Pecha Kucha Night: The Thing That I Have To Be Nervous About
So I’ve been invited to be one of twelve presenters at the Oct.29th Pecha Kucha Night at Cambie’s Park Theatre and I’m really nervous about it. Though I’ve done plenty of radio and TV in the past, this sort of thing is very different. Really, I find the prospect of speaking in front of a live audience of really clever people for six minutes and forty seconds before and after other really clever people to be more terrifying than death.
No idea what Pecha Kucha is? It’s actually pretty cool, which is why I’m going ahead with doing it. Each presenter – usually plucked from the design/art/media world – is permitted 20 images of their choosing. The images are shown in the desired order for 20 seconds each, amounting to a 6 minute and 40 second time frame in which the presenter gives a talk and wobbles their knees before passing the mic on for the next presenter to be introduced. I reckon as long as I think in terms of the tick tock and rehearse enough, I might limit the cold sweat and dry mouth to a just barely tolerable level.
More from wikipedia:
It was devised in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa), who sought to give young designers a venue to meet, network, and show their work and to attract people to their experimental event space in Roppongi. They devised a format that kept presentations very concise in order to encourage audience attention and increase the number of presenters within the course of one night. They took the name Pecha Kucha from a Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit-chat”).
Klein and Dytham’s event, called Pecha Kucha Night, has spread virally around the world. More than 170 cities now host such events.
A typical Pecha Kucha Night hosts eight to 14 presenters. Presenters (and much of the audience) are usually from the design, architecture, photography, art and creative fields, but it has also stretched over to academia and the business world. Businesses use the Pecha Kucha format, especially for internal presentations, primarily as a device to limit the length of presentations, force presenters to focus their messages, reduce interruptions, and ultimately avoid “death by Powerpoint”.
To give you (and me!) a better idea of how it goes down, here’s my friend Kris Krug showing how it’s done at a previous Pecha Kucha Night:
If you want to check it out, tickets are available online at www.festivalcinemas.ca.