My first Pecha Kucha Night (audience version) – Part 2

by Oliver Adria on 26/03/2009

pechakuchanight_websitesnapshot1Read Part 1 of the article here.

So, after the 40-minute break (I guess they’re a bit lenient on time :- ) ) we continued. 6 more presentations followed. Many of the presentations had to do with animals tonight. A few of them were also business-/management-oriented. A guy from a big fashion company told us about how suits were produced, while a couple of other people talked about their art/design projects.

Some of the presenters performed in duos, i.e. they would alternate speaking between the two of them and you sensed that a couple of these duos practiced quite a bit to get the timing correct because it seemed as if the slides always transitioned at the correct time.

steven_sasseville1Credits: Annette Etges (original image edited a bit)
Beer was allowed on-stage apparently!

Ehrensenf - One of Germany's few web celebritiesCredits: Annette Etges (original image edited a bit)
One of Germany’s few web celebrities – Ehrensenf.


After it had ended, I left quite fast, because it was getting late and I wanted to write most of this blog post before going to bed and getting to work early in the morning. I met a woman architect in the train and we still talked about how she was in Amsterdam and that’s where she first saw Pecha Kucha. She also told me about this really funny and sarcastic Panda presentation she saw there (it’s the second time I’m hearing of this presentation!)… it’s on how the cuteness of Panda shouldn’t count for anything and that they shouldn’t be protected if they can’t protect themselves. Well, I left the train quite early and she went further to Düsseldorf (which is somewhat the fashion/design capital of Germany, and I noticed many people from the audience came from that city), but I’ll definitely try to look up that Panda presentation (in German).

Thoughts and Insights on Pecha Kucha

There were some things that had occured to me during Pecha Kucha Night. One of them was that while in general many presenters are saying to not make the slides the center of attention, Pecha Kucha somewhat revolves around the slides. The timing and the length of the presentation is all based on the slides – 20 seconds per slide with a total of 20 slides; many of the speakers stopped speaking and had to wait until the next slide was shown before they would continue talking, because the slide was the base of what they were going to say. This is usually a big no-no in “regular” presentations, but I suppose ok in Pecha Kucha. The waiting for the next slide can also be avoided by preparing the text a bit more – some did this quite well and were on time with the slides, while others had 5 or even 1o second talking gaps until the next image was shown and so there was this semi-awkward period of waiting (though the chicken suit man started dancing!).

Training ground with limits

While I reckon Pecha Kucha Night would be a great place to practice, it’s hard to get some good feedback, because (at least this is the case in Cologne) there are only one-minute breaks between presentations. Well, actually you will get some very direct feedback (one person was – in a nice way, though – boo’ed for having a slide with a “business process flow chart”, but he was quick to say: “I promise, this is the ONLY chart that looks like this!!”). So maybe you want to bring along a friend who can give you a good feedback at the end of your presentation; or right after you are done with your presentation you might want to grab an audience member and ask them to give you some constructive feedback (otherwise they will forget a lot of the details after seeing 4 or 5 presentations in a row).

All in all, I found the Pecha Kucha Night really awesome and inspirational, the one in Cologne was very well organized and the organizers tried to accomodate everyone (even though they didn’t expect this rush of visitors). The Pecha Kucha Night gives you some new ideas on how to create presentations, and I urge anyone who wants to improve their presentation skills or just to get inspiration or even just to have a nice night out to check out a Pecha Kucha Night in their area.


Thanks to Annette (she was the main organizer of the evening along with 2 other people) from Pecha Kucha Cologne for providing me the pictures!

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