“Pecha Kucha” Ok, so that is two words.
The first Pecha Kucha was in Tokyo in 2003 and now it has spread “virally” to “cities worldwide”. Google it and you get 700,000+ hits. Chances are there is one soon in a city near you. All the cool people seem to know what it is. Personally, I hadn’t even heard of it until last month, despite agreeing to do one at a conference in December. (I wasn’t actually listening to the details when I was asked to present.)
So, what is Pecha Kucha?
It’s actually very simple – Pecha Kucha is a slide presentation that is constrained to 6 minutes 40 seconds. Each slide is shown for 20 seconds (6 min 40 sec @ 20sec per slide = 20 slides). The short duration and strict slide timing forces presenters to be concise and focused. The idea was to stop designers/architects form nattering on endlessly, and it worked. Plus, they usually have a bar.
The Pecha Kucha format worked so well it has bled into other disciplines, so the presentations now aren’t solely showcases for designers, but cover all sorts of topics. Last night I checked one out here in San Francisco – mostly it was designers presenting designs, but there was also a trip report, a career retrospective and a political-love-activist (this is San Francisco after all - gotta love the Bay Area vibe).
Heads up for all you AU attendees: there will be a Pecha Kucha on MONDAY NIGHT. Doors open at 6PM, show starts at 7PM, location to be announced. Seating is limited to 400. I strongly recommend you check out this showcase of cool ideas! Plus, as tradition dictates, there will be a bar.
BTW: Roughly, Pecha Kucha means chit-chat or the sound of conversation in Japanese. Pecha Kucha is said “Pa shah ka cha”. PA shah KA cha. Easy, but still a challenge to remember how to say it: we solved that at work by re-lyricing an old Muppet Show tune. Instead of Mah-na Mah-na, we had the office singing Pa-shah Ka-cha. Warning, if you watch this, it will likely get stuck in your head.