My First Pecha Kucha Experience

So last night I attended Greenville’s official first Pecha Kucha Night.  Pecha Kucha is a presenting format/style in which the presenter is allowed to have 20 slides with 2o seconds for each slide, creating a presentation with a 6 minute 20 second length.  It was started in Japan but has since spread all over the world.  All and all it is kind of an interesting idea of a way to expose people to all sorts of material and information.

I had first heard about Pecha Kucha back some months before when a preliminary one was done in the city.  When hearing about this one I determined that it was called Pikachu, which it is not, but it is what I still like to call it.  I missed that first time coming through this area (cause I was busy eating Mexican food and drinking beers) and so felt pretty interested in making it to this one.

I didn’t really know what to expect going into the thing.  I understood the format, and had an idea about what I was likely to experience but this was all new to me and I tried to approach it as such.

My personal opinion is that while it was definitely interesting it could still use some more refining for future events.  I found several of the presentations interesting or entertaining, but there were several others that I think missed the point a bit or were just annoying or confusing.   All and all I think that there needs to be a few more events before we have it pretty standardized and well done here.

 This isn’t a critique of the format itself mind you. Or the folks who put in a lot of time organizing the event (great job to all you guys btw).  Personally I am very interested in the application of Pecha Kucha in different areas including my work life.  Because I work in a Staff Development department I have to do a lot of presentation and trainings in front of an audience.  In these presentation I often have a lot of information that I need to get across and often that has led to using PowerPoints.  But PowerPoints have long frustrated me because I think that there are so many pitfalls associated with them.  In college I took a pretty firm anti-PowerPoint stance and as such I think I only created one or two in my whole four years there.  This dislike of PowerPoints has not diminished because I’ve experienced too many crappy ones to have much faith in them.  But I think that formats like that utilized in Pecha Kucha could be really useful in making this tool effective and meaningful.  I am already thinking about how I can include something like it in my own work presentations.

Truth be told also, I’d kind of like to do my own at a Pecha Kucha Night some time.  I don’t know what I’d do it on (I originally joked that I would do a Pikachu Pecha Kucha and just say “Pikachu Pikachu” ofver slides of Pikachu for the whole 6:20 minutes). 

Part of my interest in doing one is that  while I am required to present in front of people regularly, I am very uncomfortable about this.  I don’t know if it counts as full stage fright, but I think it is pretty damn close considering how much anxiety I feel before having to talk in front of any decent sized crowd.  So why the heck would I want to do it?  Because of the challenge it presents.  In high school I performed in every single play as well as served in an improv troupe.  I did this because it was a very real, but relatively safe, challenge to face something that I find incredibly difficult to do.  I see this as a potential with Pecha Kucha too (though again I have no clue what I’d present on).

So anyways, I will probably plan on attending future Pecha Kucha Nights and I look forward to seeing what other people have to offer at them.

~ by Nathaniel on November 13, 2009.

6 Responses to “My First Pecha Kucha Experience”

  1. Think about PK as being similar to ToastMasters. It’s as much about development and improving your praxis as it is about the spit and polish.

    There was one down in Beantown a while back but it’s just far enough away as to be inconvenient. May try to do one in the Lakes Region.

    Always good to hear from you Nate!

    • Funny, I was just talking about ToastMasters with a co-worker about five minutes ago. I’ve definitely heard the comparison between pecha kucha and it before.

      Great to hear from you too John. Thanks for the comment!

  2. I really enjoyed the event. The part I was most disappointed about was that some of the presenters clearly didn’t put any thought or practice into their speech before hand. If you’re going to be speaking in front of 200 people show some respect for the audience.

    • Agreed! I mean the format should be known, and so (as I see it) one should make sure they are capable to compile with the format. Sure getting up in front of forks can be rough, but that is part of why it is done.

  3. Getting up up in front of forks is always scary. Spoons less so.

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