To Create a Pecha Kucha Presentation

  1. Questionthe situation. A Pecha Kucha is a specific presentation format involving an oral speech and a slide show. The slide show must include 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each. The special challenge is synchronizing the two components.
    • Subject: What is your topic and focus? Pecha Kucha presentations often share stories, tell about lessons learned, or present creative projects. Choose a topic you truly care about.
    • Purpose: What is your purpose? To entertain, to inform, to persuade?
    • Audience: How can you engage your audience?
  2. Plan your slide show on a planning sheet. (See page 361.)
  3. Researchyour topic and the format requirements.
    • Learnthe rules of Pecha Kucha:

      Each presentation is exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds long.

      The slide show must include 20 slides.

      Each slide is displayed for exactly 20 seconds.

    • Study examples of other Pecha Kucha presentations.
    • Read about your topic, taking notes and tracking sources.
    • Outline the sequence of your oral presentation.
    • Find engaging images and quality graphics for your slide show.
  4. Create your slide show and oral presentation. (See page 425.)
    • Beginning: Provide an engaging opening slide, including an image, the title of the presentation, and your name. Large images are preferable to small images.
    • Middle: Create middle slides that tell your story or support your thesis through images and graphics. Limit text to main points and labels.
    • Ending: Use your last slide to sum up your presentation and leave the audience with a strong final thought.
  5. Improveyour Pecha Kucha.
    • Evaluate your presentation after practicing it three or four times. Does the timing work? Do the slides enhance the oral part of the presentation, and vice versa? Do you display true interest in your topic? Does the presentation achieve its purpose? Will it engage your audience?
    • Revise your presentation. Rework weak parts; remove unnecessary parts. Add stories, quotations, or other support as needed.
    • Perfect the slides and oral component of your presentation, making sure both are clear and correct.
  6. Present your Pecha Kucha. (See more tips on page 517.)

Pecha Kucha Script

The following is a portion of the script for a Pecha Kucha presentation prepared by a student for her economics class. The next page displays some of the slides that accompany the presentation.

Thinking Like a Social Entrepreneur

The beginning introduces the speaker and engages the audience with a unique story that leads them to the thesis.

(Slide 1) My name is Kelly Dwyer, and I ate a lot of Popsicles as a child. When I was eight, I used the leftover sticks to build a guesthouse for my dolls. It had a roof, a chimney, and windows. It was awesome. Then I had an epiphany. My neighborhood didn’t have a playground or park nearby, so I planned to collect everyone’s Popsicle sticks and build a huge playhouse for all the neighborhood kids to use. (Slide 2)

Of course, I soon realized this plan was ridiculous. Today, I’m not so sure. It was a logistical nightmare, yes, but my intentions were spot on. I wanted to solve a big neighborhood problem.

The parenthetical notes indicate each slide change.

I believe we all should begin thinking like social entrepreneurs. (Slide 3) Social entrepreneurship is the process of identifying a pressing social problem and using problem-solving skills and a keen business sense to make the problem go away.

The middle slides share examples that support the topic and thesis.

Andrew Youn thought big with his One Acre Fund. He believed he could solve poverty and hunger in Rwanda and Kenya, so he quit his job at a Fortune 500 company and developed a business to empower East African farmers. (Slide 4) The One Acre Fund connects African farmers, educates them on farming techniques, provides up-front capital for supplies and materials, and helps farmers negotiate with export markets. The One Acre Fund now serves 75,000 farmers, each of whom has seen profits soar by an average of 100 percent (“Performance Reports”).

(Slide 5) Social entrepreneurship has also visited Medellin, Colombia. Medellin is a crowded city situated in a large mountain valley. Living on the hillsides are some of the city’s poorest residents, isolated from the jobs and markets of the central city. But in 2004, an idea to connect the hillside communities to downtown turned into a unique public transportation system. (Slide 6) The ending (not included) leaves the audience with a memorable last thought. The city implemented a ski-lift-like cable car between the hills and downtown. Travel time to the city’s center went from hours to minutes. Adults had better access to jobs, children better access to libraries and parks. Crime rates plummeted (Chu).


Pecha Kucha Slides

A Slide 1: The first slide includes the title and author of the presentation.

B Slide 2

C Slide 3: The middle slides show compelling images with limited text.

D Slide 4 Pecha Kucha Slides

Pecha Kucha Tips

Pecha Kucha presentations are fast paced and timed, which separates them from other slide shows and speeches. They are also more casual than other presentation formats. A Pecha Kucha presentation is like an open-mic night at a coffeehouse. The presenter needs to engage and hold the audience. As you begin to work on your own presentation, remember these additional tips:

  • Simplify your content. You don’t have time to share every detail. Stick to a general theme and present only the most important points.
  • Practice your timing. Once you have an idea of what you want to say or have memorized your manuscript, practice presenting the material while changing the slides to get the timing right.
  • Allow yourself time to breathe. Because of time restrictions, you may find yourself rushing. To avoid this, build in pauses between your slides and ideas.
  • Provide a buffer period between slides. Synchronizing your slides with an exact word or phrase is too difficult, so give yourself some leeway by matching the slides to general ideas rather than to specific points.
  • Use powerful images. Find bold, relevant images and limit the text on each slide.
  • Know the room setup. Ask your instructor or the event organizer how the room will be set up on the day of your presentation. Find out where you can stand in relation to the screen and projector. Then practice with a similar setup.
  • Practice. Practice again. And practice some more. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become, and the smoother your presentation will go.

Your Turn Prepare a Pecha Kucha presentation following the tips above and the guidelines on the previous pages.


Additional Resources