The 10/20/30 rule: Create better PowerPoint presentations!

10/20/30 rule for better presentations

What does a perfect PowerPoint presentation even look like? This is a question that many speakers still ask themselves. And still, every now and again the audience almost falls asleep during a presentation.

Online and on social media, there are multiple tips and tricks for good presentations. Some of these are useless, but some of them have been established over years and set the standard, such as the 10/20/30 rule by presentation professional Guy Kawasaki.

What does the 10/20/30 rule look like?

The 10/20/30 rule is a simple, yet effective way to improve your PowerPoint presentations. It brings structure to your presentation and improves the layout and design of your slides.

Your presentation should…

… be no longer than 10 slides.

… last no longer than 20 minutes.

… have a font of at least 30 pt.

Who invented the 10/20/30 rule?

Guy Kawasaki, marketing legend and bestselling author already helped Apple achieve cult status. He said early on:

‘I listen to hundreds of companies pitch for their companies. Most of those pitches are crap.’

As a result, he developed the simple 10/20/30 rule for brilliant presentations. You can also find more tips for a convincing pitch presentation in our article on the topic.

Guy Kawasaki and the 10/20/30 rule

What can the 10/20/30 rule be used for?

Even though our example of the 10/20/30 rule is designed for a business plan, this doesn’t mean that the rule can’t be used for other presentations. You can also use the rule for the following presentations:

#1: Sales presentations

#2: Press conferences

#3: Presentation of Business numbers

The 10/20/30 rule in more detail

10 slides

In a nutshell – According to Kawasaki, ten slides are the optimal number for a successful business presentation or meeting. According to Kawasaki, anything above this will cause your audience’s attention and concentration to drop and make them unable to process the information.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to cram the whole content of your presentation on these 10 slides. Instead, focus on the key message. The following 10 bulletpoints act as an example of a business plan and you are welcome to use them as a guide for the content of your next presentation:

#1: Problem

#2: Solution

#3: Business plan

#4: Your deployed technology

#5: Marketing and Sales

#6: Competitors

#7: Team

#8: Predictions and Milestones

#9: Status and Timelines

#10: Conclusion and Call-to-Action

Depending on the need and topic of your presentation, you can of course customize these 10 points.

Are you looking for inspiration for your PowerPoint slides? Feel free to take a look at the following articles on our blog page:

20 minutes

The second aspect of the 10/20/30 rule states that you should deliver your presentation within 20 minutes. With a compact twenty minutes you can avoid that your audience’s attention slowly decreases.

Furthermore, when planning your presentation, keep in mind that there may be delays, for example, if the technology breaks down or some audience members are late. Furthermore, if your presentation lasts only 20 minutes and your audience thus remains attentive, you will still have enough time for questions and discussion afterwards.

For more advice on how to create a short presentation, take a look at our blog article on ‘short presentations in PowerPoint’.

30 pt font

A common problem with PowerPoint slides is that they are overloaded with text. There is a risk that your audience will quickly become bored and that you will be tempted to read from the slides instead of speaking freely.

Better: Identify your presentations key points and explain these well. Many presentations are created with a small font size. If you stick to the 10/20/30 rule and use a 30 pt font size, you can only include the most important text onto your slides. And if you feel like 30pt is way too big: even using 20pt can already help.

Conclusion: Use the 10/20/30 rule for better presentation!

Make sure your audience doesn’t forget your presentation anytime soon and put quality over quantity with Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule!

Do you have questions about the 10/20/30 rule or about PowerPoint in general? Don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. We will be happy to help you!

Are you looking for visually supportive and professionally designed slide templates? Take a look around in our shop. Here we have numerous prepared slides for you to download on a wide variety of (business) topics. Take a look today! To the shop

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