Jane's Walk in 6 minutes and 40 seconds

Pecha Kucha + Jane's Walk = a lot of work, but New Westminster's Mary Wilson rose to the challenge

Mary Wilson, March 26, 2014

Deciding to introduce Jane’s Walks to my city, New Westminster, and volunteering to be City Organizer for the inaugural year – well, that’s taking on a lot.  How, I wondered, was I going to get the word out to my community, explaining and promoting these walks?

Then the local Pecha Kucha organizers came calling. They targeted me as one of their “victims” for an upcoming Pecha Kucha event.  Perfect timing. I knew exactly, of course, what my presentation topic would be. What I didn’t realize was that I’d just doubled my workload – Jane’s Walks plus Pecha Kucha.  (Oh yes, did I mention I’d just broken a couple of ribs?)

Jane’s Walks you know about. Pecha Kucha you may not. Google it and you’ll get lots of info, plus many Pecha Kucha YouTubes.  Essentially, Pecha Kucha is a presentation style in which you display, in sequence, twenty images.  Each image appears for precisely twenty seconds, for a total time of six minutes and forty seconds.  Your script for the presentation must be coordinated with this timed, twenty-image format. Imagine PowerPoint with added pressure. This is supposed to keep presentations concise and fast-paced. For a Pecha Kucha novice and a digitally deficient dinosaur like me, it was definitely a challenge.

I had plenty to say (of course) and the passion to deliver it. But collecting twenty images to accompany my message wasn’t easy. I called in friends with digital cameras, neighbours with internet expertise, and relatives with Photoshop skills. I moaned and groaned, grumbled and groused, but never gave up. On the evening of the Pecha Kucha event, I explained Jane’s Walks, promoted urban walking for a variety of reasons, ranted about pedestrian hazards and invited everyone to join – or, preferably, to lead – a Jane’s walk. And I did it in six minutes and forty seconds. The audience applauded and cheered. Success! 


So – would I do Pecha Kucha again?  I’d rather take a long walk in the worst West Coast rain! 


Photos by Chris Petty.

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