What Is a Pecha Kucha Presentation?

If you are searching for some unique way to grab the attention of your crowd and don’t want to make it tedious. I have got three words for you, Pecha Kucha Presentation.

Pecha Kucha is a very visual style of presentation and is gaining popularity every hot minute. Pecha Kucha is a brief presentation style which it takes up to 6 minutes and 40 seconds in total. It entitles 20 slides, each displayed for preciously 20 seconds before it proceeds to the next. Mostly, it’s opted that the slide automatically shifts to the subsequent one. The speaker has to correspond their dialect with the moving slides. This not only showcases your art of being precise and apt but also it’s a creative way to stop a fast talker from wandering off the topic.

TED talk by Astrid and Mark

Why is it called Pecha Kucha Presentation?

Let me start from the very beginning. Pecha Kucha is a Japanese word that literally translates as ‘chit-chat’ or ‘the sound of the conversation’. This style of presentation was coined by two architects from Tokyo named Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham. They intended to create a space where not only them but also others in their company could come together and share their experience. So as quoted by them “artist’s talk too much” and so not to dwell into it, they came up with a simple set of rules which was ‘20 slides 20 seconds’. Hence, on 20th February 2003, they officially came up with Pecha Kucha also famous by the name ‘20×20’. 

How to make Pecha Kucha Presentation?

The first thing that one should know when preparing a Pecha Kucha Presentation is ‘Keep It Simple’. Since you have only 20 seconds to speak about one slide you want to keep it simple. 

STEP 1: Choose a simple topic. 

When you only have 6 minutes and 40 seconds, choose a topic which doesn’t leave your audience hanging. Select a topic that is simple to show and easy to explain. Think of it as a trailer for the movie. You want to give them something but not give away the farm. For instance, if you are telling about a product you only tell them about its features or how to use. But they can only experience it when they buy it.

Check out this video to help you navigate how to choose a topic:

STEP 2: Sketch it out.

Firstly, create a story-line. Divide your story into three introductions, body, and ending. Use a cue card, post-its, Pinterest board, a journal basically anything that you are used to and divide your story into 20 different subtopics. 

Every subtopic should not have more than 3 lines of explanation. These 3 lines should be the gist of per slide and should be self-explanatory. 

STEP 3: Try to fix it within 20 slides.

This step requires more visual aid. Create a 20-slide presentation. Visualise a theme and find pictures parallel to your theme as well as your narrative. Over here the Pinterest board that you created in the previous step will help you a lot. 

Also, don’t be rigid about where you get your pictures. Explore as many options as you can such as Canva images, Wix, Desygner and many more. 

STEP 4: Tweak it, if needed. 

This stage is to reflect on what you have done till now. See if everything is falling into place or not. If not then go back to steps 2 and 3 to see what needs to be fixed and mend it. If not then you are all set and ready to fix it with final touches. 

Just focus on filling in the gaps in your presentation now. 

STEP 5: Practice the poetry.

Many people tend to miss this very important step which is practice. When you are on the clock try and make every second count. Your thought and speech should flow like poetry. Your speech can either make it or break it and it all lies down on just one thing, practice. 

Practice your lines and see if makes sense with pictures. Your timing should be absolutely spot on and in sync with your presentation. Lastly, remember that both your speech and slides are two different sides of the same weight. When they are balanced properly, only then they will make an impact on the crowd. 

To learn how to speak and rehearse your presentation check out this article “13 Tips For Rehearsing A Presentation” that may prove helpful to you.

STEP 6: Enjoy. 

Pecha Kucha is a very offbeat and non-traditional style of presentation. The framework may be rigid but the way to express and present could be enjoyed like none other. 

Small introduction on how to make a Pecha Kucha PPT.

Tips or Dos and don’ts to keep in Mind as you make a Pecha Kucha Presentation

Story telling form

Storytelling is a very unique art in public speaking. This will help you a lot when giving a Pecha Kucha Presentation as it has all the necessary elements which are needed. It has an introduction and suspense, a strong body, and a climax with a satisfying ending. 

