Make it count

I recently spoke at a Pecha Kucha event, which requires that each speaker use 20 slides for 20 seconds each – a total of 6 minutes, 40 seconds.  No more, no less.  This requirement can help a speaker, even though it is restrictive.  In order to be effective, a speaker at a Pecha Kucha has to make every moment count.  Here’s how:

  • Pick a topic you know and are passionate about.  Otherwise you will waste everyone’s time.
  • Pick a topic the audience is interested in.  This seems obvious, but is not.
  • Think about what you want to say before you say it.  Make every word meaningful.
  • Practice.  
  • Practice again.
  • Once you get the timing down, cut some things out.  You won’t have as much time when giving it for real, since it’s hard to practice and account for pauses, and audience reaction.
  • Practice again.

You can use this to make any communication more effective, not just a speech at a Pecha Kucha.  Whether writing a blog post, a report for management, or whatever, these tips apply (if writing, replace practice with ‘revise.’).

Know your topic.  Know your audience.  Be prepared.  Be brilliant.  Be gone (in 6:40).


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