Pecha kucha: A presentation format in which each presenter is limited to 20 slides at 20 seconds each, for a total presentation length of 6 minutes, 40 seconds.
Pecha kucha was conceived and named by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham, a western architecture firm in Tokyo; the first event—Klein and Dytham called it PechaKucha 20x20—was held in Tokyo in February 2003. The concept spread around the world, especially among the design community.
Pecha kucha (sometimes spelled PechaKucha; its creators have obtained trademark protection for PechaKucha Night) is the transliteration of an onomatopoetic Japanese term that means "chit chat." It's pronounced as three syllables: pe-CHALK-cha. The format is often described as "the antidote to death by PowerPoint." Other informal definitions include "attention-deficit theater" and "the Twitter of slide presentations."
According to the official PechaKucha.org website:
Good PechaKucha presentation [sic] are the ones that uncover the unexpected, unexpected talent, unexpected ideas. Some PechaKuchas tell great stories about a project or a trip. Some are incredibly personal, some are incredibly funny, but all are very different making each PechaKucha Night like 'a box of chocolates'.
UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business recently hosted its first Pecha Kucha Night, "Dimensions in Design: The Evolving Role of Design in Business." Read the live Twitter stream from the event here. PK Nights take place monthly (mostly) in San Francisco, Chicago, London, and other cities.
A similar presentation format, Ignite, was started in Seattle in 2006. Ignite limits presenters to 20 slides at 15 seconds each.