Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 Rule for presentation




Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule for presentation:

  • 10 slides
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 point font

I don’t think I agree with rule as a blanket statement, but I do agree with the concept that one should have fewer slides and leave some room for questions and not use too small a font on the slide.

The number of slides and the font size is dependent on the audience. Angel investors like to see a lot of details - they are funding the “idea” and want to see it flushed out a bit more. So for that audience 10 slides in 30 point font won’t work.

Also, I have noticed that the power point presentation at a VC firm get circulated to a lot of people who weren’t there at the presentation. For their benefit, the slides need to have enough content to provide context.

I tend to use 30 points font for the basic ideas but also include small font text in a bulleted list form. So if any member of the audience has a specific question, I can point to the small text.

If you have already established yourself as an “authority” in the subject that you are going to talk about; you can get away with 10-20-30 rule but if you are pitching the idea to angel investor group, you need to show that you have thought about various elements in your presentation and that, unfortunately, requires use of small fonts on the slide.

This is especially true now when the power point presentation has taken the place of a business plan. It is not uncommon to hear from a VC “send me your power point and a one pager”. I am not suggesting that you try to cram the business plan in to the power point, but you need to be cognizant of the fact that VCs very often don’t read the business plan and may rely on the power point presentation. So use the fewest number of slides you can get away with and make sure that all the core concepts are in size 30 font.

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