Pecha Kucha night at Princeton Public Library or 6.40mins until applause
This past Tuesday night, i participated in a Tuesday Tech Talk Pecha Kucha style at Princeton Public Library.
Pecha Kucha (peh CHAK sha) is Japanese for “the sound of conversation.” Originally designed as a way for designers to chat up their work, it’s now sweeping other industries as a way to avoid “death by power point” (a very, very good goal). Here’s the basics- you get 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide (it’s also referred to as the 20×20 format- and for good reason). The slides advance automatically and they’re to be used in a creative, non-bullet-point way. Pictures that highlight themes are good if you’re not talking about the art itself.
And it was! The evening’s lineup was excellent- Romina Gutierrez (specialized search engines), Janie Hermann (social networks), Bob Keith (What I Learned from Gaming), John LeMasney (sharing things online), myself (virtual reference) and Peter Bromberg (skeptic).
I had been nervous about how I’d interact with the automatic slide advancing. As it turns out, it acts like and should be treated as a co-presenter or completely ignored. Not quite understanding these options before the presentation, i opted for a more “ahem, slide change please” approach that might have detracted from the flow i had so carefully practiced beforehand. Apparently i speak a lot faster during a presentation than i do in practice.
I was also unsure that the audience would give a hoot about my topic but everything was very well received! I think people were mostly curious about the presentation style and less about the topic, but I was able to sell VR on a few people! :-)
If you’re interested in doing your own Pecha Kucha style presentation check out Pecha Kucha Nights and Beer: a Sober Guide to Better Presentations, a guide that really helped me.