Check Out Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 Rule

Star Venture Capitalist and techno-evangelist Guy Kawasaki hears hundreds of presentations a year. And the ones that he says are the best follow what he calls the 10/20/30 rule. 

Limit your slides to 10.  Limit your time to 20 minutes. And make your fonts no smaller then 30 point.

It’s a guideline all of us should consider. The 10/20/30 rule is ultimately designed to keep the slides limited so that the speaker, her stories, and her ideas remain center stage.   If all you’re doing is narrating and reading slides, you’re in trouble. Here is how the 10/20/30 rule keeps that problem in check.

Limit your slides to 10. Too many slides will kill your presentation and make you seem disorganized.  A client came to us recently with a sales presentation that had 60 slides for a one-hour pitch.  That’s ridiculous.  No listener can process the information on that many slides in such a short period.   Limiting your slides to 10 forces you to be disciplined in what you’re trying to say. Your listeners will appreciate your discipline.

Limit your time to 20 minutes.  By limiting your time, once again you force yourself to be focused on what you really want to say.  You also allow more time for questions.  In most business presentations, the Q&A is the most important thing.  It allows you to respond to the audience’s true interests.

Make Your Fonts No Smaller than 30 Point. This forces you to limit the amount of stuff you cram on to any slide.  Smaller fonts are too small to be read by the audience.

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