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Why Don’t We Get Right To The Point? Er, PowerPoint?

Wow. I would love to see this attempted at church.

First there was TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conferences:

The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

18 minutes! And if you don’t subscribe to TED’s audio or video podcasts of those talks, you are really missing out. The talks are phenomenal – brevity is not only the soul of wit, but it seems also of inspiration.

The Q Conference followed suit with thinkers and do-ers in the Christian sphere sharing their best ideas and insights in 18 minutes. And as DJ Chuang can attest to (here’s a link to his liveblogging and other notes here), it was a feast for leaders who want to get the ears and minds wrapped around as many ideas as possible. TED and Q have shown us that the human attention span is something to be respected and challenged at the same time. 18 minutes to explain some viable solutions to poverty in Africa is sufficient. 18 minutes to explain how convicted felons can be transformed into legitimate entrepreneurs is more than enough.

On second thought, maybe 18 minutes is too much.

Maybe all we need is 6’40”. Six minutes: forty seconds. 20 slides. 20 seconds per slide.

Pecha Kucha.

WIRED features a great article about it this month including this great intro video from the editor.

Say what you need to say in six minutes and 40 seconds of exquisitely matched words and images and then sit the hell down. The result, in the hands of masters of the form, combines business meeting and poetry slam to transform corporate clich into surprisingly compelling beat-the-clock performance art.

Perhaps, we in the church could use a little bit of pecha kucha. What if we could exposit the Word of God so clearly, so incisively that we could cut through to the heart of the matter in under 7 minutes?

What if a church would host a pecha kucha night to inspire people to put the Word of God in their context wherever they are instead of the static monologue that usually characterizes our halls? You could fit in about 4 in half an hour. It’s harder to bore people with that short of a timeframe. You’d have their full attention, wouldn’t you? Could you say that for your next “time of sharing”?

Hmmmm…perhaps we shall have to try something online of this sort.


About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come.

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