand it.
Now, let’s look at the same information, but in a easier format. You can quickly see that most sailboats were sold in 2010 from reading the title and from looking at the red column. You can also see that 5035 sailboats were sold. It is clean without a lot of extra lines and annoying pictures.
Let’s look at another way to present the same information. The main point is made in the title. You can easily see that sailboat sales increased each year. And that over 5000 were sold in 2010. The dynamic picture in the background compliments the message and makes you want to buy a sailboat or at least go to the beach.
Let’s look at some more examples. How many times have we seen slides like this? More than likely the presenter would turn around and read this quote from the screen even though the audience is probably made up of adults who can read. This clipart image is over-used. It’s depicting one man helping another man – what does that have to do with women working part-time? The graphic doesn’t match the message of the slide.
The same information can be presented in a more memorable way. The slide might look like this, and the presenter says, “According to the US Department of Labor, 72% of part-time workers in the United States are women.” This stands out in the audience’s mind and is more memorable than the previous slide which you’ve probably already forgotten!
Let’s take another look at another slide about blogging. Does this slide make you want to start a blog? Does it excite you? Does it make you want to even read someone else’s blog? This slide has too many words. The audience is reading it instead of listening to the speaker – which is exactly what you’re doing right now, isn’t it?! Nothing pulls you in and touches you on an emotional level.
How about this slide about blogs? It has a strong graphic that is light and bold. It shows people making connections which ties right in with the concept of blogging being about conversing with other people. Have you ever wondered why anyone would want to write a blog? Doesn’t this slide give you an idea about why? It’s about conversations and talking to people – locally, and even globally if you want.
Have you seen those inspirational PowerPoint slide shows that people send around? There are a lot of slides that look like this. These PowerPoint shows pair wonderfully inspiring quotes and beautiful photographs. But does this slide make as much of an impact as it could? Probably not. The font is hard to read and too small. The photo is pretty, but hard to really see because it is too small.
This slide probably makes more of an emotional impact. Notice that this slide is clean, active, you can see the photograph without straining, and the quote is easy to read because of the bold font that was selected. Also there is no annoying background noise. The picture is strong and conveys feelings of warm the power. You can actually picture yourself sitting on this rock waiting for a roast duck to fly into your mouth.
So, why am I presenting this information to you today? All of you will be reading a Leadership book and presenting the main points to the class. And guess what! This is the format you will be using. You’ll have 20 slides that will automatically advance after 20 seconds. So you’ll have 6 minutes and 40 seconds to present your book report. Then you will have time to lead a discussion about your book. Your presentation should focus the discussion.
Pecha-kucha is an okay name for these presentations; however, we are going to call them 6:40 Presentations because it sounds more professional and it really conveys what we are doing. So what will you be doing? Where can you get ideas? How can you learn about design? Let’s kick around some ideas.
Death-by-Bullet Point <ul><li>These bullet points presentations </li></ul><ul><li>are slowly killing me. </li></ul><ul><li>When will they ever stop? </li></ul><ul><li>Great leaders never subject anyone </li></ul><ul><li>to such torture and agony. </li></ul><ul><li>No one wants to listen to someone </li></ul><ul><li>read to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Never. </li></ul><ul><li>Ever. </li></ul><ul><li>Under any circumstance. </li></ul><ul><li>So please learn how to present! </li></ul>
Blogs are like sharks <ul><li>A shark must keep moving or die. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog must be regularly updated or it too will die. </li></ul><ul><li>How often should you update your blog? </li></ul><ul><li>Some successful blogs are updated once a week, others several times a day. </li></ul><ul><li>The key is to be consistent. </li></ul>May 12, 2007 Blog like a Pro Conference ‘07 2
Blogs are about conversations <ul><li>Conversations involve multiple people. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog must be regularly updated or there will be no conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>How often should you update your blog? </li></ul><ul><li>Some successful blogs are updated once a week, others several times a day. </li></ul><ul><li>The key is to be consistent. </li></ul>May 12, 2007 Blog like a Pro Conference ‘07 2