Thursday, May 24, 2007

Have you heard of "Pecha Kucha"?

I heard about a new "presentation form" called Pecha Kucha via Presentation Zen blog (click here). It started in Japan as an opportunity for architects to present their ideas. The key point, from a Toastmasters-point-of-view, is that they use timed slides, not green/yellow/red lights, to make sure their speakers stay on time. Here is how PK is described on their website...

Pecha Kucha Night, devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham architecture), was conceived in 2003 as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. (Admittedly, it was also a way to get more people to visit SuperDeluxe - their then newly opened multimedia event space in Tokyo).
But as we all know, give a mike to a designer (especially an architect) and you'll be trapped for hours. The key to Pecha Kucha Night is its patented system for avoiding this fate. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each - giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.
Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for the sound of conversation) has tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown, without having to rent a gallery or chat up a magazine editor.
This is a demand that seems to be global - as Pecha Kucha Night, without any pushing, has spread virally to over 80 cities across the world.
The closest PK to District 53 is probably New York (click here for their website).

Why is this interesting?

As many of you know, staying on time is a recurring challenge for this author... e.g. LGM election speech last weekend as well as multiple contest disqualifications in past years... so any time I see a way to get better at speech timing, I am definitely interested.

What bits of advice can you offer for people that have a habit of going over their allotted speech time?

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