I had heard of PechaKucha but didn’t really know exactly what it involved.
When we received an email from Sarah Lowry of PechaKucha Leamington asking The Jewellery Bench to take part in the PK takeover at Spark 2021, I felt honoured. Andrea on the other hand, when chatting to her, wished she’d never opened the email – it filled her with dread – the thought of talking in front of people was something completely out of her comfort zone. This was then filled with moments of both excitement and fear and we finally agreed it was a great opportunity to tell our story.
After chatting with Sarah she explained the PechaKucha format to me – 20 slides that change every 20 seconds, completely out of your control – a total talk of 6 minutes 40 seconds.
Sounds easy right? How hard could it be?
First – what to talk about? What did we want the world to know?
Secondly – images, all 20 of them.
And finally – words to fit the slides (20 seconds per slide)
The easy bit was collating images to tell our story – my reasoning was that I needed lots for people to look at, which in turn would give me plenty to talk about. Slide show completed, on with the words…
Those of you that know me know that I don’t struggle to talk! I started by adlibbing, playing the slide show and talking over it whilst recording it on my phone – that way I was able to play it back (hundreds of times) picking out the good bits.
The problem was that when I had a lot to say 20 seconds wasn’t long enough and when I had nothing to say 20 seconds lasted a lifetime! The key was to keep it succinct and to the point. Several hours later, lots of scribbled notes and a bag of Squashies demolished, I was done!
Going ‘live’ on zoom at 3pm on February 25th March was an exciting, but nerve racking experience and I loved every minute of it despite my lips sticking to my teeth half way through my talk – too scared to take a drink in case it consumed too many of my precious seconds that I had meticulously planned, but it had to be done!
The WDC team behind the scenes at Spark were brilliant whilst Sarah and Jamie “Mr X Stitch” were the perfect hosts. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to talk about TJB alongside 5 other talented speakers.
On reflection, if I was to offer advice to anyone that was thinking of taking part in a PK talk, I would say – make your slides non-specific so that you can talk generally about your subject and let the slides support your talk rather than having the talk supporting your slides.
Would I do it again?
Yes I would – so if given the opportunity give it a go…