What’s Your Point?

pecha-kucha

Pecha-kucha?

Excuse me?

What it’s not: a new dance craze, Korean condiment or weird hybrid pastry treat.

What it is: twenty slides in six minutes and forty seconds.

Like haiku or sushi, pecha-kucha (japanese for “chatter” and heard phonetically pronounced as “pe-chachka”) is a minimalist approach to powerpoint presentations and YouTube videos.  It is a communication form emphasizing speed and graphics over wordiness and complexity.  Think business meeting mashes up with speed dating in an artsy way.  You have twenty-seconds to get to the point, then move on to the next.

Originating from two tokyo-based architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham trying to avoid long winded creative presenters, this crisp style of communicating is going viral around the globe.  Witness Mark Rickmeier, CEO of Table XI on YouTube spending six minutes, forty seconds on his worst idea:

http://www.pechakucha.org/presentations/fear-pain-humor

Pecha-kucha indicates what people really want their communication to be: clear and concise.  If your presentation contains a graphic that can’t be explained in 20 seconds, it’s too complicated and should be removed.

As more pharmaceutical companies turn to online content for ways of educating patients, perhaps this communication style should be considered.  If there are two videos about diabetes – one is six minutes long and the other twenty, given our current too-busy-Attention-Deficit-Disorder-instant-gratification-seeking society, which do you think will get more airplay?  Culturally, this presentation style would also appeal to those of low-context cultures where short and direct is valued.

Sometimes, less really is more.

Sherry Dineen

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