” PowerPoint presentations too often resemble a school play -very loud, very slow, and very simple… Such misuse ignores the most important rule of speaking: Respect your audience.” -Edward Tufte

What Is It?

A high energy presentation format that limits presenters to 20 slides that are set to auto-advance after 20 seconds for a total maximum presentation length of 6 minutes, 40 seconds. (similar to an “ignite talk” which is 20 slides at 15 seconds per slide for 5 minutes length – Genzuk). Due to the time constraints, the focus of the slides is usually on powerful images with little text.

A Pecha Kucha about How to Make a Pecha Kucha:
(UND Educational Foundations & Research)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32WEzM3LFhw (Links to an external site.)undefined

How can it help Student Success/Retention?

  • Emphasize Time on Task
    So often Student presentations are forced and wandering marches that can illustrate how PowerPoint can be used for Evil. (Links to an external site.) The tight pacing and structure forces students (or even faculty who adapt the technique for intense, mini-lecture primers) to be focused and on point.
  • Communicate High Expectations
    The format forces students to focus on the topic/ material to think through what they really want to say and the best way to say it. Rehearsing and preparation needed for the format forces students to a higher level of demonstrating understanding vs reading through endless and meandering bullet point dumps. The tight focus also allows for more engaging presentations which can spark interest for followup Q&A. The format’s tight time limits can also open up classtime for followup active application activities to then invite students to USE and APPLY the material moving out of a passive “Death by PowerPoint” stupor.

How Do I Set Slides to do Timed Auto Advance in PowerPoint?

In later versions of PowerPoint:

  1. Go to the “Transitions” tab
  2. Click the “ADVANCE SLIDE>”AFTER” checkbox
  3. Enter 00.20.00 to auto advance after 20 seconds.

Important Notes:

Have a Clearly Focused Topic 
You will need to make sure the focus of the Pecha Kucha is a chunk of material or content that as Paul Gordon Brown Says (Links to an external site.):
“(is)… a topic that is narrow enough, that you can address it in six minutes and forty seconds, but broad enough that you can really dig into it.”

Either have students or yourself allocate or plan for a few run through before the live classtime. It will take some practice before you or students will have the timing down.

Timers Can Be Somewhat Different
Due to fabulous techno quirks and processor speeds, the timer of some computers can move more quickly or slowly than another.

Focus on Image
The format emphasizes punchy and powerful imagery. So image selection for a Pech Kucha should be thoughtful. This another reason to consider the best practices oriented HaikuDeck with its powerful image search and orientation.

Pick Your Style/ pacing
One school of thought is to just keep talking even if the next slide hasn’t loaded yet — another is to slow down or use silent pauses to add emphasis. Find your own style.

Note With Zoom You Could Easily Record One for Pre or Post Class
This can allow for flipping the classroom or other modalities.



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