You may have heard of “Death by PowerPoint”. This phenomenon is noticeable in presentations that contain boring standard images and distracting animations and are characterized by the accumulation of unimportant details. The listener begins to get bored, may switch off and the information does not get through. Pecha Kucha is an innovative method to make slideshows more effective.
The concept was first used by the two British architects Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein in Tokyo during an event for young designers in 2003. The entire presentation contains 20 slides, each of which is shown for 20 seconds, so that the entire presentation lasts exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds. The display duration is integrated into the presentation in advance and proceeds automatically1. Little text is used on the slides, the focus is on meaningful images and graphics. The aim of this method is to make the presentation contents short and concise to increase the audience’s attention.
What makes Pecha Kucha so successful?
First, this format was used successfully among designers, but by now it has established itself in a wide variety of areas. This method can be used for various tyes of presentations and diverse subject areas. Two key success factors can be described with “lean and sticky”2. Lean means that you are limited to the most important information and only include relevant content in the presentation. Each individual slide must offer added value due to the time limit. Sticky refers to increasing audience attention through the use of images and graphics. In this way it is possible to convey new knowledge quickly, effectively and with fun without losing the attention of the listener. Pecha Kucha’s time limit prevents the presentation time from being overdrawn and trains the lecturers to formulate content precisely and unambiguously.
Although the Pecha Kucha technique can be used in many areas, it is not suitable for every topic. Complex content such as financial reports are difficult to present in this format 1. The method also needs more time to prepare, because the presenter should know his material almost by heart, so as not to run into time constraints and stress.
Pecha Kucha is an innovative way of presenting and offers an interesting alternative to conventional presentation styles. Try it out yourself !
Here you can see all important information about Pecha Kucha from pechakucha.org:
- Tomsett, P.M., Shaw, M.R. (2014). Creative Classroom Experience Using Pecha Kucha to Encourage ESL Use in Undergraduate Business Courses: A Pilot Study. International Multilingual Journal of Contemporary Research, 2 (2), 89-108
- Anderson, J.S., Williams, S.K., (2012). Pecha Kucha for Lean and Sticky Presentations in Business Classes. Working Paper Series, 12(3)