Tales of the unexpected and some unexpected tales will be told at the next PechaKucha night in Cambridge.

If you’re familiar with the quickfire presentation style of Pecha Kucha then you’ll know that the unexpected is to be expected.

As Forrest Gump would say, you never quite know what you’re gonna get.

If you haven’t been along yet then each speaker is expected to present 20 slides and speak for 20 seconds about each one. It’s a fun way to be introduced to new topics and speakers. The rapid style is entertaining as well as informative.

Cambridge’s PechaKucha team has decided to celebrate the unexpected side of life and presentations for their next event, which will be held at the Cambridge University Centre Wine Bar, Granta Place, on Wednesday July 17 at 7.30pm. The title is Drawn To The Unexpected. Make of it what you will.

Anne-Marie Miller designed this great poster for the event! 

If you would like to have a go at presenting then we have slots available. To make it even more unexpected we can also offer you the chance to do improv. This means a set of 20 slides will be given to you unseen and you need to tell a story to go with them. Everyone who has volunteered for an improv presentation has enjoyed the experience and the audience is usually cheering them on while laughing at the tangents they go off on.

Are you drawn to the unexpected? Then join the audience or put yourself in the spotlight as a speaker. Entry is free, donations to Pecha Kucha on the night are welcome.

If you would like to present, please fill in the contact form.


Taking inspiration from Barack Obama

My first PechaKucha talk came about a few weeks ago when Ann Hawkins came into CambridgeSpace and are told me that somebody had nominated me to do a PechaKucha talk. As it turned out, I’d been thinking about doing one for a little while but I've always had a reason not to do it this time so this was the perfect nudge to get me going.

Ann has an amazing network of people around Cambridge lots of them are my friends so I've always trusted everything that she does. It was a real joy to be asked.

Once I’d got past the point of committing to do the PechaKucha, the challenge was to find the topic I wanted to talk about. I decided to talk about how to make people feel comfortable. I realised that a lot of my work over the years has been about getting people in a position where there are able to do things they wouldn't usually do; putting them at ease and creating a sense of psychological safety. The presentation was a combination of my own story, what I learnt from my family, from projects I’ve worked on and from people I work with. I added to that the reasons why it’s important to make people comfortable and finally I really wanted to give people some tips that they could use immediately to put people at ease.

With the topic chosen it was now time to find some photos in many ways this was one of the hardest parts of the whole process. I was easily able to find some of them but one thing that struck me was how hard it is to find analogue photos!  With that done I sat down and created my narrative. I had decided to use the Story of Me, Story of Us, Story of Now format famously used by Barack Obama so that came easily to me. After that it was just a case of practising.

Putting it together at the last minute

The whole experience was brilliant - and it gave me a reminder of a part of my own character - procrastination: even though Ann must have asked me to do the PechaKucha three months ago it took me until almost the last minute to actually sit down and do lots of the work. Something had been holding me back. I have no idea what, but it's something that happens to me again and again. Nonetheless, in the end I was ready - just a couple of days late.

On the night it was brilliant! Despite having presented hundreds of times I felt physically nervous; I could feel the adrenaline and cortisol in my bloodstream. I know happens and it's something I actually quite enjoy. Once I stand up those feelings go away and I'm really in my element. PechaKucha was a great experience from start to finish - everyone should have a go sometime!

See John's presentation "Making People Feel Comfortable" 



In honor of your momentous twentieth (can you tell we like 20?) PechaKucha Night, congratulations from founders: Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham. 


We got a delightful message from PechaKucha Founders Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham in Tokyo to celebrate our 20th Volume of PechaKucha Nights in Cambridge! Big thanks to Jon Torrens and Colin Ramsey for kicking it all off in 2015 and to our great team of volunteers who are helping to put on even more great PechaKucha Nights! 


Deciding to present

I attended my first PechaKucha event in Cambridge in January 2019.  This was a dreary night, it was dark, it was wet, and it was cold but, after being greeted warmly by Ann at the door, things just got better.

I sat through and thoroughly enjoyed the presentations; such a variety of topics made all the more interesting by the format.  20 slides in 20 minutes! I was so impressed, I decided there and then I wanted to give this a go.

I was working on a project in Uganda, re-introducing technology from the dawn of time – ox-drawn ploughs – to help poor families.  I wanted to share what I had done and the positive difference that I had made. I also wanted to inspire my audience to consider how they could help people less fortunate than themselves.

I made a commitment to present at the next event on 20th March. 

The Power of One

The first hurdle was deciding upon the title of my talk.  I wanted it interesting and meaningful, relevant and memorable.  I eventually came up with "The Power of One".  That was more difficult than I thought, but it did set me on the right path.

Next was selecting my slides. I needed to tell a story.  I had some good photos, these were my ‘middle'. I needed a beginning and an end.  I knew my story, but trawling through, to find interesting and FREE stock photos that I could use or caption to tell it, took some time.

