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We went (along with every other young professional in Shanghai) to the latest Pecha Kucha Shanghai Nights at the 800 Show. So many familiar faces; if a bomb had gone off that night, Amokka and Di Shui Dong would be straight out of business.

If you don't know what Pecha Kucha is then shame on you. Let's just say its an old method used by angel investors to cut through the long-winded monotony of elevator pitch presentations... that got picked up a few years ago by a couple of architects in Tokyo who claimed it as their own.

I'm no Martin Sorrell (one of the best presentations I have ever seen.. and a Pecha Kucha) but I have been slowly sozzled by powerpoint during my innings at CEIBS. "Lighting the fire" and "cooking the goose" aside; here's a nice round number of personal notes I've gathered on PK presentations:

You're probably utterly familiar with your topic and able to speak freely (otherwise you probably shouldn't be doing it). Don't get too caught up in making a rigid presentation.

Keep a single card with queues to hand for that momentum-killing moment when you realize a sea of faces is staring at you. If you need to, make a list of the first word from each slide. If you've practiced a couple times the rest will follow.

Unless you're a robot or a script writer for the six o'clock news there's no way you can time your speech to the exact second for each slide. Besides, if the slides are advanced by a human then the chances are they'll mess up on or two. Your task is to manage the gaps well, turn the awkward pause into a valuable one. Give the audience something to think about for three seconds - priests during sermons are masters at this.

It is better to start talking about the next slide early than still be talking about the last one when it has disappeared. Actually - you should't be talking 'about' the slides at all. They should be communicating for themselves.

Don't read text off the screen - it's a waste of time. Pictures should be self explanatory. If you need to tell someone "that's our building in Prague" then put it on a label.

If you do the same thing for 20 slides it's going to get boring halfway through. Find a way to break up the flow. If people know the presentation obviously has a beginning, middle and end, they'll switch off in the middle in anticipation of the end. Mix it up.

Use text and make it attractive. There's a reason people still read the newspaper... it looks good. A perfect sentence tells a thousand words. Be careful though, the audience will always give precedence to what's on the screen.

And whatever you do - be original. Be more original. There are one million ways to put 20 slides on a screen that last 20 seconds each.

Did I forget anything?

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