Second Edition 2014 (Completely Revised, ReEdited & RePublished):
I saw my first Pecha Kucha over three years ago. It was when I was working at Universidad Andrés Bello at Campus Casona in Santiago with the students in the English Pedagogy program. I admit I’ve been fascinated by “Pecha Kucha” ever since that first time. I remember being very impressed by the performance I watched. There were a number of reasons for this. For now, let me share with you why I find Pecha Kucha to be so impressive and fascinating as a presentation technique.
Firstly, when we speak of our first time doing something enjoyable, it’s always a good feeling. We like what we like, we know what we like, and because of that, we return often, to what we like.
As you can tell by now, I like Pecha Kucha.
Secondly, its principles are easy to understand and apply. It’s fast, it’s efficient, it’s effective, it’s collaborative, it’s visual, it’s easy to prepare, it’s fun. However, it does require practice, lots of it, to do this really well. Practice, oh what a sweet word in the ears of any EFL teacher. Students practicing what they are going to say, again and again, going over their own words, to speak about images they themselves have selected. Volumes of practice, huge quantities of practice, helping the students to achieve the eventual automaticity that is the hallmark of mastery.
Of all the principles of the Pecha Kucha, the most important principle is this: images are powerful. Images convey meaning and emotions. In fact, the whole range of the human experience can be conveyed by images. For example, think of the images left on the walls of caves by cave men. No one needs a cave man to verbalize what you are seeing. You feel it – through your eyes – to your brain – to your emotions. It’s visual storytelling. That’s what the Pecha Kucha is, visual literacy in its purest form… Get your copy today.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
May 5, 2014
By Uvi Poznansky
In an easy-going, engaging tone, the author takes it upon himself to teach you about Pecha Kucha. First, he invites you to listen to recordings of the name, pronounced by Japanese people in three syllables, ‘pe-chahk-cha.’ The meaning of the term is similar to the English term ‘Chit-chat’ and it encompasses several principles of effective communication executed with powerful, economic means.
Pecha Kucha Night was devised in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture. The basic requirement is simple: Each presenter shows 20 images on screen for 20 seconds each. 20 X 20. Within this timing limitation, text-heavy slides become ineffective, and the presentation relies on the direct, descriptive ‘chit-chat’ of the presenter, best honed through rehearsal and refinement.
The fast pace requires that the message for each image be crystallized for best effect, and the the equal time levels the playing field for Pecha Cucha competitions between presenters. The technique imposes unique constraints on what they construct, which is a good thing. “Constraints frequently help liberate content and stimulate creativity.”
This is not a new invention, rather it is one that is continually honed by us, starting perhaps in prehistoric times. When bringing up cave drawings, the author explains, “No one needs a cave man to verbalize what you are seeing. You feel it – through your eyes – to your brain – to your emotions. It’s visual storytelling.”
Fittingly, the book itself seems to be written according to the principles it describes, using several mediums such as voice recordings and images that accompany nearly each page, and illustrate the verbal with audio and visual means. My favorite advice is actually a question, posed to students of Pecha Kucha:: “Consider your 20 slides as 20 panels in a graphic storyline. How do your 20 panels flow together to create a cohesive statement or a consistent through-line?”
I was given a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. My only critique is that for me, the book is too short. I think that the implications of the presentation technique can easily be studied on a larger scale, beyond the school environment, which is near and dear to the author, but to the business community as well.