 This format has a mystery, well not in traditional sense. Over here mystery stands for curiosity, as to what he presentation entitles. The second thing the story telling must have a lovable and relatable character. In this “Netflix and chill” era we might have been felt relatable with some or the other fictional character. Now, while giving a speech what you can do is ‘Detail to create empathy’. Make the character relatable. Give them a story and a purpose, as to why they are important in your presentation. Last but not the least, give them a take away. Try to conclude it with the take away of your story, like a souvenir.

This short story format will instantly grab your audience’s attention and will make sure they are hooked. Waiting to want more of what you have to say. 

To know more about story telling in presentation watch this:

No starting over, no turning back 

This is one of the many reasons why I suggest a storytelling format as you don’t have a lot of control over the timing of the slides. It is one of Pecha Kucha’s rigid rules that you cannot start over or go back a slide. So make sure you come prepared with all your verses.

Try not to use videos

When you only have 20 seconds per slide, too many videos can spoil the broth. If your video comes with audio with it then it will be an instant turn-off. As you yourself are not interacting with people. In case your video is too long it will take up your time of presentation. 

If at all you want to add a video demonstration of your work make sure it is of 20 seconds. It should be very clear and corresponding with your explanation that to without any audio. Also, if you add a GIF in it, again make sure it’s within the 20-second time limit. Your visual aids shouldn’t be distracting but comforting. It must add to your presentation and not other way around.

Minimal usage of words

To keep things crisp, try not to add any words to your slide. It is very hard to focus for a person to read what is on your slide at the same moment listen to what you are saying, that to just in 20 seconds. By the time you move on to the following slide, your audience has already missed out on the story.

If you still feel to add some words, do not exceed more than 5 to 6 words. Think of it like you are writing the subject of an email. 

Pro tip: Make it SHORT & SWEET.

How many words to speak?

Two to three lines per slide should be your main target. For the same, your words can range from 30 to 60 words. Depending on the clarity and pace of how you speak.

Examples of Pecha Kucha

Initially Pecha Kucha style of Presentation was used by the architects and designers. Later, when it gained popularity many people from various different streams used this style of presenting. For instance areas such as Food & Drinks, Culture & Humanity, Health & Wellbeing and many more have been using Pecha Kucha for presenting.

Take a look at their official Pecha Kucha site for more fun topics.

Pecha Kucha presentation for students

Students need a structure at the same time their creativity should be unhindered. Pecha Kucha is one of the great solutions that you can implement. The time constrains helps to sweep through the class full of students quickly, without being partial to one. Although, time limit may seem proactive to students but the results to the audience is uncanny. Speaking for the other side of the room, the presentation seemed much more structured and focused.

Funny Pecha Kucha Ideas

There are a few ways to make your Pecha Kucha funny. First and foremost, add funny or recreational images to your slides. It can be memes that correlate to your speech or pictures of confused monkey that you can enact. For instance, when you describe yourself that you thought you will look cool just to pose with guitar but instead you looked like this monkey.

Second, which is somewhere in the same horizons is to write and practice your speech with funny one liner. Use your body and facial expression to your power. When you look at comedians like Kevin Hart, he not only modulates his voice but also this body to express.

Latest, be unpredictable. Choose a topic that will crack up the audience. You can make it a part in your presentation or your entire theme of presentation. For instance, how’s this for topic “All my embarrassing falls”, each slide containing a picture of your fall or embarrassing moments.

Pecha Kucha Presentation about Yourself

Pecha Kucha presentations can also be used as a quick way to introduce you. You can tell about your background, hobbies & interest, your goal for future and much more. It can also be your fun icebreaker session. That way your audience will not only get to know you but also warm up to you.

Here’s a beautiful example of Pecha Kucha about ‘Pecha Kucha Presentation.

Pecha Kucha photography

Take for instance you are a travel photographer and you want to tell about your trip. Pecha Kucha will not only help your tale but also help others visualize through your clicks. Well, it’s just one way of putting it. You have a lot of room for creativity when it comes to Pecha Kucha and photography. Like explaining the narrative of what is your process of clicking pictures, you field trip project, wedding toasts and many more.

Here’s a small example of how a photographer describes her book reading journey through photography.

Where to make Pecha Kucha presentation?

There are different sources where you can make a Pecha Kucha Presentation or what others call it Pecha Kucha Makers.

