Keeping to time

PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.(http://www.pechakucha.org/faq).

How hard can it be? I’m doing one of these presentations at a conference next week and, in a strange sort of way, I’m looking forward to it. I like a challenge and there is a definite element of challenge involved in trying to make your words fit to the timings and therefore to the correct slides. Not only that, but in trying to set the right tone and to make it interesting and informative.

I obviously haven’t been to enough conferences during my time as a student as I’ve not personally witnessed a PechaKucha session before so, somewhat typically for me, my first one will also be the first one I present one at. My initial observation is that it takes much longer to prepare a PechaKucha than it does a regular presentation. It’s also much more visual which, on the face of it, is a good thing for me as I’m a visual learner and a keen photographer with an extensive library of pictures of my own to call on for illustrative purposes. However, it’s the format that takes the real skill to put together. I’ve watched some examples on YouTube and tried to use similar concepts to the ones that seemed to be most effective, as far as I could tell. However, I won’t really know if I’ve got it right until the day. It does seem, though, that the main thing is to be clear about what you want to convey and to keep it simple. Oh, and to get the timing right or it’ll make no sense whatsoever and just confuse anyone who is listening!

So here I am with a week or so to go and I’ve got my 20-slide presentation in place, saved and backed-up. I’ve written out 20 little crib sheets with the rough wording I plan to use for each slide, to use as prompts rather than a script (as seems to be the advice, from what I’ve seen). All that remains is to practice and practice and practice some more to get the right words in the right place at the right time. And then hope for the best!

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