Pecha Kucha presentations explained

Get your team on Prezi – watch this on demand video

Watch now

We’ve all experienced those lengthy presentations that are overflowing with details, yet they’re so cluttered that we hardly absorb any of the information. When it’s your turn to present, you’ll want a method that captures your audience’s attention and communicates your message clearly. This is where the Pecha Kucha technique comes into play. When you combine this with Prezi for your presentation design, you’re setting yourself up for a successful delivery.

A women presenting a presentation with a school presentation theme

What is a Pecha Kucha presentation? 

Many elements make a Pecha Kucha presentation different from conventional styles. Let’s look at what makes up a PechaKucha: 

  • Basic concept: PechaKucha is a presentation style designed to be concise and fast-paced.

  • Slide count: It uses exactly 20 slides.

  • Timing: Each slide is displayed for 20 seconds.

  • Total duration: This means your entire presentation will last 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

  • Content approach: The idea is to make your points quickly and clearly. It’s more about the key ideas rather than lots of details.

  • Purpose: The Pecha Kucha format helps to avoid long and complicated presentations. It keeps things simple and engaging.

  • Common use: It’s popular in creative and professional settings. People often use it to share new ideas or projects.

  • Audience engagement: With its quick pace, it tends to hold the audience’s attention better than traditional presentation styles.

In summary, a Pecha Kucha presentation is all about brevity and clarity. You get just enough time to make your point, but not so much that your audience loses interest. It’s a great way to present if you want to leave a lasting impression without overwhelming your listeners with too much information.

A man presenting on stage, giving a Ted Talk presentation.

Where did this presentation style come from? 

The Pecha Kucha presentation style originated in Tokyo back in 2003, created by architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham. They noticed a common problem at meetups where speakers, often overenthusiastic or poorly prepared, would go on for too long, causing the audience to lose interest. So, they came up with PechaKucha as a solution. 

This style was created to keep presentations short and clear. It lets speakers share their ideas or work in a time-efficient and engaging way. The PechaKucha became popular quickly, as it became known for helping make presentations easier to understand.

The name ‘PechaKucha’ translates to ‘chit-chat’. A great reflection of the formats designed for simple, fast-paced presentations, where each speaker shares their ideas in a brief, conversational manner. 

Growth in popularity

Since its start in 2003, Pecha Kucha presentations have really taken off. By 2019, it had spread to more than 1,142 cities, and over 3 million people had attended PechaKucha events. This shows just how well-received and adaptable this presentation style is across the globe, resonating with a wide range of audiences.

Who might use a Pecha Kucha presentation? 

Pecha Kucha presentations are quite versatile, so they’re used by a wide range of people and industries. Let’s look at a few examples:

  • Educators and students: In schools and universities, teachers and students use Pecha Kucha for classroom presentations. It’s great for keeping lectures engaging and helping students learn to express their ideas concisely.

  • Designers and architects: This is where Pecha Kucha presentations started. Design professionals use it to showcase their projects or concepts in a format that’s quick and visually driven, perfect for highlighting design elements.

  • Business professionals: In the corporate world, from startups to large companies, Pecha Kucha helps in pitching ideas or presenting updates without dragging on. It’s effective for keeping meetings efficient and focused.

  • Marketing teams: Marketing professionals use it to brainstorm and present campaign ideas. The format forces them to boil down their concepts to the essentials, which is key in marketing.

  • Tech industry: In tech, where things change rapidly, Pecha Kucha allows professionals to share updates or innovations in a fast-paced, digestible manner, which is crucial for keeping up with the industry’s pace.

  • Creative artists: Artists, photographers, and writers use it to present their work or concepts in a narrative yet concise way, often to peers or potential clients.

Pecha Kucha presentations are popular in many fields because they emphasize being brief and clear. It pushes presenters to get straight to the point, which is vital in our fast-paced world. Also, its structured format brings in a creative aspect, making presentations more than just informative, but artistic too.

Pecha Kucha in the digital age

Today, where virtual settings are dominating in business and education, Pecha Kucha presentations stand out. This format’s concise nature is perfect for online meetings and webinars, where keeping the audience engaged is crucial. And with the Prezi Video functionality, you don’t need to settle for screen sharing – you can effectively showcase your slides right next to you on-screen, improving engagement.

It’s also a great tool in online education, helping to deliver compact lessons that are easy for students to digest. This blend of brevity and visual storytelling makes Pecha Kucha presentations an ideal choice for digital communication.

Prezi Video

Tips for making the most of your virtual Pecha Kucha presentation

  • Test your tech: Ensure your microphone, camera, and internet connection are stable, and your Prezi Video is connected.

  • Engage your audience: Although uncommon in traditional Pecha Kucha presentations, in adapting Pecha Kucha for virtual settings, you can consider interactive elements like polls or Q&A to enhance engagement, especially in an environment where audience attention can be more fragmented.

  • Practice timing: Rehearse to keep each slide to 20 seconds. Online environments demand precise timing to hold attention.

  • Eye contact: Although virtual, try to look at the camera to create a sense of connection with your audience.

Challenges and tips for overcoming them in Pecha Kucha presentations

While Pecha Kucha presentations offer a unique and engaging way to convey information, they also come with their own set of challenges. Here are some common challenges that presenters may face and tips on how to overcome them:

Content selection

Grab their attention by making your presentation more interactive

When it comes to picking what goes on each slide, it can be a bit tricky. The key here is to keep things focused. Stick to your main ideas and visuals that really back up what you’re saying. Avoid adding in extra stuff that doesn’t directly support your message.


