The Six Minutes Challenge

November 16, 2009

Presentations can be boring. Yes, I believe you are nodding as you read this. You have sat through your fair share of hour-long PowerPoint displays that were accompanied with a not so good speaker. What if you could change all that and have the message, whatever is was, delivered to you in six minutes and forty seconds?

Welcome to the world of Pecha Kucha.

I recently attended the Business of Software conference where I participated in a Pecha Kucha competition. The rules are you have to present 20 slides with 20 seconds for each (total of 6:40). Sounds easy and I thought so too when I signed up for it, but is far from a walk in the park.

To present well in this kind of format you have to rehearse very well. More than your typical “and in this slide I will talk about X”, because since the slides are automatically timed, your delivery has to be on time all the time. What if we could change the way our companies treat presentations and just give everyone six minutes to tell their stories? We would certainly have shorter meetings and maybe better content.

So next time you prepare a presentation, think about how you’d do it if you had only 6 minutes. What is essential? What is just fluff? How can you present in a way that will engage the audience? Less is sometimes better.

Are you ready to present? 3…2…1… Go!

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