It all started when I received an email from Michael Christoff (@mchristoff), who is one of the members of the PechaKucha Night Cleveland leadership team (@PKNCLE). He wrote that he was inviting me to a special, first-time-ever PechaKucha Night Cleveland Past Presenters Happy Hour. This would be an event where the 250+ PechaKucha Night Cleveland presenters from the past eight years would be invited.
Although Julie and I have written blog posts about PechaKucha Night Cleveland and attended many of their events, I had never done a PechaKucha talk myself. I was extremely honored to be invited to this closed event for people whose presentations I greatly admired. It meant a lot to me.
But it got even better -- I was in for a BIG surprise!!!
Michael's email went on to say...
We are reaching out to you to see if you would be willing to give a PechaKucha presentation to the group that evening. You have been to so many of the PKN events and you are always so supportive of everything that we do...I'd love for you to share a little bit about why you do this.....what is it that you get out of being at a PKN that makes you want to come back.....that makes you want to reach out to invite those you know to the event...what is it about the presenters and the environment that really gets you excited about the evenings.
At this point, my thoughts were whirling: I know I need to say yes -- this is important to me, so I need to do it "right" -- give yourself time to think -- wow, what an honor! -- what can I say that would truly express what I feel -- wow, what an honor -- I will be giving a PechaKucha talk to THE PechaKucha presenters, wow!! -- etc, etc, etc...
I want to dedicate this blog post to:
The PechaKucha Night Cleveland leadership team, who thought enough of me to give me this honor
My wife, Julie, who makes it possible for me to create these blog posts
My Grandfather, since preparing this talk reminded me of stories I heard when I was growing up about his public speaking to promote Cleveland nonprofits
Thank you to all.
The PechaKucha Night CLE Past Presenters Happy Hour took place on November 29, 2016.
Stuart O. Smith, Jr., Biography
Stuart O. Smith, Jr., is the Website Director at Notre Dame College, and holds a Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) degree from Case Western Reserve University. He was the leader of the Cleveland Web Development Special Interest Group for 10 years, from 2006 to 2016.
Since Stuart's first “Hello World” tweet on October 1st, 2009, he has been using Twitter to promote tech, social media, blogging, and some entrepreneurial events in the Greater Cleveland area.
Stuart, along with his wife and co-blogger, Julie Smith, have been writing a blog based on Stuart's @sos_jr tweets since March 2012. In recent years, Julie and Stuart have been expanding what they write about on sosAssociates.com.
Julie and Stuart describe themselves as PechaKucha groupies, and have written eight blog posts about PechaKucha events in Cleveland and Akron. Stuart will give a PechaKucha talk tonight.
Stuart O. Smith, Jr., PechaKucha Talk Slides
1) Goood Evening Cleveland!
I have always wanted to start a PechaKucha talk like that!
My name is Stuart Smith, and I want to tell you how I feel about PechaKucha, and lead you to some PechaKucha-related action steps.
2) When I was asked to present here today, I immediately thought of my Grandfather – Curtis Lee Smith – “Mr. Cleveland.” Yes, I have been told that my Grandfather was known as Mr. Cleveland. He was well known as a public speaker and as a promoter of Cleveland. When I hear you PechaKucha presenters promoting Cleveland, I think of my Grandfather.
3) This is the picture I specifically thought of when I was asked to speak here. It is a caricature of my Grandfather doing public speaking — wearing many hats - as he talks about Cleveland organizations. I grew up seeing this drawing and it has a strong emotional meaning to me.
4) The next thing that happened as I was thinking about this presentation was a case of writer’s block. I mean, I'm preaching to the choir – the people who ARE PechaKucha — you’re it! Who am I to talk to you about PechaKucha. PechaKucha is important to me, and I wanted to get it right.
5) But the struggle ended when I decided to make this talk about what I like about PechaKucha — its locations — its topics — its people — and how I make it part of my life through Twitter and my blog.
So here we go.
6) First, since it is the tradition of PechaKucha speakers to share what they create, I want to start with showing you the home page of the website I designed, featuring some of the blog posts that I have created about PechaKucha. I use Twitter to live tweet at events, and then I compile the tweets from the event to create these blog posts.
