July 23, 2014

Pecha Kucha – Presentation Art in Pictures

Pecha Kucha is an expression that will pass your way when you are interested in presentation techniques. You may doubt that something that sounds like an Indian curry dish can be an extraordinary technique to deliver a very special performance. Let us provide you with some facts about Pecha Kucha that can improve your own very personal performance.

The Invention of Pecha Kucha

First of all, Pecha Kucha is not Indian at all. Pecha Kucha originated in the Japanese culture and is an onomatopoeic term. It shall be associated with the noise that is produced when many people talk at the same time. The inventors of Pecha Kucha are Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham from Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo. Although Klein and Dytham are both architects and invented this technique for own purposes, it is also applicable for any other industry such as tourism, beauty and health sector or marketing and management. Furthermore, it can be used for private gatherings and festivities whenever a refreshing performance is required.

What Is All About?

The format is simple: 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, only images, and no text. In total you have 6 minutes and 40 seconds for a Pecha Kucha presentation. The time is running without the speaker having any influence on it – and that is exactly the challenge of it. You will have to reduce your content as much as possible to be as precise as possible. An adaption of your speech to the sequence of pictures is absolutely necessary. Otherwise it will be a more than pitiful performance.

If you keep in mind how often it occurs that presentations are just a very boring waste of time, Pecha Kucha can be an ideal way to provide a very interesting, appealing and exceptional presentation. Both sides, the audience and you, will benefit from such a delivery. It keeps you focused and it raises a high level of attention in your auditorium. Using the Pecha Kucha technique makes a presentation an exciting act and is a popular method all around the world. In more than 700 cities world-wide Pecha Kucha events are organized and visited by a broad audience.


How to Prepare

Before preparing yourself for a Pecha Kucha performance, you will need to inform yourself very well on the subject that will be presented. All images need to be chosen very carefully and must agree exactly with the content you are about to report. Keep in mind:

  1. To structure it very clearly
  2. Whether you want to include storytelling or not
  3. To focus on your main thesis
  4. How the pictures support this thesis
  5. To pick the perfect images and where to find them


Here some suggestions:

  1. Structure your presentation in three parts: introduction, main part and conclusion. Then you can pick one of two options: you either address your thesis directly or you introduce your presentation shortly. If your topic is more complex and needs some further explanation, you rather drop the introduction for not to lose valuable time; but if your topic is comprehensible and you wish to create some tension and curiosity, you will most likely decide for an introduction. Start with a delightful anecdote or an inspiring joke to introduce the audience to the subject. These connotations will raise interest and attention.


  1. Storytelling shall be part of any Pecha Kucha performance. Suitable images are perfect to create a dramatic effect and to raise tension. Use metaphors that are true to life and that everybody identifies with. For more information on storytelling click here.


  1. Focus on your main thesis. Make clear and unmistakable statements. Be as precisely as possible and build the rest of the presentation around this argument. Be well-informed and the expert on your topic. If you keep this in mind, you will fill the 6 minutes and 40 seconds easily and your Pecha Kucha performance will be a grand success.


  1. Choose pictures that suit your storytelling or your course of narration. Be the narrator of a little tale and make your audience a participant of your narrative. People react to visual stimulation and feel inspired by an aesthetic outlook that emphasizes a good performance. Keep in mind that the images are as equally important as your speech.


  1. Pictures can be found anywhere. You may have your images already on your smartphone or camera. You can scan pictures from newspapers or buy them on websites like fotolia.com. Create collages, drawings or stylish design in a graphics program. There are many possibilities to find the right pictures. Pay close attention to your environment and the right ideas will come. Last but not least do not forget to mention the source of any image that is not your own and you are prepared for an impressive Pecha Kucha presentation.
title image: PresentationLoad
featured image: © Pink Badger – Fotolia.com
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