How to Plan a Successful Virtual PechaKucha


Table of contents
How to Plan a Successful Virtual PechaKucha

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July 26, 2023



July 26, 2023


Table of contents
How to Plan a Successful Virtual PechaKucha
July 26, 2023


July 26, 2023

PechaKucha, meaning “chit-chat” in Japanese, is a unique presentation format where speakers must cover 20 slides, each shown for just 20 seconds. This keeps presentations concise, fast-paced and engaging.

While PechaKucha originated as in-person events, the format has expanded to the virtual world, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Hosting a virtual PechaKucha brings unique benefits like reaching broader audiences, reducing costs, and overcoming geographic barriers.

However, planning and executing a compelling virtual PechaKucha requires thought and strategy. This guide covers key tips to plan a successful virtual PechaKucha, from format considerations and speaker recruitment to rehearsals and tech requirements. Follow these best practices to host an engaging, seamless, memorable PechaKucha event online.

Choosing the Right Virtual Format

A PechaKucha comprises ten presenters, each sharing 20 slides at 20 seconds per slide, meaning presentations are just over 6 minutes long. When going virtual, you have options on how to structure this.

Pre-Recorded Presentations

Have presenters pre-record their full presentations to play during the event. This ensures high-quality, glitch-free content. However, it feels less engaging than live delivery.

Live Streamed Presentations

Speakers present live from their own devices. This is more engaging but introduces technical issues like laggy connections or poor audio/video quality.

Hybrid Approach

Speakers pre-record presentations but join a video call for introductions and Q&As during the event. This combines the best of both pre-recorded and live formats.

For virtual newcomers, the hybrid approach balances engagement and quality. As you gain experience, consider shifting entirely to live-streamed presentations.

Recruiting Compelling Presenters

The magic of PechaKucha lies in its eclectic mix of presenters and topics. Seek dynamic speakers from diverse industries, backgrounds and expertise.

Sources for speakers:

  • Existing audience and community
  • Social media calls for presentations
  • Relevant organizations and associations
  • Personal and professional networks

In your call for presentations, highlight the creative possibilities of the format. The 20×20 PechaKucha style forces concise, engaging storytelling rather than typical business slides.

Speakers should demonstrate passion, unique perspectives and comfort with the format. Share examples of creative PechaKucha presentations to inspire.

Crafting Appealing Presentation Topics

While PechaKucha allows any topic, some themes better fit the style and audience than others.

Recommended topics:

  • Creative projects or hobbies
  • Travel adventures or cultural experiences
  • Personal stories or life lessons
  • Innovative concepts in business/technology
  • Art and design
  • Social causes

Avoid dry, data-dense topics. Presenters should focus on storytelling and visuals rather than heavy text.

Set clear expectations that presentations should educate or entertain, not directly promote business. The goal is an enjoyable, thought-provoking experience for attendees.

Preparing Speakers to Shine

Your presenters will make or break the event experience. Set them up for success with preparation:

Share speaker guidelines. Cover basics like length, slide requirements, deadlines and technical needs.

Connect speakers to share ideas. A private Facebook group or video call can provide camaraderie and inspiration.

Offer dry run practice. Have speakers do a complete dry run 1-2 weeks pre-event and give feedback.

Suggest resources for creating slides. Recommend slide-making tools and point to PechaKucha slide templates.

Emphasize storytelling over slides. The narrative, not just the visuals, must captivate the audience.

With practice and peer feedback, presenters can master the fun, fast format.

Technical and Logistical Considerations

A seamless event requires evaluating your technical capabilities and logistics.

Choosing a platform:

Popular options like Zoom, Livestream, YouTube Live or Vimeo suit basic PechaKucha needs. Evaluate features like capacity limits, streaming quality and webinar customization.

Audio/Video requirements

For live streaming: Presenters need an HD webcam, quality microphone and reliable internet connection.

For pre-recorded: Provide specifications for slide resolution, video format and audio quality.


Options include manual slide changes, auto-advancing slides, or a shared screen with a timer. Test ahead of time with speakers.

Slide submission:

Use a file-sharing service like Dropbox or Google Drive for accessible slide collection. Set due dates for slides, videos and speaker info.


Do a full tech rehearsal before the event with all presenters to identify and fix glitches.

Use waiting rooms and co-hosts:

Admit speakers from the waiting room only during their allotted time slot. Appoint co-hosts to help with transitions and troubleshooting.

Recording and distribution:

Record the event for sharing after. Get consent from all involved to post online.

Thorough preparation and testing set you up for the best experience on the event day.

Promoting Your Virtual PechaKucha

Amplify excitement and drive registration for your event with marketing:

Social media: Share event details and speaker teasers across your social platforms. Inspire with examples of creative PechaKucha presentations.

  • Email: Send email blasts to your audience with clear event information. Give regular reminders leading up to the event.
  • Partners: Collaborate with relevant organizations and influencers to co-promote the event to their followers.
  • Website/Blog: Create an event page with a schedule, speaker bios and registration details. Drive traffic through your other channels.
  • Paid ads: If budget allows, create Facebook/Instagram ads targeting interested demographics.
  • Past attendees: Market to your email list from previous events. Offer loyal attendees special perks.

With a wider reach, you’ll attract more registrations and better engage your audience.

Registration and Streaming

Registration platforms like Eventbrite allow customizable registration pages with agility to promote and manage sign-ups quickly.

Most streaming services let you gate access to only those registered through a platform like Eventbrite. This gives you metrics on attendance.

If streaming on YouTube or Facebook Live, share an unlisted link only with registrants rather than publicising the stream.

Post-Event Follow Up

The event doesn’t end once you log off. Important follow-up keeps attendees engaged:

Send a post-event survey to identify what worked and gather feedback.

Share the presentation recording, slides and speaker information with registrants.

Continue engaging on social media by highlighting speaker moments and audience reactions.

Send personalized thank-you notes to all speakers to show your appreciation.

Follow-up is the final step to hosting a rewarding PechaKucha that inspires your audience and community.


Well-orchestrated virtual PechaKuchas offer online audiences all the energy and inspiration of live events. With choice speakers, smooth technology, polished presentations and smart promotion, your PechaKucha can be informative, thought-provoking and fun.

Use these tips to craft an engaging virtual experience from start to finish. Embrace the creative opportunities of the PechaKucha format to produce an event that educates, enlightens and entertains.


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