History of Pecha Kucha
Pecha Kucha, the Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit chat”) began in Tokyo, back in 2003. Conceived by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, their original goal was to create a space where designers could share their ideas/passions with others.
However, knowing how dangerous it is to give a designer a microphone… they decided to put some checks in place. In order to prevent speakers from droning on and on, the Pecha Kucha format has restrictions: namely, 20 slides, on display for 20 seconds each. Because of this constraint every single Pecha Kucha presentation, regardless of speaker or topic, is exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds in length.
Since its inception, the Pecha Kucha format has spread to multiple cities around the world. As of June, 2009, more than 200 cities hold their own Pecha Kucha events, where people across multiple disciplines and fields of study share the things that interest and invigorate them. Visit pecha-kucha.org for more info, and to find an event near where you are.
About This Guide
My name is Felix Jung, and I gave my first talk at Pecha Kucha Chicago, Volume 9. I thoroughly enjoyed the event and had a fantastic time preparing for my talk. On looking back, I wanted to write up a summary of my process, and to share any tips or hints to others who are planning (or considering) participating in their first Pecha Kucha event.
A few caveats: I’m no professional speaker, nor do I profess to have any kind of secret insider knowledge. I’m a guy who gave a talk, and maybe my notes will be of help. The suggestions I make here are just that – suggestions. Take them or leave them, as what worked for me might not necessarily work for you.
Like design or poetry or cooking, there’s no one way to do this right (and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something).
When I was first doing my prep, I spent time looking around on YouTube for examples of Pecha Kucha talks. I wanted to see what others had done, and wanted some basis for comparison.
To that end, I’m posting up my slides and videos of my talk in the hopes that they might be of some help to you. There are two videos of my talk: one that shows the event live, and another that has audio from the evening superimposed over my slides.
Additionally, if you want a closer look at the slides themselves… check out the downloads section for .zip files of both the individual slides, as well as the main .PSD.
Again, I want to stress that I’m not suggesting you copy what I did. Completely the opposite, in fact. I encourage you to come up with your own style, your own approach.
When I was working on my own presentation, I wanted specific examples of how others set up their talks. In that spirit, I hope these pages provide a good starting point. Good luck in your prep, and if this was a useful resource… I’d love to hear about it (and I’d love to see your presentation too, if it’s online). Break a leg!
Next: Getting Started