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For one of my modules, Conceptual Introduction to Digital Arts and Humanities, my Christmas assignment consists of a presentation using either the PechaKucha or Ignite format. Fast and fun presentation formats, apparently. I decided to go with PechaKucha because it began in Tokyo, and I am very influenced by all things Japanese. ( ペチャクチャ, means chit-chat).

Thankfully UCC has on its website, a great article: PechaKucha: Advice for Participants

 “PechaKucha is a short visual presentation comprised of 20 slides. Each slide is timed to automatically advance every 20 seconds.It is a presentation format established to encourage presenters to focus on and share an idea as concisely as possible.  A PechaKucha presentation format is an ideal way to deliver ideas in less formal manner.  Presenters rely primarily on images to guide the presentation and need to be creative to communicate their point precisely.”

20 slides at 20 seconds, means 6 minutes and 40 seconds. So why the short presentation? Anyone who has been bored to death by a Powerpoint, will appreciate a short talk. I was just recently at a presentation, where the speaker started her slideshow and read from her notes. Her talk was interesting, her slides were interesting, but the monotony of reading direct from her notes with no interaction with the audience, no change of tone in her voice, made the presentation hard work to sit though.

I have given a couple of presentations in the past, using Powerpoint, and I must admit I love it. I like the attention being on the slides rather than me, but was very aware of which slides and subject matter dozed the audience off, or had them sitting up in their chairs. The more informal the better, as far as I’m concerned, so, I like this concept of short informal presentations and gatherings.

PechaKucha is not the only format for short presentations. We are all familiar with TEDTalks, and their 18 minute format. However, give a TEDTalk presentation is difficult, you must be either asked or nominated. To appear on some minor localized events, TEDx, you must apply up to 6 months in advance.  PechaKucha are free self-organised grassroots events, where potential speakers can either set up an event or be asked to speak at and event.  It was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture. The first PechaKucha Night was held in Tokyo in their gallery/lounge/bar/club/creative kitchen, SuperDeluxe, in February, 2003.

PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps — just about anything, really — in the PechaKucha 20×20 format. We believe there is nothing social about online social networks, so get out from behind your screen and get to a live event, with real people, real communication, real beer, and real creative fun. So in a sense, we are in fact a “real” social network.

I like that. Putting the social back into social media. Taking the digital out of the box and in front of a crowd. PechaKucha Nights are now being arranges throughout the world. You can see a map here, to find out if there is one near you. In his blog post 20 Reasons Why Pechakucha is Great for You, photographer Marcin Retecki said among other things, you will “…meet some really strange people…broaden your perspective…improve our mood…see beautiful things…be amazed…see more possibilities”, and more.

The advantages of this format allows for more presentations to be given, as they can be scheduled easier, with less speakers going overtime. The format demands simplicity, not just through the spoken work but also through graphics. Strong visual images to go along side your talk are the key. In a world buoyed by inflated language, it is harder to apply this simple concept to a presentation. Less is more, simplify what you want to say to 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Albert Einstein

I’ve been reading a few websites, to get an overview of the do’s and dont’s of creating a PechaKucha presentation and here’s what I’ve compiled. I am presenting them in 2 formats. A handy simplified graphic, and further below, a less visual, but slightly more inflated PDF.

coloured graphic with helpful hints on creating a pechakucha presentation

Here is the less visual, more inflated but also more printable PDF PechaKucha pdf

My best recommendation is to actually watch some PechaKucha’s, as many as possible on their website. To get the format, and also to see the fun and informality the presenters seem to have.   I now know the ins and outs of PechaKucha, I’ve just got to actually do one now. The hardest part is picking a topic


Some excellent articles on






PechaKuchas about PechaKuchas!



So, what do you think ?