Presenting in a fast-paced style like Pecha Kucha can make anyone feel a bit jittery. To tackle this, practice your presentation in front of friends or colleagues. Getting comfortable with your material and the timing can help ease those nerves.

Technical issues

Whether you’re presenting digitally or in person, tech problems can pop up unexpectedly. It’s a good idea to be ready for these hiccups by testing your equipment beforehand. Having a backup plan in case of any technical glitches will ensure your presentation stays smooth and professional.

Lack of detail

Pecha Kucha is all about brevity, but sometimes, you might worry about leaving out important details. To deal with this, consider offering extra resources or references for those who want to dive deeper into your topic after your presentation.

Slide design

Creating visually appealing slides that match your message can be a bit of a challenge. Don’t hesitate to use Prezi’s design tools to your advantage. And if you’re not sure about your presentation’s look, asking for feedback on its aesthetics can be really helpful.

By recognizing and getting ready for these challenges, you’ll be well-prepared to make sure your Pecha Kucha presentation delivers your message effectively.

Learn more about creating and delivering a Pecha Kucha presentation in the following video:

Prezi: the best platform to create your Pecha Kucha presentation 

Prezi is well-suited for Pecha Kucha presentations for many reasons. First, its non-linear presentation style allows for creative storytelling, which aligns with the concise and impactful nature of Pecha Kucha. The zooming feature of Prezi helps to maintain audience engagement, a key aspect of Pecha Kucha. Also, Prezi’s visual-centric approach is perfect for Pecha Kucha’s emphasis on visuals over text. And finally, Prezi’s ease of use and flexibility in arranging content helps presenters focus on timing, crucial for the 20 seconds per slide format of Pecha Kucha.

How to create a Pecha Kucha using Prezi

Creating a Pecha Kucha presentation using Prezi involves a few key steps:

  1. Start a new Prezi: Choose a blank presentation or a template or one that suits your topic.

  2. Plan your content: Since Pecha Kucha requires 20 slides, each for 20 seconds, outline your main points to fit this format.

  3. Choose a theme: Think about a theme such as colors and fonts that align with the message of your Pecha Kucha. You want to be consistent on every slide so be sure to use the same theme throughout the whole presentation.

  4. Add slides: Create 20 slides in Prezi. Focus on using images and minimal text for each slide. This will help you attain your goal of sharp, concise content, which is crucial for a Pecha Kucha presentation.

  5. Design your slides: Use Prezi’s tools to add visuals, keeping in mind the zoom and pan features that can make transitions more engaging.

  6. Time for your presentation: Practice your speech to ensure each slide is presented for 20 seconds.

  7. Rehearse: Run through your presentation multiple times to get the timing right.

Remember, Prezi’s strength is in creating visually appealing and non-linear presentations, which can add a dynamic element to your Pecha Kucha.

A young woman in a modern office space uses a laptop at a desk. Space for copy.

Presenting your Pecha Kucha

So, you’ve designed and created your Pecha Kucha, but what about presenting it successfully? Here’s some tips for presenting your Pecha Kucha in the most effective way: 

  • Start strong: Open by saying something engaging to grab attention immediately. Your first slide sets the tone.

  • Confidence: Always use strong body language to make yourself appear confident, even if you’re not. Good posture, clear gestures, and a loud voice can make you seem self-assured despite nerves. 

  • Storytelling: Weave your information into a fast-paced story. Stories are easier for audiences to follow and remember.

  • Visuals are key: Use strong, relevant images. Pecha Kucha is visually driven; let your pictures do the talking.

  • Minimize text: Avoid clutter. Use key phrases or words only, as visuals should lead the narrative.

  • Practice, practice, practice: Know your material well. This ensures smooth transitions and timing.

  • Keep to the point: Focus on your main message. Each slide should contribute clearly to your overall point. During the speech, choose your words wisely to stick to the punchy, attention-grabbing method of Pecha Kucha. 

  • Engage with your audience: Make eye contact. Engaging with your audience creates a connection.

  • Use humor wisely: If appropriate, humor can make your presentation memorable. But keep it relevant.

  • Time management: Again, it’s important to stick to the 20-second rule per slide to maintain pace and structure.

  • End with impact: Conclude with a strong, memorable point or call to action. Leave your audience with something to think about.

Young businesswoman saying thank-you to audience after seminar. Happy businesswoman smiling and saying thank-you to her team in office.

It’s essential to understand that how you deliver your Pecha Kucha is as crucial as its design. A confident and clear presentation keeps the audience engaged and interested in your message. Preparation is key. Stick to your plan and avoid deviating or getting sidetracked, as this can disrupt the structure and purpose of your Pecha Kucha.

Final thoughts on Pecha Kucha presentations

Wrapping up, Pecha Kucha presentations are a great way to share ideas effectively, especially in the digital era. They are quick, focused, and keep audiences engaged. For creating these presentations, Prezi stands out as an ideal tool. Its features complement the Pecha Kucha style, helping your presentation make a stronger impact. If you’re planning your next presentation, give Prezi a try to bring your Pecha Kucha to life.

Give your team the tools they need to engage

Learn more