BHSU students present work at Pecha Kucha event in Rapid City

BHSU students presented at Pecha Kucha April 25 at the Rapid City Library. Left to right: Tim Woodson, Brandon Groseclose, Rebecca Steedley, Jared Kovall-Scarlett, Samantha Suek, Shayna Soderstrom, Benjamin Bitterman, Sarah Rohrbach, Daniel Lerwick, Kyle Sabourin, and Stephen Swan.

Students from the Black Hills State University delivered fast-paced, high-energy informational presentations at the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce sponsored Pecha Kucha Night April 25. The event was hosted by the Rapid City Public Library.

Eleven BHSU students from the School of Business who are in assistant professor Dr. Barbara Looney's Managerial Communications course presented six of the seven presentations during the evening. Pecha Kucha (pronounced: 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 fast-paced, high-energy manner.

Tim Woodson, business administration-tourism major from Spearfish, says the Managerial Communications course prepares students with professional writing and speaking skills that they will need in the business world.

"As college students, we are trying to apply our skills in the real world. This experience allows us to do that and improve our public speaking skills," says Woodson.

Woodson and his teammate Ben Bitterman, business administration-entrepreneurship major from Rapid City, presented on the smartpen by Livescribe during Pecha Kucha Night.

"This is a pen that combined all four modes of communication. We were interested in this topic because it sounded technologically-advanced and it would be something that we would want as students," says Woodson.

The students worked in pairs to prepare presentations using the Pecha Kucha format, a Power Point program using 20 slides that advance automatically every 20 seconds.

The evenly paced format helps the presenters to 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 business technology.

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 Rapid City Chamber of Commerce sponsors Pecha Kucha events each fall and spring, which are open to the public.

BHSU students who presented include:
  • Ben Bitterman, business administration-entrepreneurship major from Rapid City, and Tim Woodson, business administration-tourism major from Spearfish. Topic: Livescribe
  • Brandon Groseclose, business administration-economics and finance major from Belle Fourche, and Shayna Soderstrom, business administration-management major from Worland, Wyo. Topic: Innovia Plastic Money
  • Samantha Suek, business administration-human resources management major from Rapid City, and Sarah Rohrbach, business administration-entrepreneurship major from Aberdeen. Topic: Ecocapsule
  • Rebecca Steedley, public accountancy major from Spearfish. Topic: Biometrics
Kyle Sabourin, corporate communications major from Eden, Wyo. and Stephen Swan, business administration-management major from Rapid City. Topic: GoPro Karma

Jared Kovall-Scarlett, business administration-management major from Rapid City, and Daniel Lerwick, general studies and photography major from Spearfish. Topic: Crowdfunding