by Alex Bruton

Referring to this?


Although the name of this activity is starting to grow on me now, I had REALLY wanted to call it Pecha Kucha YOU when I first thought of it. You see, it was heavily inspired by an increasingly-well known presentation methodology known as Pecha Kucha. I’d recently had the opportunity to give a talk in the Pecha Kucha style and was struck by just how useful and fun it could be in helping people learn about each other when trying to pick a project or entrepreneurial team.

But sadly it wasn’t meant to be. It turns out that the name Pecha Kucha is trademarked[1] and can’t be used without permission. Disapointing but fair enough I suppose – they did come up with the whole concept.

So since the words Pecha Kucha are Japanese for chit chat, I ask you to join me in affectionately referring to this activity using the slightly-less-cool but soon-to-be-just-as-popular Chit Chat YOU!

What’s the deal?

Whatever you call it, Pecha Kucha is just a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds, and the images advance automatically while you talk along to the them.[2] And I can tell you two things from experience. On one hand, isn’t easy to do it well. The images have to be well designed in order to help you tell your story, and each 20 seconds really flies by. There’s no way around investing a chunk of time into designing your images and practicing your delivery. On the other hand, it can be very effective if do get it down. It’s visually appealing and to the point. And the 20 second time limit forces you to keep your messaging to the important stuff.

Chit Chat YOU is only a little different. Just like those of it’s well-named cousin the images in a Chit Chat YOU presentation advance automatically as you’re speaking. Unlike the Pecha Kucha style, however, there are only 6 images and they’re only shown for 15 seconds each. And the emphasis is on telling others who you are, what you’re all about and what you could contribute to a team.

That’s right. The Chit Chat YOU format gives you a combined 90 seconds to pitch yourself to your peers.

The mechanics

If you give people the chance to use PowerPoint they’ll invariably abuse it, and that’s one of the reasons formats like this are popular. You’ve probably seen the guy or gal who gets up there and reads from the slide deck line after line. And every slide contains 50 lines in 8 point font. Well it can be even worse when that guy or gal’s up there talking about themselves.

This activity puts in place some constraints to help alleviate all that:

  1. Your presentation must contain exactly 6 images. No more. No less.
  2. The images should be images – they can be illustrations or photos or a few words, but they shouldn’t contain a lot of 8 point font or bulleted lists.
  3. The slides containing the images must advance themselves after you start the slideshow.
  4. Each must be on the screen for 15 seconds before the next one comes up. No more. No less.
  5. Your presentation needs to cover: a) who the heck are you? b) what do you care about? and c) what will you contribute to a team?
  6. You get one chance. If you haven’t practiced or your slides don’t advance then you don’t get to start again.
  7. That’s it.

Making your Chit Chat YOU in Google Presentations

I’m kind of partial to Google’s tools these days. This section shows you how to use Google Presentations to create a great 6 slide presentation that advances itself every 15 seconds as you tell your story to your peers.

Like all content on this site, this is available completely for free. Just hit the big blue button found in the “Access the Toolkit” section at the bottom right side of this page. (And check out the “Why is it free?” tab here to learn more about why we make it available like this.)

Show me some samples!

Like all content on this site, this is available completely for free. Just hit the big blue button found in the “Access the Toolkit” section at the bottom right side of this page. (And check out the “Why is it free?” tab here to learn more about why we make it available like this.)

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The teaching notes for this topic are still under development.

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1 Comment

  1. Barbara Johnson-Clark

    This information was very helpful. Will try to get started right away.


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