28th March, Saturday evening, 22nd International Annual Convention of TESOL Macedonia-Thrace; when Margarita Kosior presented me as the 5th Pecha Kucha presenter, she told the truth. I volunteered to participate in the event without knowing the reason. Everybody who had the experience before kept telling me that it is the ultimate challenge. I had to find out why. How difficult could it be to talk for 20 seconds on a PowerPoint slide? But then again... can everybody be exaggerating so much?
For anyone who has not heard of Pecha Kucha before, the rules are quite simple. You have to prepare a PowerPoint with 20 slides which change automatically every 20 seconds on whichever topic you wish. You have to develop your views about each slide and keep on track. Otherwise, there will be confusion and no synchronisation. And here is the challenge. You continuously have to talk for just under 7 minutes and keep your audience attention.
I knew my topic from the beginning. It had been browsing in my head for over a year. I wanted to talk about the obstacles and my frustration that I encountered when I took on the preperation of the video presentation of the project we ran last year. At that time, I was sure that everything would flow smoothly. I could not have been more wrong... The process made me realise that there are so many little details to consider but helped me to improve some life skills and qualities like observation, collaboration, communication, artistic quality, persistance and patience.
Pecha Kucha experience offered me a lot. I have never been confident about my professional presentations. I always have the feeling that something has been missed, left out, not mentioned. My speech seems not persuasive enough to me. Presenting my slides in such little time led me to focus on the meaning combining humour and wittiness. It helped me overcome my fear of presentation, cope with time limits, adjust to the circumstances and think fast... really fast! One should not neglect the fact that speaking in a foreign language (even an English teacher) and include all points in a few seconds is another hindrance to overcome.
I believe that my participation in the Pecha Kucha event made me take a leap forward and dare to take on more challenges in the future.