PowerPoint design trends: PechaKucha 20×20

PechaKucha! So what is it? Hint: it’s not an exotic breed of small dog.

It’s a Japanese word that means ‘chit chat’. And it’s also a global phenomenon where people from all walks of life present 20 PowerPoint slides, with each slide showing for 20 seconds each. About anything at all! No, this is most certainly not TED.

The 20×20 format is the brainchild of two architects and who, back in 2003, basically decided ‘less blah-blah-blah and more oomph!’ when it comes to PowerPoint presentations. It’s taken off like a rocket, and now PechaKucha 20×20 nights are taking place in over 436 cities around the world – there’s bound to be one happening near you! It’s great for presentation designers….

From a PowerPoint design perspective, attending a PechaKucha night is a good place to find out what works and what doesn’t when telling a story using presentation software. This is not the place for long bulleted lists and complex info graphics. And because ANYONE can present – even a housewife who’s showing off her fabulous cupcake baking skills (see, we told you this isn’t TED), there’s no excuse that you can’t too. And perfect for public speakers!

If you’re a bit of a nervous Nelly when it comes to public speaking, find a PechaKucha 20×20 night in your area, sign up and dust off the old PowerPoint. Even if you’re just slapping together the photos from your scuba-diving trip! At only 20 seconds a slide, that’s less than seven minutes in total that you’re standing up there. And there’s no time for cheesy fade-outs and whooshing Word art; all those things that give PowerPoint a bad name… To find out more about PechaKucha 20×20, and how you can take part in one, visit