Sunday, February 7, 2016


I went to a fantastic event last night called PechaKucha Night in Champaign Urbana. In a PechaKucha event, people give presentations for which they show 20 slides and speak 20 seconds per slide, totaling 6 minutes and 40 seconds per presenter. Last night was the first of these I'd ever been to, and I was not disappointed! There were, I believe, 12 presenters in all, a great emcee, and presentations that ran the gamut from why we should do away with copyright laws to the benefits of living without a car. Some were persuasive, some were humorous, some were educational, some were art/design related, some were inspiring, and some were extremely personal.

The most moving presentation, to me, was by Kelly White, an amazing well-known local artist, teacher, and business owner/operator. Her topic was about her struggle with how others respond to her being overweight. She discussed how she feels judged, and how she judges herself, every day, every time she walks into a room where there are people, when she wakes up in the morning, and so on... how people say things to her that are very hurtful all time time, and that anything you could say to her about her size, she's already said to herself over and over. She brilliantly expressed her emotional pain in this short presentation, and she communicated so clearly that her being overweight is her own business and nobody else's. She took examples of words people tend to use to describe "fat" people, such as lazy, and explained that none of these stereotypes were at all accurate about her; in fact she is the opposite of these harmful stereotypes. Her message at the end was to ask people to simply be kind. Be kind to others, regardless of their outer appearance. It was extremely moving, and it was so brave of Kelly to get up in front of 500+ people and talk about something so deeply personal and painful.

This phrase is for you, Kelly. You're awesome! I've known that since we met a few years ago, and after your PKN presentation, I think you are even more amazing. Thank you. It was the best presentation of the night, and your message is so very important. I feel that my written description of your presentation doesn't do it justice... I'm leaving out an awful lot. But I loved it, and it moved me greatly.

Wanna know more about PechaKucha? Visit Pecha Kucha FAQs.

Wanna know how to pronounce it? Visit Youtube PechaKucha pronounciation

A few examples of PechaKucha presentations on Youtube
(none of these are as good as the ones I saw last night!)
     1. Joe Ginese, "20 Seconds of Courage"
     2. Colin Jenkinson, "Click Art"
     3. Val Jones, "A Tale of Two e-Patients"
     4. Mark Rickmeier, "Pain. Fear. Humor"
     5. Max Spang, "What the Hell is Beer?"

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