Powerpoint Rule

10-20-30 rule for powerpoint

Couldn’t resist Ernest Hemingway sat calmly contemplating his next sentence. We all should know by now Guy Kawasaki’s memorable 10/20/30 rule for decks. That’s 10 slides, 20 mins, 30 point font?

I am trying to evangelize the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. While I’m in the venture capital business, this rule is applicable for any presentation to reach agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership, etc.

Ten is the optimal number of slides in a PowerPoint presentation because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting—and venture capitalists are very normal. (The only difference between you and venture capitalist is that he is getting paid to gamble with someone else’s money). If you must use more than ten slides to explain your business, you probably don’t have a business. The ten topics that a venture capitalist cares about are:

1. Problem
2. Your solution
3. Business model
4. Underlying magic/technology
5. Marketing and sales
6. Competition
7. Team
8. Projections and milestones
9. Status and timeline
10. Summary and call to action

Read more: How to Change the World: The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.

One Reply to “Powerpoint Rule”

  1. It strikes me that the most memorable communication is distilled, concise, crisp and clear. Right? Sure, but achieving clarity in any issue is a painstaking task but an absolutely necessary part of this living in our attention economy.

    Your attention is a scarce resource never to be squandered.

    Case in Point: Apple Keynote presentations with Jobs on the stage always feel effortless, easy, light and likely that behind-the-scenes it’s a long boiled down series of efforts to get it distilled. 10-20-30 is a really useful start.

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