Making it Legit.: Pecha Kucha 20 x 20

Pecha Kucha

My college students are required to choose a chapter from our textbook to present to the class. The intention is for them to become intimately familiar, an expert if you will, with at least one facet of the course. More often than not students will approach their presentation much like the contestants in the following video.

They cram as much information into their “carts” as possible without considering the rubric that I handed to them at the beginning of the semester…and the same rubric accessible online…and the same rubric I likely handed to them a week or so before their presentation. Further, though the presentation is to be limited to 5 or so minutes, students usually end up reading off of their bland power points way beyond that mark. A few years back, I decided not to stop students at the five minute mark to see what would happen. Yeah, 15 minute presentations happened.

However, from the land of fast things… like…

Fast Ninjalightning quick ninjas!!!

bulletrain2 super fast bullet trains!!!

snowmonkey and Snow-Monkeys!!!

Ok, maybe Snow-monkeys aren’t THAT fast…anyway…

From Japan comes…drum roll… PECHA KUCHA!

Its like a power points-ish sort of presentation, but it actually limits the students on how long they can talk. LIMITS? Yes! This forces students to be concise. They have to get to the point.


Pecha Kechu presenters are limited to 20 slides and each slide is limited to 20 seconds. Bam! Get in, make your point, get out…next.

Twitter forces people really think about fitting an idea into 140 characters or less, Pecha Kucha forces students to present virtually any topic in 400 seconds or less. They put images in the slides, no boring text, and they have to have some sort of plan that connects the 20 slides. Best of all, NO READING OFF OF THE SLIDES. That crutch is gone.

The good ones are REALLY GOOD. Here’s a link to a Pecha Kucha by an artists. You’ll see how he’s forced to move from topic to topic as his slides, like honey badgers, don’t really care where he is in his speech…both honey badgers and these slides don’t give a hoot about the speaker. The slides have moved on in 20 seconds with or without him.

Pretty cool right?!

Ok, now I need to go back and research snow monkey land speed records to make sure this post is accurate.

About Thrasymachus

2013 Northwest ISD teacher of the year, Humanities Texas 2012 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, and 2011 Outstanding Educator of North Texas Award (North Central Texas College). I'm currently a Regional Digital Learning Consultant with the Education Service Center Region 11 in Ft. Worth, Texas and a college government educator who incorporates philosophy, technology & humor. A student through and through, I walk with my students in their learning. Most importantly, I'm blessed with the 3 most perfect kids eva! I love on them ery day!!!
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