The very cool and practical Presentation Zen blog turned me on (I like the old sixties phrases) to a growing movement called Pecha Kucha Nights. The Presentation Zen site describes these gatherings, now taking place in over 100 countries, where people must share ideas in a condensed format:

You must use 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds, as you tell your story. That’s 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Slides advance automatically and when you’re done you’re done. That’s it. Sit down. The objective of these simple but tight restraints is to keep the presentations brief and focused and to give more people a chance to present in a single night.

Here is an example of a Pecha Kucha presentation from Dan Pink on public signs (see his article on the topic in Wired).

i often wonder what would happen if more academics (particularly sociologists) played with turning their work into Pecha Kucha presentations. What would it look like if we created “community nights” where faculty at a particular institution or a group of institutions would present these 7 minute Pecha Kucha presentations? How would it change our relationship with the non-academic world?