Patchy Catchall

At our programme team Away Days in Fife we’ve all agreed to give a Pecha Kucha presentation on a piece of our research. I thought it was pronounced in a similar way to “Machu Picchu” or Betchadupa, but the stresses are on the cha’s; apparently it’s the Japanese term for “excruciating psychological torture”. In a Pecha Kucha you’re supposed to give a talk in 20 slides of 20 seconds each. Sounds simple, until you try to condense anything of any substance down to it, and realize how well-rehearsed you’ll have to be to get through them in a timely way.

Unfortunately, this realization only truly sinks in the day before you’re due to go away on your Away Days, when there are a dozen other things to finish off before you go. At least two-thirds of us are woefully under-prepared (which is a relief—I thought it was just me), so it should be a pretty wild and woolly morning. I’m clustering some of my slides (okay, most of them) so that I don’t have to change tack every twenty seconds, but still have no chance of hitting all the cues. As for the script, it’s like trying to condense a book into a string of tweets: possible to do well, as some prominent Twitterers have shown, but possibly not to do well at the very last minute without any rehearsal.

But we’ve had so much to talk about over the past two days that we’ve been looking for gaps in the schedule to shoe-horn in further discussion. Half a dozen gaps of 6 minutes 40 each could add up nicely.

25 April 2012 · Journal