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Digging Stirling – by Dr Murray Cook, Stirling Council Archaeologist

Student Experience on Pecha Kucha

Annette Lordreau – a 2nd year student at the University of Stirling – joined us for a couple of months as part of her work experience module. Most of her time was dedicated to helping with the organisation of the next Pecha Kucha event. She has very kindly written up a blog post about her experience which you can read below:

In my second year of English Literature and Global Cinema and Culture studies at the University of Stirling, I took part in a work placement module for students of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. In my application, I mentioned my interest in event planning, culture and doing something good for other people. This is how I discovered Creative Stirling. 

Pecha Kucha is a type of public speaking where the person prepares 20 slides and has 20 seconds to speak on each of them. Creative Stirling organises Pecha Kucha events every few months and the one we were working on, planned for the 21stof March, was the fifth one. This event’s theme was “The Future”. This means that all of the presentations had to meet this theme. However, being quite an open theme, this incorporated talks about new technologies such as automation in the workplace and blockchain, but also the future of fashion through sustainability and of health through dementia care. Pecha Kucha nights have broad themes that allow for a diversity of speakers to be involved and of topics to be covered. Therefore, people will always find something that interests them in a Pecha Kucha night! There is also a balance of experienced and less well-known speakers, which gives a good platform to young professionals and entrepreneurs. All of the proceeds of the event go to Stirling Soup, which raises funds for local projects. Codebase, which is partnered with Creative Stirling, hosts Pecha Kucha nights at 8-10 Corn Exchange Road. 

The ways I helped with the planning and organisation of the event were by finding some speakers and then communicating with them in the days leading up to the event.  I sent out emails, posted on social media. I learned which methods were most effective when contacting people. This turned out to be reaching out to people directly and making use of the opportunities at the university. Indeed, I also contacted the communications service at the university and they posted a message on the portal and the student bulletin. 

I loved the opportunity to meet people of many different backgrounds as I sent many emails to many different people. On one occasion, I went to meet-up with a potential speaker to explain to him face to face what the event was about. I would say most of my time has been spent writing emails, making calls, meeting people… it’s turned out to be a very social experience! I believe those skills will be very useful in my professional life.

My placement at Creative Stirling has taught me how to organise my tasks in a professional capacity and to balance that with my studies and extra-curricular activities. I developed good written and oral communication skills, particularly through email and social media. I have also gained skills in IT and discovered social media marketing, how to use Instagram and Facebook to reach out to people as well as how to format images to fit the Instagram format. Most importantly, it has taught me that I want to do something meaningful in future career, be in contact with people and use event planning and knowledge of culture to create a sense of belonging and community within people.

If you’re interested in getting involved with Pecha Kucha, Creative Stirling have a young steering group of local creatives who get together to come up with each theme, discuss food and drink options, and help out on the night itself.