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26 CENTURIES OF AMPERSANDS
July 20, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
PechaKucha logo © circa 2015 Bento Graphics
PechaKucha is a talk format that requires a speaker to show 20 slides and comment on each for 20 seconds for a total presentation time of 6 minutes 40 seconds. The “talk less, show more” structure keeps presentations concise and visual.
Architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein Dytham architecture invented PechaKucha (“chit-chat” in Japanese) in 2003. By 2019, more than 1,200 cities worldwide had hosted PechaKuchas on a wide range of subjects.
July 20, 2017, the Boston Athenæum hosted its first PechaKucha Night. The BA invited Nancy Upper to present her work on the ampersand as one the six speakers featured. The event sold out.
Slides advance automatically every 20 seconds, so to succeed, a speaker should condense information into 50 words or fewer per slide. If you try say too much, you have to talk too fast for the audience to grasp your message.
A benefit of brevity is vigor. Concise talk and strong slides make presentations memorable.
Upper’s PechaKucha talk, 26 CENTURIES OF AMPERSANDS, strode through the sign’s history with images of ancient to current ampersands, samples of ampersand usage, serious content, and ampersand cartoons.
The audience learned that our needs for connection, identity, and aesthetic expression are what makes the ampersand survive and thrive as a word, symbol, and metaphor.