7) Tonight, I am wearing my “Twitter Tie” that my son designed especially for me. My son recognizes that I’m a bit crazy when it comes to sharing the exciting things going on in our community. I don’t have time to tell you the full story, so please later tonight introduce yourself, so I can learn about you, and you can hear my elevator speech.
8) I have a process that makes me feel more engaged with PechaKucha. Before the event, I look at the speakers’ websites to learn about them. During the event, I live Tweet to share with a larger community what is being presented. After the event, I turn the tweets into a blog post.
9) PechaKucha has given me insight into our community. It was very meaningful to me to hear a PechaKucha talk about the Butterfly Project in Tamir Rice’s neighborhood a few months after I had attended the one-year remembrance for him, where I tweeted my video of the release of 12 doves for the 12 years of Tamir's life.
10) And it was cool to know the details about the Bike Cleveland project before they appeared in the local newspaper. It was also interesting to know some of the history about Cleveland abolitionists before going to the Station Hope event.
11) Other examples of community insight include knowing about former PechaKucha speakers when I see them presenting at other Cleveland events like BriteWinter, the Cleveland Public Library Shakespeare exhibit, and the UpTown’s EucFest. I attend many events so always great to know the background of speakers when I seem them again at a different venue.
12) I want to also be clear that I am not just talking about Cleveland. Be sure to check out PechaKucha Akron. Their volume one was a year ago, and I recently attended volume five. Some really cool things are happening in Akron, and you can learn about many of them by attending PechaKucha Akron.
13) These are posters from the two PechaKucha Akron events that I attended and wrote blog posts about. Mark your calendar for February 3, 2017, for their next Akron event. Sign up on Facebook for event announcements and follow @PKAkron on Twitter!
14) The first time I saw a PechaKucha talk was at Ingenuityfest, on the lower level of the Detroit Superior bridge. I immediately loved it and wanted more. Unfortunately the next several events were scheduled at times when I had conflicts. But I would read about interesting locations and talks, and my desire grew.
15) One of my favorite aspects of PechaKucha is its venues. Each event is held at a unique location. In addition to the Detroit Superior bridge, I have attended PK events at: The City Club; The Club at Key Center; behind the West Side Market; Jack Casino - before it was a casino; Public Square; Playhouse Square; Aloft; Hot Cards; MOCA; Hofbrauhaus; The Music Box; House of Blues, the Akron Civic Theatre; and The Bit Factory.
16) One of my favorite aspects of PechaKucha is its venues. Each event is held at a unique location. In addition to the Detroit Superior bridge, I have attended PK events at: The City Club; The Club at Key Center; behind the West Side Market; Jack Casino - before it was a casino; Public Square; Playhouse Square; Aloft; Hot Cards; MOCA; Hofbrauhaus; The Music Box; House of Blues, the Akron Civic Theatre; and The Bit Factory.
17) But of course, the interesting topics and speakers are what PechaKucha is all about. It is truly mind-blowing how many different subjects have been covered! Thank you to all of you creative people who have enriched PechaKucha by sharing your stories.
18) Here is the leadership team of PechaKucha Cleveland. Let’s use the remainder of the 20 seconds for this slide to give them a round of applause for their great work.
Thank you, Cleveland PechaKucha leaders!
19) I’d like to challenge you to take two PechaKucha-related action steps. First, share the PK story by telling your friends and sharing on social media. And, second, help identify future speakers. Do what I do, jot down potential speakers names as you think of them and pass them on the leadership team
20) And now I want to introduce my wife and co-blogger, and fellow PechaKucha groupie, Julie Smith. We both want to thank you all again, not only for making PechaKucha Cleveland an exciting event, but also for adding value to our community.
Stuart O. Smith, Jr., PechaKucha Talk Video
A BIG thank-you to Don Pavlish for bringing his video equipment to record my PechaKucha talk. I had talked to Don after the PechaKucha Night Cleveland Volume 27 at Music Box Supper Club, since I was impressed that he was capturing the evening permanently on video.
