We know that PowerPoint can be a tool of productivity, and hopefully everyone’s embraced the idea that constraints are conducive to creativity. The next natural step, then, is Pecha Kucha, introducing the constraint of PowerPoint presentations that are limited to twenty slides shown for twenty seconds each. Get to the PowerPoint in 20 Slides Then Sit the Hell Down is Wired’s take on the presentation format, written up by Dan Pink. But far more impressively, he’s created his own presentation in the format, and it’s a smart and thoughtful look at the emotional expressiveness of signage in public spaces.
Pink’s presentation is a delight. For my own tastes, a well-rehearsed slideshow should go a lot faster than one slide every twenty seconds, but I realize this is still much better than most presentations where people linger on a single slide for 5 minutes and read you all the bullet points. And for Pink’s images, the timing works almost perfectly. (When I spoke at OSCON in 2006, I did 72 slides in 12 minutes, which I think works out to about one every ten seconds. Any slower than that and I think I would start to bore people.)