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We’ve all been there – sat in a session where a presenter has bored us to tears with endless bullet points or reading from their slideshow… It’s tricky… we want to make sure we don’t leave anything out or forget things but the danger is the audience totally disengage and you’ve lost them.

Have you heard about the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint? Developed by Guy Kawasaki, a successful venture capitalist, he says that keeping your presentation compact still allows you to get your message across.

Each presentation should have no more than 10 slides
It seems today we are pulled in all directions and our attention spans are shorter than ever. Ten slides allow you to get all the important topics across without going off at tangents and boring your audience senseless. So for example, Kawasaki suggests for a venture capitalist, the ten slides would have the following themes:

1. Problem
2. Solution
3. Business model
4. Underlying magic/technology
5. Marketing and sales
6. Competition
7. Team
8. Projects and milestones
9. Status and timeline
10. Summary and call to action

Each presentation should not last longer than 20 minutes
But I’ve been given a longer slot, you cry! Well, people often arrive late, there are quite often issues with technology and if you interest your audience and engage with them, they are far more likely to ask questions and engage in discussion. You will have room for a Q&A at the end instead of having to speed read your last few slides to keep to the time slot!

Each presentation should not contain font smaller than 30 points
Another thing we’ve probably all experienced – squinting at the presentation as too much text is jammed on the slide and we can barely see it.  Or we can end up just reading out the points in our head, jumping ahead of the speaker and falling out of synch with what they are saying. Keeping your text to a minimum and talking around it rather than reading things out shows that you know what you are talking about and you will retain audience interest.

You might not be a venture capitalist, but you can sharpen up your presentation skills using Kawasaki’s rule which he says are applicable to any type of presentation – raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership and so on.

Read more about Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint here.

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