14 Aug 19 / Blog

Presentations too long? Try pecha-kucha!

When you next present to a group, here’s something for you to try.  Ask someone in your audience a week later what they remember from your presentation.  Try it – you’ll find it’s an interesting lesson in key messages.  Did they remember your key take-away?  Unless you’re presenting to an audience that’s really invested in what you have to say, the reality is that they’re probably not giving you their undivided attention – even if they’re trying hard.   They’re tuning in and out of your presentation even as you’re standing in front of them. So why not try something different?  That’s where pecha-kucha comes in.

Shake it up

Pecha-kucha is a snappy, visual presentation format that comes with rules! A pecha-kucha allows you present 20 slides, each of which you deliver in 20 seconds. So your presentation lasts 6 minutes 40 seconds precisely.  This forces you to be concise, and to strip your message right back to what really matters.  And the great thing is that your audience listens to you in a completely different way. Because the slides keep changing, they give you their attention.  Or if you’re really up for a challenge, why not try an Ignite talk?  The rules for an Ignite talk are 20 slides of 15 seconds duration – 5 minutes in total!  Same idea, just different timings.

And here’s the fun part – the slides advance by themselves. Yes, it’s like you have a movie playing behind you on screen as you present. Not easy, but I promise – this format makes your audience more present for your presentation. They listen more actively. Tell them you’ll be up there for no more than six minutes 40 seconds (or five minutes) come what may, and you’ll find they’re willing to give you their focus and attention.

How to give an Ignite talk

Here’s a great video from Scott Berkun, bestselling author and speaker on creativity on ‘how and why to give an Ignite talk’.  Listen to his advice, give it a go, and transform your public speaking forever!