PowerPoint has been in use for over 34 years. Many times in my professional career, I have heard experts proclaim, “PowerPoint is dead.”  However, the presentation application must have 9 lives because it continues to be an important tool used across all organizations and businesses. 

PowerPoint gets a bad rap because people cram too many words on each slide and are not thoughtful about the key message they want to convey. If you are telling a story and want to make a connection with your audience, you should try PechaKucha.

I discovered PechaKucha about 15 years ago and became fascinated by its simplicity.

PechaKucha means “chit chat” in Japanese. The presentation technique was developed by two architects in Tokyo in 2003 as a way to show more and tell less. The technique requires brevity and interesting visuals.

When you present PechaKucha style, you must tell your story in less than 7 minutes—or 6 minutes and 40 seconds to be exact—using a simple “20x20” formula:

20 slides x 20 seconds per slide = 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

To get started, select a topic you feel passionate about, create an outline, and chunk it out into 20 segments. Then find one compelling image to go with each segment that help convey your story. The creative process is very similar to creating a story board.

PechaKucha has grown in popularity over the years and has a cult-like following. PechaKucha nights are very popular in cities globally. People gather to hear each other’s stories in a very supportive way. It reminds me of a modern-day Toastmasters Club.

PechaKucha has also become an artistic form of expression. Not only does the technique rely on visuals, but it teaches brevity and authenticity, making it an interesting and engaging way to express yourself. I personally found it to be a very cathartic way to explain my career change and my transition from big business to small business. Not only is this a fun hobby, but it has many practical business applications as well.

You can join the community for free at pechakucha.com. The site has a “Create” tool that makes the process easy to create your own PechaKucha and practice adding images and narrative to your story. Take the PechaKucha challenge and try it for your next pitch.

Need help telling your brand’s story in an engaging way? Contact us.


As President of LMD, Holly builds partnerships, leads business development pursuits, and ensures LMD employees and clients have rewarding experiences. Holly brings over three decades of federal, global, and corporate...Read more