Photo by Maarten Steenhagen
When Jon Torrens asked me if I’d like to take part in a PechaKucha event I knew I’d been offered a publicity gift-horse I’d be a fool to turn down (no matter how hard my fear begged me to do so). What I didn’t realise was that preparing the talk would be a transformative experience in itself, bringing benefits that went way beyond a publicity shot.
‘Talk about yourself and your work’ sounded innocuous enough, but it prompted serious soul-searching -‘What exactly do I do?’.
On one level this question is easily answered – ‘I’m a stonecarver/ sculptor…I sculpt stone’…. but that answer wouldn’t fill up the allotted 6 minutes 40 seconds, or be very enlightening.
The 20/20 format (20 slides on screen for 20 seconds each) requires more than just the bare bones – but not much more. What’s needed is much thought – and a very distilled response.
My prep notes felt more like a haiku, though I’m sure my delivery was less succinct and more garbled (I haven’t had a chance to listen to the recording yet, and nerves erased the whole experience from my memory). However, I found that jotting down thoughts had enabled me to see threads running through my work, which I hadn’t seen before, or needed to verbalise – even to myself.
The slide shows and accompanying voice-overs will go on line in the next fortnight, but I’ve already got more than I could have hoped for from the experience – a prompt for self-scrutiny , followed by feedback from a warm and welcoming audience. Who couldn’t profit from that?
I heartily recommend PechaKucha to anyone – as a participant or as a curious on-looker, by coming to an event at your local venue or watching on-line.
Check out the global PechaKucka site for more info.
My presentation and those of the 5 other participants will be on line by the end of November. See PechaKucha Cambridge