Twenty slides for 20 seconds each: That’s how much time the five presenters had to share their wisdom at Wednesday’s Pecha Kucha.
More than 100 people, including students, faculty, staff and the friends and family of the presenters, gathered in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium to hear this year’s Pecha Kucha speakers.
“I thought it was very interesting to see their stories,” Roberto Delgado, a senior finance major, said.
Pecha Kucha, a rough Japanese translation for “chit-chat,” is a style of speaking where the slides progress automatically while the speaker presents, Director of the Senior Year Experience Charles Dunning said.
The method was designed to keep speakers on track and to hold presentations to six minutes and 40 seconds, according to www.pechakucha.org.
“They have no control over the slides, once the presentation starts,” Dunning said. “They have to be practiced, so that whenever it comes up, they’re ready to talk.”
Seniors Payton Anderson, Marquis Harris, Marcela Varela-Sisley, Michael Walton and Allana Wooley spoke at Wednesday’s event. The speakers embraced the opportunity to share their wisdom with younger students.
Walton, an entrepreneurial management major, spoke on “A-Manikin Idol: The Effects of Idolization.”
“That’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen, being a senior: being able to have the opportunity to pass off what I’ve learned in four years,” Walton said.
While their topics were directed toward first-year students, all students could benefit from their messages.
Anderson, a marketing major, said that the goal is for the audience to take away “different messages that people have, no matter what their topic is.”
“I thought it was great that they let each of them bring in their own experiences and opinions, because I think you look at the span from freshman year to senior year, and there’s so much to learn,” said senior accounting major Emily Provost.
While the topic of every speech was different, each offered its own advice.
“Everyone has something a little different that they are bringing to the table,” Harris said. Harris’s speech was called “4 Months and 10,000 Miles Later.”
Some of the presentations were lighthearted, incorporating “memes” and funny pictures from childhood years.
Others were more serious, with Varela-Sisley addressing eating disorders and suicide in her presentation, “When Lights Hit the Darkness.”
Wooley, an anthropology and writing double major—who presented “Would You Rather?”—said that it was because of the differences in the topics that made the speeches so interesting.
“All five of the speakers have, I think, really interesting pieces,” Wooley said. “We are all coming from such different places, and such different backgrounds, and we are trying to communicate such different things.”
Seniors can apply to speak at Pecha Kucha.
Wednesday’s speakers were chosen based on a nomination by a faculty or staff member and a speech topic that the selection committee thought “would be really something special to see,” Dunning said.
“I’m really just honored to kind of be in that line up of those people, because they’re people that I even looked up to in my time here,” Anderson said. Her topic was “#BlackLivesMatter: The Message Behind the Hashtag.”
However, Wooley said “we’re just students.”
“But I mean, that also what makes it cool, because we are at the same age, at the same level—we are peers with the people we are talking to,” Wooley said. “And everybody is so different.”