final presentation:pecha kucha


Pecha Kucha draws it’s name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat.”

It’s a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images. Regardless of speaker or topic, every Pecha Kucha presentation is exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

Tips to help you

Consider your Presentation Style.
Are you a presenter that tells stories and uses slides as a visual backdrop?
Do you need to prepare your presentation with detailed notes?
Are you the type that bullet points everything you need to say on a slide?
Whichever it is, you will need to be fully aware of your presentation style and keep to it.

If you are the type that likes to talk off the cuff, flowing and ebbing to the crowd’s response, the format of Pecha Kucha will make this hard. Writing everything down for fear of overrunning the 20 second per slide forma can kill your flow, as it is a struggle to switch from usual presentation technique. Referring to notes frequently can cost audience engagement.

2) Keep it Light

A slide presentation should not be used as a training manual.There are just some topics that don’t work at Pecha Kucha. Explaining complex theories or scientific problems is one. It goes so fast anyway, so the heavy stuff just goes over the head. the best topics for Pecha Kucha are anecdotal stories which work great for the portfolio stories it originally started with.

In the real world, your presentation format may be in the form or a class lecture, a cozy portfolio review, or staged performance etc., regardless of what it is, be aware of how much a presentation can do before it become too much.


3) The Power of One.

One thing to keep strictly to when designing a Pecha Kucha presentation is that your total presentation should only communicate 1 key topic. Furthermore, each slide should be restricted to 1 point only. The key to keeping things simple is to ask “What am I trying to communicate?” and “Do I really need make this point?”

While this restriction is a must for a 20 second pace, this should be also a key requirement for presentations in the real world. Even with the opportunity of having more time to read the content on each slide.

Many presentations meander badly, or have far to many confusing bullet points on a slide. There is something to be said on the efficiency and impact of keeping slide presentations simple.

4) The Tale of 2 Presenters.

There are actually two presenters at every presentation; you and your slide. You really figure out the value of both “Presenters” at Pecha Kucha. You can use one to support the other, or even design the presentation in a way that when combined together they tell a much bigger story. Therefore, it is a real pity to only repeat to the audience what the bullet points on each of your slide say. Furthermore, this also means that most slide decks can be reduced by 50%.

5) Keep the Presentation Sharp.

In Pecha Kucha you are advised to keep the verbal element to 2-3 sentences a slide.
This also makes sense in normal presentations as well. Focus on the points you are trying to communicate and that will prevent you from rambling on more than you need to.

6) Pick a Topic You are Familiar With.

At Pecha Kucha always pick a topic that you are familiar with, or willing to get familiar with. When you are familiar with a topic it just rolls off your tongue naturally, especially in presentations with time constraints. Oh, don’t underestimate the value of practice, it does make perfect.

7) Pause for Effect.

One thing that was really hard to create at Pecha Kucha was strategic pauses to let points sink in. With the rapid 20 second pace, even giving people time to laugh was almost impossible. This means you could come across like you are racing through your presentation.

This challenge makes you realize and cherish the importance of strategic pauses in a presentation. When you are now designing a presentation that has the luxury of more time, you can now use this time efficiently to drive home key points, increase audience engagement, or even as a great icebreaker.

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