“The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.” – Lilly Walters.

Kawasaki advocated the 10-20-30 rule of PowerPoint, which banks on the idea that a presentation “should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.”

Created in 2005, this idea still very applicable in today’s business world. The formula is simple:

10 slides. 10 is an excellent number of slides for a PowerPoint presentation. Kawasi explains that any normal being cannot grasp more than 10 different concepts in one meeting. Below Kawasi lists the ten topics venture capitalists take into account in a presentation.

“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:

  • Problem
  • Your solution
  • Business model
  • Underlying magic/technology
  • Marketing and sales
  • Competition
  • Team
  • Projections and milestones
  • Status and timeline
  • Summary and call to action”

20 minutes. You should present your ten slides in twenty minutes. Kawasi recommends this short time so that the remainder forty minutes are spent in Q&As – that is if there are no technical problems or if people do not arrive or leave earlier.

Thirty-point font. Use a big font – size 30 – in all the slides.According to Kawasi “The reason people use a small font is twofold: first, that 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. If “thirty points,” is too dogmatic, the I offer you an algorithm: find out the age of the oldest person in your audience and divide it by two. That’s your optimal font size.”

In the video below, Kawasi explains in his own words the 10/20/30 Rule.