Once I had my 20 slides, and once I had got my PowerPoint Show running, I had to decide what I would say to accompany each slide. Job done? Not quite!


I cannot emphasise enough the importance of rehearsing your talk, with your slideshow running. You have things to say, you want to get your points across and be coherent, but you only have 20 seconds and you must keep pace with your slides!

On the night, standing at the front, with no notes, I was a little nervous.  However, as soon as my first slide came up on the screen, I was in the ‘zone’  I had rehearsed what I want to say, I think it went well, but I was amazed at how fast my time went!

Afterwards I was approached by an individual who offered to help me with my project business plan and another who has since become my first client for my new fundraising consulting business.  

THANK YOU PechaKucha!

See Brian's presentation The Power of One 

  • Would you like to present at PechaKucha Cambridge? Get in touch with us!


With justice and might, PechaKucha Night Cambridge takes the victory in this week's PechaKucha Poster Spotlight. Abi Stevens once again amazes the PechaKucha community with her wonderfully creative mind, bringing us this masterpiece for PKN Cambridge's 20th event. To find out more about Abi's imaginative creations, take a look at Pain and Inspiration from PechaKucha Night Cambridge Vol. 18.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our Instagram and Tumblr for more posters!

Are you ready for one of the quirkiest events in the Cambridge events calendar?

Marvel at people's quick-fire presenting skills, learn new things and see the world afresh at PechaKucha Cambridge on Wednesday night. This month's theme is a little March Madness and we're delighted to have presentations from a wide range of interesting folks including the story behind Dinky Doors, delighting people with tiny art installations across Cambridge, plus Wallace and Gromit, travel adventures and much more. 

Here are 7 reasons to come along to the University Wine Bar from 7.30pm.

  • Who is behind those Dinky Doors? Tiny doors are appearing all over the city but who is behind them? (See what we did there?) If you have wondered at the Wonder Emporium, posted a picture of the Emailerator or are simply asking what we're talking about and how it can save the world (we love big goals at PechaKucha) then come along. You will be looking at Cambridge differently after this presentation.
  • Do you love getting lost? Alice Gadney will be talking about how getting lost turned her into a map maker. Get direction and learn about the fine art of cartography during her exploratory talk.
  • Brian Bennett will be explaining why sometimes low tech is the best answer and how he hope to help save a small corner of our wonderful world wth the power of one.
  • What's your super power? We all have them even though we might not see them ourselves. Mindset trainer Caroline Ferguson will be talking about how supersensitivity is a super power.
  • There's no such thing as normal, as our line up testifies. Elaine Halligan will be talking about how to parent children who are 'different'.
  • Enter the weird and whacky world of Wallace and Gromit with Alex Stanlake who is going to give us his view on Nick Parks' duo as he explores having a Grand Day Out.
  • Enjoy a life affirming, adrenalin fuelled, joyful, trip around the world with adventurer Martyn Sibley as he shares his contribution to a world without limits.

Come along and join us. We promise you an unforgettable evening.

You may never have spoken in public before or you may be an accomplished presenter.


The PechaKucha format is very different to any other style so here's some tips on how to prepare your presentation:


Decide on your topic

We'd love to hear about your creative project, your passion, your vision, your quirky obesession, the things you want to share with the world to entertain, educate or inform a global audience. It can be purely for fun, awe inspiring, poignant, world changing, creative, informative, or mischevious.

PechaKucha is not the place to promote your business, have a rant, or promote your political or religious views. PechaKucha Nights are for bringing our warm, supportive and friendly community together for a fun and sociable evening.

The presentations are shared with a global audience in over 1100 cities, so topics that have more than a local appeal are welcome. 

Start early

Preparing a memorable presentation usually takes longer than most people think it will. Strangely enough, getting a short presentation right takes more rehearsal than a long one. We need the finished set of slides at least a week before the event to check it and load it up ready for the night.

Choose 20 stunning, original images.

A PechaKucha presentation works best when your slides are the star of the show with no words cluttering them up. Using your own original images to illustrate your ideas makes your presentation memorable. If you're going to use images that don't belong to you, be sure you have permission, credit the photographer, and don't infringe copyright.

Put the images in a 4:3 PowerPoint presentation

This is the format required by the Global PechaKucha website where your presentation will end up, to be shared with the global PK audience. Please don’t use any of your 20 slides for your name, the title of the talk, or contact details – these are all added after the recording when the slides are loaded onto the Global PechaKucha website.

Set the automatic advance rate to 20 seconds

If anything remotely techy gives you the wobbles, just let us know and we'll help, but if you're happy to, please set the auto-transition to 20 seconds. Select the 'Transitions' tab, and on the right you'll see 'Advance Slide'. Please tick the box next to 'After', and set the value to 00:20:00. Set the duration to 00:00, and then below that please click 'Apply To All'. We want your presentation to run smoothly so just ask if you need help!

