One of the intriguing things I learnt on the Nature of Human Behavior NHB course here at LBS is the Pecha Kucha. Pecha kucha, a very interesting word, and this was my first time actually hearing the word Pecha Kucha. It got me curious and I really wanted to know what this was all about and learn how it can be utilized in the workplace environment.
Pecha Kucha (pronounced PE CHA KU CHA) describes a new style of presentation which has been gaining popularity since 2003. Basically, it is a fast paced format in which a speaker has 20 slides; each set to automatically move forward after 20 seconds leading to a total of 6 minutes, 40 seconds available for speakers to make a point.
Pecha Kucha, which means “the sound of conversation” in Japanese, was first conceived by Tokyo architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, who were seeking a way to encourage student presenters to use PowerPoint in a more organized and succinct manner.
Well, someone could ask, what is the importance of Pecha Kucha presentation?
This style is supposedly an antidote to death by PowerPoint Presentation where presenters drone on with slides full of text. The 20 second limit makes that type of presentation impossible.
Recent studies show that the Pecha Kucha style can improve presenting skills and English speaking skills in general. This has particular relevance when teaching large numbers of international students, such as in “Translation Localization”, where 84% of students spoke English as their second language.
Large conferences have employed the Pecha Kucha format since 2003 in order to accommodate more presenters. A few educators and scholars have responded to the query posed by some philosophers: “Could Pecha Kucha be effectively employed in the classroom? Could it be used as a method of instruction in higher education? The classroom now incorporates Pecha Kucha, especially while teaching English as a Second Language and in business schools (ESL) as well as EAP, researching the effects on both speakers and audiences and from the perspectives of the student as well as the teacher (who is evaluating such presentations), student (who is giving the Pecha Kucha).
This revelation has been enlightening because it can also be used in business settings for presentations during meetings where we need presenters to go straight to the point with and avoid unnecessary time wasting.
The Pecha Kucha constrains presenters to stick to a certain timeframe. I think that time frames are good because, timeframes drive creativity. When you think of the 20 seconds limit on your slides, that ensures that you make your slides pretty crisp and you don’t say too much. If you look at the 6 minutes 40 seconds time limit, it means you are going to deliver a crisp message and if it is boring, people are not going to suffer you for so long.
The learning experience at the Lagos Business School has been enlightening and the time worthwhile. Learning about Pecha Kucha and actually using it and seeing others use it in class to talk about what makes them happy was awesome too.