Black Hills State University and BHSU-Rapid City students delivered fast-paced, high-energy presentations at the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce Pecha Kucha Night Nov. 16 at the Journey Museum.
All 11 presenters are students in Dr. Barbara Looney’s managerial communications class. Looney, assistant professor of management at BHSU, explains that Pecha Kucha (pronounced roughly: pe-cha ku-cha OR pe-chak-cha) is the Japanese phrase for chit-chat. The platform has become a way to share powerful ideas in a tightly-drafted manner.
The students prepared presentations using the Pecha Kucha format, a presentation using 20 slides that advance automatically every 20 seconds. The evenly paced format helps the presenters create a tightly-organized and well-rehearsed presentation that shares information within the limit of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. The format encourages a presentation style that relies on lively visuals with content carried almost entirely by the speakers. Students selected topics related to business communication and/or new technology.
Zachary Johansen, business administration major from Rapid City, presented on 3-D printing and its educational applications. “Three-dimensional printing is becoming increasingly useful in classrooms, specifically on the college level,” says Johansen. “This is partially due to the flexibility educators have in creating customized models.”
Johansen says the presentation style helped him focus on the most vital information, cutting the “fluff” that had originally made it into his notes.
BreaAnn Hollenbeck, marketing major from Powell, Wyo., presented with a partner on Siempo, a new phone device to be released Jan. 18. “This technology is created by a young startup company with the goal of a causing the user to be present. The goal is to take away the distraction of your cell phone by limiting the apps that can be downloaded. You can only have the essentials—you have a ‘dumb’ smartphone.”
Reflecting on the experience, Hollenbeck says, “I had never given a presentation to people I didn’t already know. Being able to go into a situation where community members have no pre-existing conception of me, and being able to carry myself professionally—that gives me the confidence to continue pursuing public speaking.”
“This public presentation, made possible by the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, provides students the opportunity and incentive to polish their classroom work and share with a wider audience,” says Looney. “I was so proud of how our students answered thoughtfully raised questions. Clearly, everyone enjoyed the evening together.”
Pecha Kucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creativity worldwide. The Creative Industries Committee within the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce sponsors Pecha Kucha events each fall and spring, which are free and open to the public.