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The 10 20 30 Rule of PowerPoint Cheat Sheet by

Creating effective Powerpoint presentations
rules     tips     powerpoint     presentations     kawasaki


The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerP­oint. Is simple: A PowerPoint presen­tation should have 10 slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.

This rule is applicable for any presen­tation to reach agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partne­rship, etc.
Credit: Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. http:/­/gu­yka­was­­m/t­he-­onl­y-1­0-s­lid­es-­you­-ne­ed-­in-­you­r-p­itch/

10 Slides

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 a 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 10 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

20 Mintes

You should give your ten slides in twenty minutes. Sure, you have an hour time slot, but you’re using a Windows laptop, so it will take 40 minutes to make it work with the projector.

Even if setup goes perfectly, people will arrive late and have to leave early. In a perfect world, you give your pitch in twenty minutes, and you have forty minutes left for discus­sion.

8 Tips

30 Point Fonts

The majority of the presen­tations have text in a ten point font. Typically, presenters try to cram as much text as possible into the slide, and then the presenter reads it. However, as soon as the audience figures out that you’re reading the text, they'll read ahead of you because they can read faster than you can speak. The result is that you lose the audience

The reason people use a small font is twofold: first, they don’t know their material well enough; second, they think that more text is more convin­cing. Total bozosity. Force yourself to use no font smaller than thirty points. I guarantee it will make your presen­tations better because it requires you to find the most salient points and to know how to explain them well.


You do not have to set strict limits: a good presen­tation may only have eight or a few more slides. It may be reasonable to present 30 minutes, more time is needed. However, longer than half an hour will tire your audience and reduces the time for a discus­sion.

By staying close to the 10-20-30 rule you will be able to keep control of your presen­tation structure and can focus more on your key messages.

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