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VIEWPOINT: TIME OUT!

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As a society living in an information era, we have the power of using the Internet to research any topic for ourselves. This presents a problem for speakers whose speaking slots have been reduced, when previously they were given longer slots to deliver information.

Speakers of today need to be able to deliver content in an interesting and engaging way in as short a time as possible. One way of achieving this is through a Pecha Kucha style of presentation.

What is it?

Pecha Kucha is a Japanese word that stands for ‘chit chat’ and is a style of presentation that started in Tokyo in 2003. All presenters need to prepare a PowerPoint presentation that has 20 slides (set on autocue) where each slide is displayed for 20 seconds. The full duration of a Pecha Kucha presentation is 6 minutes and 40 seconds. There are various ways to plan each slide, but the format that works best is for the presenter to speak to one picture per slide. There is no text within a Pecha Kucha presentation besides the title at the top of each slide.

With this type of format, presentations are kept short and focused. If your agenda for the day includes a lot of separate presentations, then this format will allow many speakers to have a slot to speak.

How to prepare

You have 20 slides to work with – reserve two slides for your opening and closing discussion. Utilise the balance of the 18 slides for the body of your talk. Consider your purpose for speaking: are you informing, educating, inspiring or persuading your audience?

Next think of the top three points that you want to share with your audience in relation to your purpose. Then allocate six slides per three main points to talk to, which will work out at 1 minute and 20 seconds per point.

Pictures should be high resolution, engaging, and easy for you to relate to. Search for a stockphoto website to gain access to high-quality images.

Rehearsal is vital for this type of presentation. To aid your talk, you can consider sending out a pre-reading document or to have information documents handed out at the meeting.

Have fun, and your audience will too!

Author: Dineshrie Pillay CA(SA) is a business owner and public speaker trainer