A Lightning talk is a short presentation given at a conference or similar forum. Unlike other presentations, lightning talks last only a few minutes and several will usually be delivered in a single period by different speakers.
Formats vary between venues. Most conferences will assign a speaking slot (30 to 90 minutes) to them and arrange several talks one after the other during the session. The length of talks are usually between 1 and 10 minutes with a 5 minute limit being common. In order to allow rapid changes between speakers, slides may either be discouraged or a single computer running a Presentation program is used by all speakers.
The term data blitz is sometimes used to refer to a session of lightning talks, particularly at academic conferences in the sciences and social sciences
Pecha Kucha is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (approx. 6′ 40″ in total), usually seen in a multiple-speaker event called a Pecha Kucha Night (PKN).
Pecha Kucha Night was devised in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa), as a way to attract people to Super Deluxe, their experimental event space in Roppongi.Pecha Kucha Night events consist of around a dozen presentations, each presenter having 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds on a timer. Thus, each presenter has just 6 minutes and 40 seconds to explain their ideas before the next takes the stage. Conceived as a venue through which young designers could meet, show their work, exchange ideas, and network, the format keeps presentations concise and fast-paced.
A typical Pecha Kucha Night includes eight to fourteen presentations. The presenters (and much of the audience) are usually from the design, architecture, photography, art and creative fields, but also often includes those from academia.
Organizers in some cities have added their own variations to the format. In Groningen, in the Netherlands, two slots are given to a live band, and the final 20 seconds of each presentation consists of an immediate critique of the presentation by the host’s sidekicks. Video art has also been presented at some events.
One of the attractions of Pecha Kucha Nights is the wide range of the 20×20 talks. Most consist of design professionals showing their creative work, but presenters often speak about such topics as their travels, research projects, student projects, hobbies, collections, or other interests.
Ignite is a global event, organized by volunteers, where participants are given five minutes to speak about their ideas and personal or professional passions, accompanied by 20 slides. Each slide is displayed for 15 seconds, and slides are automatically advanced. The presentations are meant to “ignite” the audience on a subject, i.e. to generate awareness and to stimulate thought and action on the subjects presented.