Here’s a list of Pecha Kucha makers:

  1. Power Point Presentation
  2. Canva
  3. Google Slides
  4. Official site of Pecha Kucha
  5. Others: Slide show, Adobe, Key note are few of many tools that may help you to make a slide show.

TIP: Try not to use PDF because it does not have a inbuilt timer setting in it. You may have to operate it manually which in the end defeats the purpose of Pecha Kucha presentation.

Check out why 13 Reasons Why Presentations Matter (For Students & For Professionals).

How to download one?

Mostly all the tools where you can make a slide show do have option of downloading in a MP3 video format.

Why to choose this style to present?

Like any other, Pecha Kucha presentation has its own pros and cons. These characteristics may work for some than the others.

Advantages of Pecha Kucha:Disadvantages of Pecha Kucha:
Well planned and organised.Time constraint.
Audience pay’s more attention to the slides.Not flexible for every topic.
Slides appeal more as there is more graphic and visual content.Tricky to present.
Straight to the point.
Enhances creativity.
Improving presentation skills.

When Pecha Kucha did gain popularity?

The infamous Pecha Kucha Nights is the sole reason for its gaining popularity worldwide. It’s not just a presentation style anymore it’s more like a wholesome community event. The event takes place in more than 140 plus countries. The current Pecha Kucha Night community count is 1,286. A community comes together in a common space and hosts the Pecha Kucha night. To host Pecha Kucha Nights local organisers are required an annual Handshake agreement with Pecha Kucha HQ. Only then it will be called as a relevant event. Pecha Kucha nights is a unique way to unleash your creativity.  

Pecha Kucha events provide people an opportunity to be creative and express themselves. It’s a very inclusive event where people can talk about any sphere of their life it may be a story about their pet or their favourite restaurant. For instance, check out these Pecha Kucha events that took place in Mumbai.

Pecha Kucha Nights has adopted itself in various different forms. Be it themed or open mike, formals or cultured, contemporary or artistic. It’s a place where everyone is involved and choses to tell their own fable. On 15th September 2016, Pecha Kucha Night held an event in Manchester had this amazing idea of having a live Art Battle Event. People from variety of occupations such as local artist, photographers, community pub creators, graphic designers, theater managers came and shared their ideas. The wide range of ideas flew through the event.

Another unique event took place in Jakarta on 4th June 2015, titled ‘Globetrotter’. This night was dedicated to curious travelers, their beautiful destination and everything in between. Their aim was to create a symphony like feeling between their audience and travel, to inspire them to start a journey of their own.

There are many more such events that you can find and be a part of the Pecha Kucha community on their official site.

Some other similar styles like Pecha Kucha

  • PowerPoint Karaoke

It is an improv game where you give a presentation from a slide show you’ve never seen. It is also called PowerPoint Roulette or Battledecks. If you are well versed with the topic and confident in your skills then this is a piece of cake for you. This game will of course test your skills, get people laughing, and keep everyone on their toes as to what will happen next.

  • Ignite Talk

Ignite talk is just as similar as Pecha Kucha. It’s a fast-talking presentation of 20 slides with one key idea per slide, minimum text and more visual effects, just like Pecha Kucha. The only difference is instead of 20 seconds, each slide holds for 5 seconds less than Pecha Kucha which is 15 seconds per slide.

  • Lightning Talk

Lightning Talk in general is not more than 5 minutes long, it’s not like your usual panel or conference. Although other aspects of this form of presentation are pretty much simple. For instance, you don’t need to pre-time your slides. 

  • Elevator pitch

Elevator Pitch is a short description of your idea or product which clarifies and gives an impression to the listener. All within the time span of 20-30 seconds hence called Elevator Pitch. 

  • Speed Geeking

Speed Geeking is a method for multiple presenter groups to showcase their presentation with many others in a specific gap of time. 

If you want to know more about other types of presentation check out this article ‘The 6 Types of Presentation (And Why You Need Them)’.


Pecha Kucha is not your usual style of presentation. It’s creative, innovative and unique, where “Delivery is more important than content”. If you stick to all the dos and don’ts and rules of Pecha Kucha there is no way that you won’t give a killer impression of yourself.

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