Club news

President's Prattle: Pecha Kucha Evening

A Pecha Kucha evening has been a regular item on our annual programme for a few years now. The concept (the name means “chat-chat”) originated in Japan in February 2003, from a desire to “talk less”: it’s a format where multiple presenters show 20 photos for 20 minutes each, making a total time per presentation of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. This timing is regarded as critical to the concept, so I had my stopwatch at the ready by the computer to advance the photos exactly every 20 seconds (I was showing my cruel streak by doing so!).

12 brave members volunteered (or were “volunteered” by Maggi – she’s so hard to refuse) to take part. Their presentations were all superbly delivered – and what a wide variety of topics were covered! One of the beauties of the format is that as each presentation is short there’s no time to get bored with one speaker – although they were all so good that I’d have happily listened to any of them for much longer. There were plenty of laughs but also a lot of serious and interesting information provided along with some super photos.

The presenters were: Idse Herrema, David McClure, Maggi Shepherd, Mark Keville, Tim Watkinson, Lesley Hughes, Alistair Brown, Gordon Bennett, Ian Winship, Alan Harle, Paul Mowat and Anne Henry. Full marks to all of them: I’ve taken part myself two or three times before and I know that it’s not easy to prepare for Pecha Kucha – it really concentrates the mind on what you want to get across to the audience. Depending on the photos and what you want to say, 20 seconds can seem either like an age or like the blink of an eye, but they all coped brilliantly with the challenge. Many thanks to all who took part.

David Cottrell