Rehearse speaking to each slide for exactly 20 seconds

The timing is crucial as the format is fixed and dictated by how the presentations are recorded and displayed on the Global PechaKucha site. There is no wriggle room! You start speaking when your first slide appears and 6 minutes 40 seconds later, you're all done. The more rehearsal you can do to get the timing of your words right, the more impact your talk will have

Rehearse some more

Experts estimate that the time needed to rehearse is 30 times longer than the duration of the presentation. This means that for a 6 minute 40 second presentation, you should allow approx 3.5 hours for rehearsal!

Don’t use notes

Reading from notes just doesn’t work – it’s better to speak naturally and be prompted by your images

Email your slides

As soon as you can, and at least a week before the event, send your Powerpoint slides to your City Organiser  Email, Dropbox, and WeTransfer all work well. If the file is too big, go back and compress the images within PowerPoint and that should work. We'll add them to a master presentation for use on the night. 

Recording the presentation 

We don't video presentations, we only record the audio and load that up with your slides to the global PechaKucha site. If you'd like a friend to video you on their phone that's OK. 

On the night

Turn up at least 15 minutes before the event starts and we'll show you the recording set up.
The projector, microphone and monitor are set up to allow you to face the audience so you don't need to crane your head round to look at the screen.

Promoting the event

We'll promote the event in our newsletter and on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and tag you where appropriate, so please join in and share the posts. Encourage your friends to come along to support you. Our official photgrapher will take photos on the night and these will be used in our newsletter and social media. You are welcome to use these images free of charge but please credit the photographer. 

After the event 

We'll add the recordings to the Global PechaKucha website, and as soon as they've been approved by the team in Tokyo, they'll be published. We'll let you know as soon as this happens so that you can share them with your supporters.

City blog

Every official PechaKucha city has a city blog on the Global PechaKucha website.
If you'd like to write a post about your project or your experience of presenting in Cambridge just let us know.


If you have any queries, please just ask!


We thought that no-one would have time to prepare a presentation in December so we thought we'd just get together for a bit of fun. 

As a change to all the other Christmas parties, we suggested that anyone who fancied having a go could improvise a presentation by talking in the PechaKucha style to a set of slides they hadn't seen before. 

Seven brave souls volunteered. Roger Clarke was first up, wearing his Christmas jumper! He told us a tale about working at the British Library, getting his ducks in a row and many other things inspired by a set of images pulled from our City Organiser's Instagram account! 

Colin Ramsey came next, interpreting a set of slides based on colour and giving us a travelogue! 

Berenice Smith didn't know she was going to volunteer until she found herself on her feet, confronted with a set of gothic horror images that she used to tell a story about her family! 

Experimenting with a double act, Andrea Joyce and Rachel Extance described an excursion to a wildlife park. On Twitter Andrea said "What a weirdly exhilarating experience it was to give a talk to slides we had never seen before. Big love to the storytelling genius that is for being my partner in crime for this improv fun" 

Rachel said "We were given a stage and a microphone. We could have regaled the room with anything. We had a chat about cheese sandwiches - in front of a picture of a leopard." 

Comedy gold award goes to Andrea for the comment " ... but isn't everyone disappointed when the sandwich turns out to be just cheese?" 

Carri Pavitt was triumphant in her interpretation of a set of slides based loosely on travel and is now so hooked on PechaKucha that she's signed up for her third presentation on March 20th! 

"I'm going to tell you about my life as an art thief", said Jon Torrens. As his unexpected slides included a lot of archectural plans, he was able (maybe a little too expertly) to descibe how to get in and out of various buildings and the art works they had housed before he got his gloved hands on them!

We owe a huge thank you to our brave volunteers (some more voluntary than others!) who entertained us with their hilarious improvised presentations and sent us all home with huge grins on our faces and to Lucinda Price Photography for the photos! 


We have our first confirmed speakers for 17th October! 

  • Andy Boothman will talk about how he created a unique set of designs for Dress Code Shirts, based on tech images. 
  • Carri Pavitt will talk about the rise of the independent.
  • Simon Hall will talk about life's swerves and soothing the soul. 
  • Lucy Tucker will talk about the unintended consequences, funny and otherwise, of travel. 
  • Pamela Wesson will talk about life as a pop-up shop prop on Mill Road.

If you'd like to join the line-up for this or future events, let us know! 


"They are a very resilient tribe and I think they have the courage to survive in style."

In Polar Musings from PechaKucha Night Cambridge Vol. 3, Speaker Emma Linford takes us on a journey into the frozen north of Canada, where she meets reindeer, indigenous tribes, and icy conditions so cold it freezes your skin in 30 seconds.