I loved and hated Pecha Kucha

I did my first talk in Pecha Kucha format at Facebook South Asia safety summit. 


I loved it. 

Because I could use only 20 slides of 20 seconds each. Slides need to be mostly of pictures/diagrams and may be few words. Which means I have only 6 minutes and 40 seconds to tell my story. I immediately loved this format which induces brevity. I prepared for 4 days. Rehearsing over and over, removing all unnecessary words to get that perfect story. I have never pushed myself to a talk like this. It is hard to find time with all the work circling around. For that I am so thankful for pecha kucha format.

I was so ready. I was excited. Until I went on stage and saw a timer ticking in front of me all the time.

I hated it.

It was not TED type, where they start the timer at 16 minutes. No, this was a 20 seconds timer. Repeating for 20 freaking times. I was ok with slide automatically move on to the next in 20 seconds. But I was not ok to see a constant time bomb reminder.

I felt as if I was playing a T20 cricket match. You may not see much of that tension when you watch me in the video. But you may see couple of instances where I ran out of time in one slide and had to wait awkwardly until the next slide came in. That made me not to have the most important thing for me when I talk. To have eye contact with the audience and adapt with their responses. I feel alive only when I can engage with the audience no matter what the setting is.

See, I love the brevity of 6 minutes 40 seconds. But I am tensed to be timed for 20 seconds for 20 times.

Here’s the format I love, for the sake of clarity. 

I get 6 minutes, 40 seconds. I can choose 20 slides or less. Timer starts at 6 minutes, 40 seconds, just like in TED.

I have the control of the clicker. I have control over the time I spend on each slide. But I will stop at 6 minutes, 40 seconds.

Every single day, every single talk is a learning. The more I tell stories, the more people I connect to.

I am grateful for this challenging opportunity given by Facebook team in India. Thank you !


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