As of the date that I published this blog post, the video was not available. I will embed the video here when I receive it. UPDATE 12/29/16: One month after my PechaKucha Talk, I decided to upload the video to YouTube and embed it in this blog post:
Tweets & Retweets
Here are my 28 @sos_jr tweets and retweets that relate to the PechaKucha Night Cleveland Past Presenters Happy Hour.
Two important things to note:
I pre-wrote tweets that were sent out during my PechaKucha talk. Since I only had 20 seconds per slide, I included information and links in the tweets that went beyond what I had time to mention during my talk.
- More importantly, after my talk, I shared information on Twitter about a few of the people I spoke to that evening. The PechaKucha Cleveland presenters' wealth of knowledge made for an interesting evening. These are the creative people you want to know, and many of them are the people working to improve our community in many different ways. The presenters reflect the true value of PechaKucha Cleveland.
... This morning my words are finally coming to me.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. (@sos_jr) November 12, 2016
Sometimes you need to give yourself time to find your own words. pic.twitter.com/3bpL1ZOb6I
My PechaKucha Cleveland Talk
After My PechaKucha Cleveland Talk
PechaKucha Night Cleveland Past Presenters Happy Hour
I have included the official PechaKucha Night Cleveland Past Presenters Happy Hour description:
by PechaKucha Night Cleveland Creative Team
The PechaKucha Night Cleveland team would like to invite you to an evening of great conversations with over 250 past presenters who have presented at PechaKucha Night here in Cleveland since it launched in 2008.
Whether you have been able to remain in contact over the years, or would love the chance to finally reconnect after not seeing us in a while, we'd LOVE to see YOU on November 29th in the Ohio City Room at Market Garden Brewery.
There is no cost to attend, we just want to see as many of you again as possible. Your individual energy is amazing, we can only imagine what it'll feel like with even 100 of you in the room at the same time.
The "doors will open" at 6:30pm and at 7:00pm we will have a short 15-20 minute program including a PechaKucha Night style presentation from one of the audience members who has been at nearly every event since 2008.
We believe this evening is going to be really special, we hope you will consider joining us. We intend on making this an annual gathering and will continue to find new ways to make it special with the help of your suggestions. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to the PKN Cleveland Creative Team. We hope to see you on the 29th, please do not forget to RSVP so that we can plan accordingly.
It is pretty wild for me to read in this description "...including a PechaKucha Night style presentation from one of the audience members who has been at nearly every event since 2008" and realize that they wrote that about me!
Here is information about the PechaKucha Night Cleveland leadership team's good work. Again, thank you so much to the leadership team for all you do to bring PechaKucha to Cleveland, and to promote the great things happening our city.
Organizer of PechaKucha Night CLE Past Presenters Happy Hour
The PechaKucha Night Cleveland Creative Team is responsible for putting together all PKN Cleveland programming and consists of Michael Christoff, Raseem Parker, Heather Lenz, Aseem Garg, Trent Boerner, Emily Bacha, Amy Viny and Don Pavlish. We are all volunteers who love the creative energy that exists here in Cleveland and will stop at nothing to support it and expose it so as many people as we can!
Related Blog Posts
As I mentioned in my PechaKucha talk, Julie and I like writing about PechaKucha Night Cleveland (@PKNCLE) and PechaKucha Akron (@PKAkron) events. It is part of my "process that makes me feel more engaged with PechaKucha." Please learn more about PechaKucha and the presenters by reading the following blog posts Julie and I have written. Enjoy!
Blog Date: November 13, 2016
PechaKucha Night Akron Volume 5 at The Bit Factory
Blog Date: September 18, 2016
PechaKucha: Part of Five Days of Cleveland Creative Free Fun
Blog Date: February 29, 2016
PechaKucha Night Cleveland Volume 27 at Music Box Supper Club
Blog Date: February 17, 2016
PechaKucha Night at the Akron Civic Theatre
Blog Date: August 24, 2014
AHA! PechaKucha Night Cleveland VOL 23
Blog Date: February 28, 2014
PechaKucha Cleveland at The City Club
Blog Date: September 1, 2013
PechaKucha Night Cleveland Volume 19
Blog Date: September 15, 2012
PechaKucha Night Cleveland: The Sound of Conversation