Our chat applet that’s located on many pages of the site is a source of some amazing questions from our readers. And we do get many questions related to Pecha Kucha. In fact, we have two very popular pages on this amazing presentation format at 10 Tips for Pecha Kucha and Ten Easy Topics for Pecha Kucha. Yet, we keep getting questions all the time that are not covered in those posts.
So here are some of the top questions we receive, with answers. If you want to add to these answers, do add your comment in the area below, or reach out to us via our feedback form.
1. When can the audience ask questions?
Typically, there is no questions and answers time in a Pecha Kucha style presentation because there may be other Pecha Kucha presentations following the one where you wanted to ask questions. However, people do gather for drinks or communicate with each other during a break, or after presentations have been delivered. That’s a good time for audiences to ask questions. Also, some presenters may provide contact information as part of their Pecha Kucha presentations.
2. What are good topics for Pecha Kucha?
There’s no rule regarding which topics you can choose. However, there are certainly some guidelines that may help:
- Choose a familiar topic: Try and choose a topic that’s close to your heart. Also, choose a topic that you know as well as the back of your hand. Your slides will constantly move after 20 seconds, so a topic that’s very familiar to you will let you cope with the advancing-slide challenge better.
- Choose a generic topic: Pecha Kucha events attract a diverse audience, and you don’t want to choose a specialized topic that’s relevant to a small part of the audience. Generic topics work best.
- Bring in some humor: Pecha Kucha presentations are too short to bring in humor that needs context and detail. So its best to just laugh at yourself, and the audience will laugh with you. Be careful not to go too far, so as to humiliate yourself though.
For more ideas about topics, explore our Ten Easy Topics for Pecha Kucha post.
3. How do I credit journal articles or some research that I discuss?
It’s difficult to provide too much credit in so little time. So you can have 1 of your 20 slides as a credit slide, typically the last or second-last slide. While presenting this slide, say that you want to credit many people for their idea and research, and have put up their details on a web URL. You can share a document on Google Drive or OneDrive, and then make a small URL with tinyurl.com that you can add to this slide.
4. Can I use Slide Titles?
Yes, you can use titles. That’s certainly acceptable. However, it’s best to use shorter titles that do not grab too much attention. Sometimes, even single word titles seem to work, since the evoke curiosity, and lead the audience’s attention to the speaker.
5. How many words should I speak for a 20-second slide?
This differs from person to person. Create a small transcript for one 20-second slide, and count the words you used. That will give you an idea of your speaking speed. Do note that this is just a rule of the thumb, and you can create variations by speaking slower or a little faster.
6. How many words should I use per Pecha Kucha slide? Should I use no words at all?
You have 20 seconds per slide. If there are too many words, the audience will take the entire 20 seconds reading the text and will never give you any attention, and thus even possibly miss out the flow between previous and next slides. So, the less words you have on the slide, the better it is for your Pecha Kucha presentation.
But you can still use words. Try to limit them to slide titles and photo captions.
7. Is it possible to use an infographic on the slide rather than using a picture?
Of course, you can use an infographic on your slide, but keep the infographic simple so that the audience can grasp it in a few seconds. After all, there’s only 20 seconds for the audience to grasp the slide, as well as the narrative you use for the slide.
8. I’m ready with my slides. But how do I begin? How do I start my Pecha Kucha presentation?
You start your Pecha Kucha presentation like any other presentation, but you still need to make sure that you are direct and focused with your opening slide because you need to be done within 20 seconds and be prepared for the next slide.
9. If I put 2 pictures on one slide, do I speak for 40 seconds, because I get 20 seconds per picture?
You talk per slide, and not per picture. Each slide is allowed 20 seconds. The better approach for you will be to duplicate your slide so that you get 40 seconds. Alternatively, you can make one of the pictures grayscale on each slide, so that the audience is aware of which picture you are focussed on. What approach you choose will differ from presentation to presentation, and also from presenter to presenter.
10. Is it OK if I bring note cards while doing my Pecha Kucha?
There’s no rule that prevents you from getting note cards. It is a good idea, though, to ask your Pecha Kucha event organizer because each event may have their own sets of guidelines. Also, if you bring along note cards for each slide that lasts only 20 seconds, you might lose at least 5 seconds from those 20 seconds looking at your note cards!
11. Can I insert a video file in a Pecha Kucha presentation?
If your video is under 20 seconds in duration, you could include it within one slide. But be careful, especially if your video has audio, and you need to speak at the same time. You will also need to tweak the media settings for the video so that it plays automatically without human interaction. If you can manage without the video clip, that would be best. However, if the video is integral to your Pecha Kucha presentation, use it but make sure that you practice many times, and are in sync with the video.