Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint

As a venture capitalist, I have to listen to hundreds of entrepreneurs pitch their companies. These pitches are so lousy that I’m losing my hearing, there’s a constant ringing in my ear, and every once in while the world starts spinning. Before there is an epidemic of this disease in the venture capital community, I am trying to evangelize the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.

Guy Kawasaki, Serial entrepreneur,

Author of “Art of the Start”

This is the Guy Kawasaki 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint:

  • 10 slides,
  • 20 minutes (or less), and
  • 30 points font (or more).

You desire simplicity?

Here it is.


If you want something much more complex to redeem your intellectual self, it is unlikely that you will find anything of much use on this blog. Except, of course, a recommendation that you read this book. Throw away all your self-improvement books, and read this. Embrace simplicity. (By the way, since we are talking about simplicity, watch what happens if Microsoft had packaged the iPod. And how in the war of search engines, Google evolved, while Yahoo devolved, all through simplicity).

But I digress.

According to Kawasaki, if you can’t compress all your information on to 10 slides, using 20 minutes and a font size of 30, then you are probably saying too much for one presentation.

I think the key problem area #1 is a small font size. The adverse effects of this? One, there is too much data on each slide, which makes audiences zone out. Plus, as the presenter, you might be tempted to read out the whole slide – that is really bad, since the audience can read faster than you and thus you and the audience will be out of synch.

Back to Kawasaki now:

“So please observe the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. If nothing else, the next time someone in your audience complains of hearing loss, ringing, or vertigo, you’ll know you didn’t cause the epidemic.”

You can read the original article by Guy Kawasaki, here.

Published in: on April 7, 2008 at 9:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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