When Talking Behind Our Backs is Best

A Pecha Kucha Talk by NSRF Assistant Director, Luci Englert McKean,
Delivered at the National Association for Independent Schools Annual Conference, February 2020

Back in February (just before everyone started working from home), NSRF had a presence at the NAIS Annual Conference in Philadelphia:  NSRF Director Michele Mattoon led a Master Class in Building Belonging (with support from NSRF National Facilitator Laura Beth Wayne and me), NSRF Operations Coordinator Rachel Hartley-Smith managed a table in the non-profit segment of their show, and I delivered a Pecha Kucha.  Although Michele’s presentation wasn’t recorded, mine was, so I’m sharing it here.

If you’re not familiar, a Pecha Kucha (pronounced “peh CHA koo sha”) is a short-talk format started in Japan.  Each presenter creates a Powerpoint of 20 slides, each of which is timed at 20 seconds. It’s a challenge to organize a talk this way, and then to memorize it and keep up with the automated slides (the show starts off-stage and it runs until it’s done).  I have delivered a few Ignite talks (20 slides at 15 seconds each), and a TEDx talk of 10 minutes (a curator will tell you how many minutes you get ranging from 4-18, and you control your own slides), but I think the Pecha Kucha is my favorite of the three options.

In this 400-second talk, I chose to cover the basics of protocol use, Critical Friends Group work, and why the heck we have presenters turn their back (or in the virtual world, turn off their camera) after they make a presentation. When you know a topic well, it’s hard to know whether it’s clear for people who may not know anything about your topic. So I’d welcome your comments:  how’d I do communicating the essence of our work?