Pecha Kucha – "Chit Chat"

Published On: 22 October 2013


The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) past graduate, young professionals from the University of Guelph Landscape Architectural programs to participate in a series of Pecha Kucha style presentations to current students on their experiences as Landscape Architects to date.

“Learn as if you were to live forever” —Mahatma Gandhi

The Pecha Kucha 20×20 is a concise style of presentation developed in Japan, where 20 slides are prepared and pre-timed to advance every 20 seconds, for a total, forced presentation length of 6:40.

I accepted the invitation to present as I am aware of the OALA Social Committee’s desire to form stronger mentoring relationships between professional Members and students within our accredited university programs. Six minutes and forty seconds with a friendly audience is a walk in the park compared to the many lengthily project-related presentations that I have taken on… or so I thought!

The 20 second intervals turned out to be quite a challenge and required that I prepare a full rough-script for each, and then spend double that time stripping the script down to the absolute, essential parts. Normally, in preparation in preparation for a presentation I would first select the key visuals that I felt should be discussed, and then speak (often at length) to each. In this situation I quickly realized my usual plan of attack would not work, and began first with the story, and then move on to the visuals.

I had a great time with this new style of presentation and have since incorporated many of the underlying Pecha Kucha concepts into work-related interactions. Often less is more, and while I have prided myself on developing skills with a flowing, impromptu presentation style, there is certainly also a place for careful and select planning.

We had a very impressive student turnout, especially with the Friday afternoon timing of the presentations! It was great to see so many students taking an active interest in the professional world that they will soon be a part of. All of the participants stayed afterward for some great discussion, lead by the students which eventually shifted to our old campus pub for some friendly food and drink.

Thank you to our amazing Social Committee for arranging such a great event, to the students for participating so enthusiastically.

Japanese: ペチャクチャ, IPA: [petɕa ku͍̥tɕa], “Translation: chit-chat”

To explore this concept further, please have a look here: