Several years ago, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham invented the Pecha Kucha presentation format (pronunciation) in response to two significant problems in presentations: people tend to talk too long and people tend to use PowerPoint slides in mind-numbingly horrible ways. I’m sure you all know what I mean. Klein and Dytham’s solution: add constraints to the presentation format:
- 20 slides
- 20 seconds per slide
- total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds per presentation.
They held a conference. It was a success. And the Pecha Kucha format spread around the globe, landing, now in #tfws13 at Rowan University.
Since the first conferences others have added additional constraints to the format, notably limiting the number of images on a slide, limiting how often an image can be used, and how many words may appear on each slide. These are often written in rules that look like this:
- 1/1/0 — 1 image per slide / each image can be used only once / zero words per slide
Because of the limited time, Pecha Kuchas are wonderfully devoid of fluff and filler. Presenters using such a format get to the point and explicate their points. The presentations are idea-and narrative-driven. That is, they take a single idea or issue (for example, bullying in a cyber world or the impact of gaming on writing) and over the course of the presentation explicate on that idea, the implications of that idea, and offer unique (not cliched) takes on what we are to do with this idea or issue. The presentations, when done well, are fascinating and gripping. They are funny when they need to be. And the leave the audience wanting to know and understand more. That is what you are going to try to do in your project.
Here is an example of a Pecha Kucha by Dan Pink of Wired Magazine in which he explains and provides an example of the format (and mispronounces the name):
For this assignment, each blog group is going to compose collaboratively a Pecha Kucha that considers
- the impact that Web 2.0 technologies’ affordances and constraints are having on the issue discussed in their blog
- the issues for Module 1 being: bullying, ethics, creativity, and gaming
- the issues for Module 2 being: virtual relationships, communication, privacy, online versus offline realities
- the issues for Module 3 being: permanence, freedom, anonymity, etiquette, and safety
- Module 1 only: their future career goals as educators and/or writers.
That is, I’d like you to look in-depth at the many complex and varied ways that Web 2.0 technologies are transforming how people understand your issue, writing, (Module 1 only: your future field), how they all intersect, and what the implications are for the future, and to present those ideas in a seamless narrative.
Each group will present their Pecha Kucha to the class on the last day of the module. Each group member will also compose a reflection that is due on the Sunday following the end of the module. The reflection will contextualize the work the student completed on the Pecha Kucha. Though this is a group project, students will be assessed in terms of their individual work. If a group members does not fulfill their obligations, the other members will not be penalized.
The Structure of the Pecha Kucha
Each Pecha Kucha must conform to the following constraints:
- each blog member will create 5 slides and compose the narrative for each of those slides (total time 1 minute, 40 seconds)
- for blog groups with more than 4 members this will result in a presentation longer than 20 slides, which is okay for our purposes
- each blog member must quote from or reference at least 3 of the course texts and 1 text they have found and blogged about
- the presentation as a whole will conform to the 1/1/0 rule: 1 image per slide / each image can be used only once / zero words per slide
- the images chosen should complement and/or help illuminate points in the narrative
- images must be ones the students created themselves (such as screen shots or hand-drawings, which tend to work great, as in the Sketchbook of Life Pecha Kucha) or must hold a Creative Commons or public domain license which allows the student to use it
- though each blog member is solely responsible for the slides they create, the presentation as a whole must be presented as one seamless narrative
- a Works Cited list must appear as an additional last slide; all images and texts must be cited
Though students are creating their own slides and composing their own parts of the narrative, each blog group must collaborate when determining the overall goals of their Pecha Kucha. This is because the presentation must be seamless. That is, it should appear as if it was collaboratively written or written by one person. Here is a suggested work flow for getting started:
- Meet as a group and be sure you fully understand the nature of the assignment and the structure of the final presentation
- Discuss what you have learned so far about your issue, writing, and Web 2.0
- Based on those ideas, determine the overall the goal of your presentation; that is, what you want your audience to have learned after watching the presentation (stay away from conclusions like “bullying is bad” or “gaming is good”; the issues are complex; engaging the complexity and don’t resort to cliche)
- Consider how your group might present the information so that the goal of what the audience learns is attained; that is, consider what important points, ideas, issues, theories from the readings, are necessary to cover in order for the audience to learn what they learn
- Each blog member should select an important point they will cover in their narrative for their 5 slides (note: not that I write one singular point and not multiple points; each member only has 1 minute 40 seconds, so discuss one important point in depth)
- Break out and begin composing individual portions and selecting images
- Return to the group and begin to see how the individual portions complement each other and where they need to be fixed so the overall narrative is seamless
- Be sure there is a kind of introduction and conclusion to your presentation so whomever is going first and whomever is going last should understand that they have to compose those portions, as well.
