Two weeks ago I was on a plane heading back home from BarCamp Nashville when I came across an article in the September 2007 issue of Wired Magazine that stopped me in my tracks. The article was called, Get To The PowerPoint, and it went like this:
"Let us now bullet-point our praise for Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein, two Tokyo-based architects who have turned PowerPoint, that fixture of cubicle life, into both art form and competitive sport. Their innovation, dubbed pecha-kucha (Japanese for 'chatter'), applies a simple set of rules to presentations: exactly 20 slides displayed for 20 seconds each. That's it. Say what you need to say in six minutes and 40 seconds of exquisitely matched words and images and then sit the hell down."
I had that same feeling I had when I first heard about CaseCamp. That whole, "why didn't I think of that?" followed by, "I'm doing a Pecha Kucha in Montreal."
I got all excited. I tore out the article from Wired Magazine, made a note to Blog about the idea and was so jazzed that I considered using the in-flight phone system to get some buzz going prior to landing.
Once I arrived, I promptly forgot about it.
Then, yesterday, I got an email from Neil Gorman of the Comicology Podcast saying, "Dude, you need to check this out," with a link to the Pecha Kucha website_ including pictures from the first Pecha Kucha event held in Montreal on June 14th, 2007. Thankfully, another one is coming up: Pecha Kucha Montreal - September 18th, 2007. It's not just Montreal. They're happening all over the world. It's a movement, it's an event_ it's a pretty amazing thing.
(I'm a little upset that I missed the first one in Montreal).
I then went back to find the article I tore out and noticed that the Journalist has an online example of Pecha Kucha. What really freaked me out is that the Journalist was none other than Dan Pink - author of A Whole New Mind and Free Agent Nation (and friend of Twist Image).
Small world_ or, as I call it now, Six Pixels World.
Being a big fan of presentations and PowerPoint (when done right), I'm left to marvel at the genius in these events, the sub-culture, word of mouth marketing and what the long-term effect will (hopefully) be: more respect for the power of the spoken word, better PowerPoint presentations, and an overall passion back into creating better presentations.