Blog: Telling a Story at Pecha Kucha
As we co-design the upcoming Pecha Kucha Night Dundee Vol.21 TAKEOVER with a group of local young people, we’ve been writing up blog posts about our learning along this journey, and this is the second blog in the series! If you’d like to come to Pecha Kucha Night Dundee on 23 May, be sure to book your tickets before they sell out!
After meeting with the young people for the first time and discussing the overall direction we wanted to take PKN21 as well as a provisional list of speakers and topics, we had two other workshops. The first one around publicity and marketing of the event and the other, a little more focused on the speakers, on shaping up the talks and getting comfortable with public speaking.
In a sense, we were raising the question of how we can tell the story of this Pecha Kucha to the general public? How can we show the ‘backstage’ journey and drive behind this specific event? How do we incorporate the energy and themes we want on the night into our marketing and illustrations?
The second session was all about marketing. We discussed with the young people who we should commission for the event art and then how to spread the word about it. Initially, we came up with some words that described the vibe we wanted to give off with the event (fun, surprising, inspiring, electric, weird, etc…) we spent some time looking different local artists to try and find the potential for some of those qualities on their work. In groups we scored each artist we looked at and then saw if a winner emerged. Lo & behold, one did! They selected Steven Peebles, who had free reign to make something whilst keeping that ‘vibe’ in mind.
Here’s the incredible illustration Steven sent back to us:
Then we worked on how to communicate with the audience about the event. Things like posters, facebook event, flyers, etc… were all identified as key mediums that might reach different groups.
The group was also interested in doing something playful and quirky, a little different from the usual promotion packages you might see around the city. So we decided to make badges (happening later tonight) and tear-off posters for local coffee shops (Butterfly Cafe, Henry’s, Waterstones, Hard Grind, etc…).
The third workshop was around helping the speakers think through their talk and gain some confidence. We enlisted the help Damon Herd, Coordinator of the Dundee Creative Comics Space, and Gemma Nicol, Head of Creative Learning at Dundee Rep. While Damon focused on storytelling, and the relationship a presentation has with the series of slides, Gemma got everyone on their feet so they could get a sense of speaking in front of a group of people, feel how passionate talks are much more captivating and communicate stories in more restrained or improvised ways.
Attending the workshop were some of the young people who are speaking at Pecha Kucha, as well as some of the older speakers. It was a very diverse group of people, but they seemed to come together seamlessly in the different exercises and preparation. In part, it might have been the pressure of the upcoming event, and the creative excitement of putting a talk together from nothing, but this workshop very quickly became a safe and exciting space for exploration.
During the two hours, we saw people really coming out of their shells, speakers reconsidering their topics and new relationships being formed from groups that might not have met in Dundee otherwise. Damon and Gemma really managed to bring together a stimulating and energising vibe that got even us, the Creative Dundee team, pumped up and keen to make things! We couldn’t recommend this workshop pairing enough if you’re looking for something similar.
Having one workshop left to go with the young people, it occurs to us that the best story about Pecha Kucha was told in that room at the Creative Comics Space. A diverse group, pushed out of their comfort zones, exploring their skills, being inspired to do new things, making valuable contacts, discovering a new corner of Dundee… If we had a mission statement for Dundee Pecha Kucha events, it would look something like that image.
The event is next week and you can help us tell the story of Pecha Kucha Nights Dundee to the people you know! Get them to read our website post, book tickets on Eventbrite or invite some folk to the Facebook event!
Pecha Kucha Night Vol 21 is delivered by Creative Dundee in partnership with Dundee Design Festival as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.