How Kit Kat led to TED, told ala Pecha Kucha.

So a few years ago I wrote this blog post on how I thought the Pecha Kucha (Japanese for Chit-Chat) was a fun format for an audience but a really tough one for a speaker.  It dictates you deliver a talk with 20 slides on a timer for 20 seconds a slide.



So last summer when I was invited to give a PK talk, I told them I’d do it without slides.  They said no : I had to use slides.

So I sent a black slide and asked them to play it 20 times.  They said no : I had to show slide progression.

So I sent a slide that looked like this and had the dot rotate around the circle — one dot movement per each of the 20 slides. And they said yes: finally.

My motivation was that I wanted to tell a very personal story as the guidelines are pretty loose on what content you can bring forward as long as it shows your passion. I didn’t feel that slides would augment my story, in fact, I thought they would distract.  And I didn’t ever want to turn my back to the audience to check if I was on the right slide (Rule #1 of public speaking) which is what happens when the slides are on a timer.

So now that I’m watching the video (posted below, don’t judge the quality!), I see that they may have had a confidence monitor (at my feet).  A confidence monitor is what we call the screen facing a speaker to demonstrate the slides playing to the audience.  True fact: I never saw the monitor as I am apt to look at the audience, not the floor.  And it didn’t matter, since I timed my talk to be 6:40 (the time of 20 slides x 20 seconds) and just let it rip.  It wasn’t until about 5 minutes in that I even remembered I had slides because I never practiced with them or needed them to prompt my story.

A good friend wrote on my Facebook page that he thought my slides were on the fritz…until the end.  So watch for yourself and see how I gave a Pecha Kucha talk “without” slides.  Which allowed me to focus on the thing that did

matter: my passion and my story.


How I found my Kit Kat.

from Articulation on Vimeo.