It’s been called badonkadonk, pikachu, “that event.”
Technically, however, the event is called “pecha kucha”–Japanese for chit-chat. And on Wednesday, November 11, Team Culture hosted our first (technically unofficial) Rightside Pecha Kucha event.
The premise of pecha kucha was generated in Tokyo by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein-Dytham Architecture as a means of showcasing work by inspired architects–without holding an audience hostage for a potentially infinite period of time.
Here’s the breakdown of a pecha kucha event:
Six presenters. For our purposes, those presenters were employees from Rightside’s Kirkland office selected for their diverse and interesting range of after-work hobbies. Also, we ultimately wound up with five presenters.
Each presenters shows 20 slides for 20 seconds each slide. That’s an entire presentation in just 6 minutes and 40 seconds–a timeline likely to induce panic for even the most prepared and seasoned of presenters.
None of our presenters had ever heard of Pecha Kucha prior to being asked to participate. By participating they were not only agreeing to share their interests and passions, but to do so in a format that was unfamiliar and strange. Their willingness to take that risk–and, in some cases, overcome their fear of public speaking–allowed the rest of us to see these coworkers in an entirely new light, to learn about businesses, skills, and volunteerism that takes place off the clock.
Here are those presenters:
The Accounting Department.
Five members of the Accounting department banded together to present A History of Whiskey utilizing information largely sourced from Wikipedia and beginning with the disclaimer that “We are not experts on Whiskey (even though some of us want to be). This presentation is not guaranteed to be correct (it is at least within a reasonable tolerance). Most of our information is from Wikipedia.”
The department’s subject of choice was something of an inside joke as the Accounting department is known for their love of Fireball and habit of rounding up victims in the hallway with whom to share Fireball shots at the end of the workweek.
Of all our pecha kucha presenters, Carolyn struck the formula for slideshow success: baby animals. There were a lot of “awwwwws” from the audience as Carolyn proceeded through her presentation about her volunteer work with PAWS. Carolyn ruthlessly showed photo after photo of baby animals–raccoons, foxes, deer, mink, etc.–cleverly interspersed with informative slides about what to do if you happen to encounter wildlife in your backyard. Specifically:
- Do keep your cat inside, especially during spring and summer when baby birds are on the ground learning to fly.
- Do try to put baby birds who are found on the ground back into the nest (if they have not been attacked by cats). Mother birds will not reject babies who have been handled by people.
- Do drive with care on dark roads. Automobile-related injuries are one of the main reasons animals are admitted to PAWS Wildlife Center.
- Do keep injured animals in a warm, quiet place until they can be transported to the rehabilitation center. Do not give the animal any food or water.
- Do put caps on chimneys and seal up any entrances to your house before a wild animal decides to move in.
- Do keep trash in secure containers equipped with sealable lids, or equip regular trash cans with tie-downs or weights placed on the lids, to keep the animals out.
- Don’t assume that animals who are alone always need your help. Many wild animal mothers (such as Harbor Seals) will leave their young alone for long periods of time.
- Don’t try to solve the problem of animals nesting in attics during the spring and summer as babies (and protective parents) may be there. Wait until early fall when the young leave the nest, then permanently repair any access holes.
- Don’t feed wildlife. Doing so may harm the animals, cause them to become aggressive, and decrease their healthy fear of humans.
In August, Liz spent two weeks in Vietnam and, like any contemporary traveler, Liz documented the experience extensively with photographs. Her presentation about these weeks in Vietnam was a whirlwind of street markets and vendors and motorcycle traffic jams that captured the challenges and delights of international travel.
Did you know that Magic: The Gathering got its start in Seattle? Or that a single (and very rare) Magic card could set you back $32,000? I didn’t, but thanks to Jack Griffin, my Magic: The Gathering-savvy is considerably higher than it was before last week’s pecha kucha event.
By day, Sanjay is a Technical Product Manager for Registry Engineering. But by evenings and weekends, Sanjay is a chai wallah–a maker and seller of that most delicious beverage, which he sells at farmers markets across Seattle through his business, The Chai Place. Sanjay walked his audience through the history of chai, a brief summary of the ingredients (maintaining the secrecy of his own exact measurements and processes, of course), and the beverage’s significance in India.
We may not all rush out to open up a whiskey distillery or rescue orphaned raccoons or purchase tickets to Vietnam or attend a Magic: The Gathering convention or make chai in our kitchens, but we do think about our coworkers a little bit differently the more we learn about the richness of their lives outside of work. We all wear many hats, each of which makes life that little bit more interesting.