I suggest setting strict due dates for when work is going to be completed. If a blog member is not doing their work, the rest of the group should move on and not get held up.
I also suggest composing the final PowerPoint on a Mac so there are no presentation issues when moving from a PC to the classroom Mac.
Setting up PowerPoint and Keynote for a Pecha Kucha
Students must set up PowerPoint or Keynote to advance automatically from slide to slide every 20 seconds. This takes a few easy steps.
Setting up Keynote (Mac only)
These steps should be taken after all the slides are completed (or during the process if you want to test things out)
2. Go to the “Inspector” window and select Slide Inspector icon (second from the left). In the Effect pulldown menu, select None. In the Slide Transition pull-down menu, select Automatically and change the time to 20.0 s.
I would like you to compose TWO reflections in ONE .doc, .docx, or .pages document in response to the following prompts:
- First, under the bold-printed heading, A Walk Through A Slide, walk me through the decisions you made in one of the slides in your Pecha Kucha. Why did you choose the image you chose? How do you see it complimenting your narrative. Why did you choose to cite the text(s) you cited in that part of the narrative (be sure to chose a slide that had a textual citation)? How do you see this slide as part of the whole of your 5-slide presentation? How is it furthering and building on ideas? Thinking about it now, what might you have done differently in this slide if you had a chance to revise it? Length: 350 – 400 words.
- Second, under the heading, What I Learned about my Blog Topic, I’d like you to discuss what you learned about your blog group’s topic over the last few weeks. If you have studied the topic in the past, let me know and then discuss how your work built upon the topic. Be sure to discuss how the readings on Web 2.0 affected what you have learned, by broadening your ideas, providing new perspectives, and so on. Be specific and cite in-class readings and readings you found for the purposes of your blogging when appropriate. Length: 350 – 400 words.
Your reflections should be written in Times New Rowan font size 12 and be presented double-spaced. Be sure to put your name at the top of your document.
Submit your reflections in two ways:
- Create 1 blog post and add both of your reflections, along with a little intro into them (remember your audience is anyone in the world. Add a screen shot of the slide you are discussing in the first reflection.
- Add it to the Intro to Writing Arts folder in your Dropbox account. Name the file:
4/25: All group members should know what their section of the presentation will be about
4/30: Rough Draft of slides and narrative due by class time in Dropbox
5/2: Final Draft presented to class; your blog group is to create one blog post in which you upload a copy of the PowerPoint and paste in the narratives for each blog member. Attribute the narratives to the blog member by firstname and last initial.
5/5: Add your Reflection to your Dropbox folder and create blog post by 11pm
3/28: All group members should know what their section of the presentation will be about
4/2: Rough Draft of slides and narrative due by class time in Dropbox
4/4: Final Draft presented to class; your blog group is to create one blog post in which you upload a copy of the PowerPoint and paste in the narratives for each blog member. Attribute the narratives to the blog member by firstname and last initial.
4/7: Add your Reflection to your Dropbox folder by 11pm
2/21: All group members should know what their section of the presentation will be about
2/26: Rough Draft of slides and narrative due by class time in Dropbox
2/28: Final Draft presented to class; your blog group is to create one blog post in which you upload a copy of the PowerPoint and paste in the narratives for each blog member. Attribute the narratives to the blog member by firstname and last initial.
3/3: Add your Reflection to your Dropbox folder by 11pm