Pecha Kucha/Ignite: Powerful Presentation Techniques for Enterprise 2.0

The 2009 Toronto Information Overload Awareness Day event was my first exposure to the Pecha Kucha presentation format (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide).

The Pecha Kucha format originated as a fast-paced and time-boxed means for designers to present their creative ideas.    The name originates from the Japanese term for “chit-chat”.  Since its first usage in 2003, the format has spread virally and has spawned Pecha Kucha nights in over 200 cities world wide.

The Pecha Kucha format is very similar to the Ignite presentation format (20 slides, 15 seconds per slide) currently sponsored and hosted by O’Reilly.  Unlike Pecha Kucha, which tends to be geared towards Architects and members of the creative community, the Ignite format is more common amongst the technologist community.

Due to the time-boxed nature of these presentation formats, the information is often presented at a medium to high level with detailed discussions taking place in the form of either a networking session or an expanded session.

Both of these formats in my opinion make for a great addition to the Enterprise 2.0 model for business.  Like Daily Stand-up meetings, this presentation format provides for a very focused distribution of content.  Its time-boxed nature keeps the interest level of the audience at a heightened state for its duration.

 

My Thoughts Enclosed…Rb

Pecha Kucha

The Pecha Kucha format originated as a fast-paced and time-boxed means for designers to present their creative ideas.    The name originates from the Japanese term for “chit-chat” and was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham.  Since its first usage in 2003, the format has spread virally and has spawned Pecha Kucha nights in over 200 cities world wide.

The Pecha Kucha presentation format is as follows:

  • 20 slides
  • 20 seconds per slide
  • 6 minute and 40 seconds of total presentation
  • 3 minutes and 20 seconds of questions and answers
  • 10 minutes total per presentation

As the Toronto event showed, the format is now being used for more than design-focussed presentations with great success.  The Toronto event also provided a means for the audience to vote on which presentation they felt was the best and awarded a bottle of wine to their favourite presenter.

Ignite

The Pecha Kucha format is very similar to the Ignite presentation format currently sponsored and hosted by O’Reilly.  Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis and was based on Pecha Kucha.  Unlike Pecha Kucha, which tends to be geared towards Architects and members of the creative community, the Ignite format is more common amongst the technologist community.

The Ignite format is as follow:

  • the Ignite contest (event warm up)
  • 20 slides
  • 15 seconds (rotated automatically)
  • 5 minutes of total presentation

Due to the time-boxed nature of these presentation formats, the information is often presented at a medium to high level with detailed discussions taking place in the form of either a networking session or an expanded session.

Both of these formats in my opinion make for a great addition to the Enterprise 2.0 model for business.  Like Daily Stand-up meetings, this presentation format provides for a very focused distribution of content.  Its time-boxed nature keeps the interest level of the audience at a heightened state for its duration.

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10 thoughts on “Pecha Kucha/Ignite: Powerful Presentation Techniques for Enterprise 2.0

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  4. Rob – Ah, timely… I’ve been a fan of this format for 2-3 years now, and while I’ve done presentations in a similar spirit, if not this exact format, since being first exposed to the concept and to “Presentation Zen” by Garr Reynolds (fantastic book and website, well, if you’re a presentation geek, that is), I had never held myself to the 20×20 or 20×15 rule until about a month ago.

    I was selected for the Boston O’Reilly Ignite session, and gave a 5 minute version of what I normally present over the course of 3.5-8 hours. Honestly, it was a blast to do it, and quite the experience to run slides with absolutely no control over the speed. It forces you to be SPOT ON the entire time and focus your message, which we should always strive for, but frequently miss the mark.

    But heck, you can tell me how you think the end product worked out – as the video of all of that night’s sessions, including mine “Get Your Innovation On” are now posted.

    Full list of speaker’s from that night can be found at:
    http://ignite.oreilly.com/2009/10/ignite-boston-6-videos-uploaded.html

    And my specific presentation can be found in video at:
    http://cdn.oreilly.com/ignite/boston/6/Ignite_07_Dan_Keldsen.mov

    And as slides only at slideshare:
    http://www.slideshare.net/dan.keldsen/get-your-innovation-on-minds-on

    I highly recommend trying the auto-advance method, whether it’s Pecha Kucha/Ignite or some variant. Keep it real, keep it short, keep it entertaining, and who knows? You might actually spark some connections between the crowd and you – and isn’t that the point of presenting at all?

    But before you do that – HIGHLY recommend practicing your presentation. A LOT. Two or three times as many times as you normally would. Or if you’re the type to wing it, make that a dozen times. If you fall behind, you are done, and it can be a very messy train wreck of a presentation.

    Heck of an experience though – and a night of back-to-back 5 minute presentations will pump your brain so full of ideas that won’t know what hit you. It’s really a remarkable condensation of information that works far better than you might think.

    Give it a whirl – and I’d love to hear how it turns out.

    Best,
    Dan

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