Pecha Kucha Tokyo speech! La Carmina x Odigo presentation, SuperDeluxe Roppongi.

tokyo tower at night

It’s my birthday! (August 17.) Thanks for all the kind wishes, I’m so grateful for your friendship.

Perhaps this is an opportune time to share the PechaKucha speech that I made in Tokyo, since it reflects on my journey over the past few years. I’m stunned at how everything has grown — and I couldn’t have done any of this with your support.

pecha kucha tokyo japan

I’ve recently been working with a trip-planning startup, Odigo, and they asked me to do a presentation at PechaKucha 20×20 Tokyo. This is a public speakers’ event that began in Japan, and now takes place worldwide. The challenge is that each presenter only gets 20 slides, displaying on screen for 20 seconds each, to convey their point.

pecha kucha speaker, presenter

I look like I’m having Seinfeld moment, with the microphone and upturned hand. “What’s the deal with bagelheads?”

Outfit details: To match the Alice in Wonderland motif in my speech, I’m wearing a Baby the Stars Shine Bright skirt. This off-shoulder black top by Free People is almost identical to the one I’m wearing (I got mine at 2% Hong Kong).

pechakucha tokyo japan presentation

As you can see, there were hundreds of people in the audience! I had no notes on me, and couldn’t even see the screen behind (which switched to the next photo automatically after twenty seconds). So how did it go? And what exactly did I do a presentation about?

Above and on YouTube, you can see a video of me speaking to the crowd at Pecha Kucha.

The most difficult part was nailing the transitions between the slides, which change automatically. I recommend practicing over and over, including doing trial runs in front of an audience, until you get used to this unique format.

Other PechaKucha tips? Tell stories as you were talking to a friend, to keep the crowd engaged. It never helps to tell a funny anecdote or too. Keep relaxed and the 6-7 minute speech will flow by fast.

Since you can’t always clearly see the slides in the first video, above is one that contains only my PechaKucha slideshow and the audio. I hope you’ll find this example 20×20 presentation helpful, if you ever end up doing one yourself.

pechakucha tokyo founders, superdeluxe roppongi

Arigato everyone who came to see me at SuperDeluxe Roppongi, and to the PechaKucha Tokyo team for having me! The event is full of positive energy, thanks to founders Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, and executive director Jean Snow. PK always features a creative roster of presenters (speaking in Japanese and English) about topics as diverse as rope tying and natto packaging.

(The first photo of me under the Tokyo Tower is by Said Karlsson (who shot my Steampunk magazine cover). Images 2-5 are by Michael Holmes. The rest are from my archives over the years.)

la carmina baby photo, young child

Here are some of the slides and stories I mention in my speech. “Ever since I was one year old, my family and I would take trips to Asia at least once a year. As a child, some of my most vivid memories were visiting Japan. Imagine little ol’ me in 1990s Harajuku, an alien world inhabited by punks with spiky hair, and girls in Victorian ruffle dresses. And everything was so cute!”

group of harajuku teenage girls

“Even though I loved visiting Japan and wearing Jpop fashion, I never imagined it was possible to have a travel career like mine. I went to Columbia University, and then Yale Law School – but my heart wasn’t into law. I needed a creative escape – so I started my La Carmina blog in 2007. Every day, I posted about the hidden spots I loved in Japan – such as the Vampire Cafe where the waiters dressed like Dracula, or pastel Goth boutiques where the fashion is inspired by My Little Pony. All the places that mainstream travel guides and tours would never show you.”

monkey theme cafe japan

“I did this all out of love – I enjoyed connecting with people online over these shared passions, and never thought the site would lead anywhere. But then some of my posts about theme restaurants and cute food became popular… and long story short, it landed me a NY literary agent. That led to two books: Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants and Cute Yummy Time.”

japanese dominatrix mistress

“From then on, everything just kept building organically. One day, a producer emailed and said… “I’m writing from the Andrew Zimmern show, Bizarre Foods. He loves your book, and wants you to be his guide.” That was my first taste of travel TV hosting and production, and I was hooked. Since there was so much demand, my business partner and I started a TV fixing company, and three years later, we’ve organized shows for Food Network, NHK, CNN, Discovery, National Geographic Taboo, and many more.”

where to get a bagelhead in tokyo

“The reason these shows hire us – and not some normal tour guide – is because we’re underground insiders. We know all about the bizarre hot-spots all over the city, and are able to make all the arrangements so that TV shows can shoot things like bagelhead inflation, where you drip saline solution into the forehead, creating a bulge.”

Odigo trip planning site, travel startup

“One thing that I noticed was even though many people enjoyed reading about the places I share on my blog, it was still difficult to search for them on Google maps and figure out how to get from A to B. So I became involved with Odigo, a project that helps me to share my trips with others. All you have to do is go to and you can follow my footsteps!

scottish fold cat lying on back

And if you want to give me a little birthday love, I invite you to join my mailing list (I only send emails about once a year, don’t worry).

❤❤ Just fill in details below & click. ❤❤

Email address:

scottish fold kilt cat yawning

Thank you kindly! If you’re intrigued by my trip-planning collaboration, or want to be one of the first contributors, take a look at Odigo and sign up.

scottish fold birthday card illustration

And hugs for First Mate and illustrator Naomiyaki for this fat-faced greeting card of Basil Farrow.

pechakucha example speech, format, slideshow

I hope you enjoyed watching my Pecha Kucha speech and 20 x 20 second slideshow. More videos soon.

Have you heard of PechaKucha, or been to one of their events? What do you think of my presentation?


  1. Rosanne
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Aw, happy La Carmina Day!

  2. Stephanie
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday lovely! Thank you for yet another year of amazing fashion, journalism and travels! I have learned alot from you.

  3. Mich
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday!

    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Happy HAPPY B I R T H D A Y !!

  5. Missa C
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

     ┃┗┛ appy♡
     ┃┏┓┃ birth
     ┗┛┗┛  day*゚

  6. Christel
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Have a wonderful birthday!

  7. Adolfa
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday @lacarmina enjoy your day. Your spanish Drag Queen friend, send you kisses.

  8. Rafael
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    happy Birthday you awesome woman! May there be many more celebrations to come.

  9. Ron
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday!!!

  10. sham
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday, beautiful! Hope it’s amazing for you :)

  11. Kelly
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    happy birthday lacarmina!

  12. Julie
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday La Carmina!

  13. Aee
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    is a Leo! Meow! >’.'<

  14. Sophie
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Sweetie!

  15. LoungTan
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    love this la carmina also can you tell me make up used for visual kei style

  16. Atsushi
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday

  17. RV
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Happy belated birthday, L.C.!

  18. Joey
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Another year of adventures ahead, Happy Birthday La Carmina!

  19. Kim
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday to you :)

  20. Tyla
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday pretty Lady! Sending you smiles and wishes for giggles always yay!!

  21. lacarmina
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    thank you all for the birthday wishes!!! lots of love!

  22. Bat
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Looooove!!! Gothy it up fabulously! ;3

  23. Reese
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    ;) ;) ;)

  24. Clara
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    <3 the skirt!

  25. The Mora Smoothie
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Love it!!
    Kisses Paola

  26. Erin
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Tower power ~_~_

  27. Cris Ryan
    Posted March 4, 2015 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    Much respect for keeping your cool with such a large audience! Your voice is very clear and friendly. You’d be a great voice actress!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked with *