Small Talks about big ideas give an often-unexpected insight into people we may think we know.

Small Talks, a public presentation event organised by Jo Lewis and Kathy Cunningham, has its third outing in Whanganui on Wednesday, August 14, with 12 speakers talking about something that is important to them.

"We have three rules: no religion, no politics and no shameless business promotion," Lewis said.

"Often we find out things about people we thought we knew. We find out passions or enthusiasms that we didn't know that they had."


Speakers at this week's event are Brian Doughty, Tim Easton, Stephen Hampson, Gail Imhoff, Jordan Rees, Steph Robinson, Russ Simpson, Andrew Solesbury, Phil Stokes, Tony Stuart, Joamari van der Walt and Deanna McKay who is travelling from Palmerston North for the event.

Each speaker has a five-minute time slot. They provide 15 images of something they are excited, passionate or enthusiastic about and speak for 20 seconds per slide.

"I put the images into an automated slideshow so there's no leeway with time," Lewis said.

"Even though I see all the images before the event, I still sometimes don't know what they're talking about. [For a previous event] Terry Dowdeswell gave me pictures of delphiniums and spoke about cultural diversity."

Lewis was previously involved with similar events, Pecha Kucha and Pic Chat, held in Whanganui in recent years.

"They have come to an end and I've picked up the baton because I love the idea of community fundraising," Lewis said.

Each Small Talks event gives 100 per cent of its income to a charity. In the past, the event has supported the Cancer Society and Women's Refuge Whanganui, with funds from this week's event going to Jigsaw Whanganui. The next event in October will support children's charity Make A Wish. That charity has been chosen because it is supported by real estate company, Bayleys Whanganui.

"We're so grateful to Bayleys," Lewis said.


"We use their hall and they absorb the costs of hiring chairs and audio equipment."

Past events have attracted an audience of 70-80 people and Lewis is hoping for a turnout of 100 this time.

Tickets are available in advance at Bayleys, 158 Wicksteed St, and cost $15. Door sales will be $20. Doors open at 6.30pm on Wednesday and the event starts at 7pm.

Lewis is also organising Smaller Talks, a pop-up event as part of Winter Wonderfest Whanganui.

Smaller Talks is at 6.30pm on Wednesday, August 21, at Space Studio & Gallery. Tickets ($10) are limited to about 30 and are available from Space Studio & Gallery.