I recently attended a Pecha Kucha event in town. For those of you unfamiliar with them, Pecha Kucha may be described as a mini-TED talk, but it is much more heavily reliant on images. Ten people present accompanied by 20 slides that are shown for 20 seconds each. In other words, people have about 6 minutes to tell their story.

Pecha Kucha was started in Japan (it means chit chat) as a way for architectural hopefuls to present their work in a concise manner.  It has spread to over 800 cities and become a global way to network and share stories.  

At our event, presentations ranged from lessons about sailboats, to training dogs for protection, to foraging for food, to overcoming mental illness, to moving to Iowa from the UK to a woman who is a self-professed “gearhead” when she is not modeling in pin-up poses, to a mom who does “Science Sunday” experiments with her toddler in hopes of inspiring her to pursue STEM.

I went just to see what it is like since I have been asked to present in this format, but stayed for the entire presentation. It was fascinating to hear people share their stories and to see the variety in presentation.

Think about how you could incorporate a Pecha Kucha-type format to share your story or that of your organization. Using the “20×20” format may be a great way for you to hold people’s attention with the visual appeal, and be concise in conveying your message.

— beth triplett


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