Reflections on Pecha Kucha Manchester – 1st Dec launch

pkn-logo-for-blogFor those of you who made it to Pecha Kucha Night on Tuesday, you’ll know what the experience was like – this is more for those who missed it!

PK is sometimes described as an antidote to bad Powerpoint, and boy have we all been there before! If you’re new to PK, it’s a social phenomenon running in 260 cities globally whereby 10-14 presenters talk to a large audience about topics they have a passion for – but using the unique PK technique!

By constricting presenters to 20 slides, each rotating every 20 seconds, PK’s designers (Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo) managed to unleash hitherto hidden creativity  – and make the experience a hugely enjoyable one. How else would they manage to get 1000 people to the more established PK venues like Melbourne?

Why does PK work so well? Well here’s some suggestions:

It’s brief and punchy. At 6 mins and 40 secs you’ve got to get your message across quickly, and if you’re pitching a business idea that’s critical. No room for rambling here.

There’s a flow to it, born of the 20 sec-per-slide rule. It means that talks have a nice rhythm and movement to them, as should a story.

By relying more on images than text, it encourages the speaker to tell the story through the slides. When an audience sees an image they’re curious to know what it means. They’re primed to want to know more – and that’s where you deliver the meaning and the occasional “ah-ha” moment. Sadly, most people rely on text and bullets. The eyes might move across the words, but there’s no real understanding gained.

Finally, it’s a great way for a speaker to truly connect with an audience. We love to hear people with a passion and a conviction, as told through images that mean fundamentally mean something to the presenter.

On the night, 11 presenters talked about a wide variety of topics, including:

  • overcoming prostate cancer
  • a life-changing trip to Sierra Leone
  • favourite authors
  • the barbershop singing technique.

All talked (or sang!) with conviction and honesty and it was wonderful to see and hear their stories.

Phil Harris and I will run 4 such events a year (all not-for-profit), and we’re already planning the second Manchester PK night (probably Feb/Mar 2010).

We’d like you to:

  • Tell us if you’d like to attend
  • Come forward if you’d like to present at a future PK
  • Join our Pecha Kucha Manchester group on Linkedin
  • Tell all your friends about PK

Thank You…

To the Contact on Oxford Road, a superb venue and well worth a visit if you haven’t been before.

To our presenters (listed below). If you’d like to contact them, either go via their web-site OR drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch. Andy Clark gave a wonderful talk about his battle against prostate cancer, and the charity he supports would welcome your help too.

To Mark Ashmore of Future Artists., who kindly took video footage of the night (more to follow on this). Mark is off to Copenhagen shortly to produce his own documentary of the G15 Climate Change Summit. Anyone wishing to support him should contact him on 07500 256968.

To all those who braved a cold night, and lousy traffic to support our opening event. You made it a truly wonderful experience.

And of course to my good friend Phil Harris, co-host of PK Manchester and source of inspiration!

More on PK Manchester to come…

Speakers from 1st Dec and their topics

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