Improve Your PowerPoint Presentations with Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 Rule

Last Updated May 3, 2010 9:06 AM EDT

Do PowerPoint presentations put you to sleep -- or at least put your brain's higher reasoning facilities to sleep? Sure, it can happen, especially during presentations which are especially bad.

Earlier today, I told you about how some senior military leaders are starting to believe that PowerPoint is eating our brains. If you really must build a PowerPoint presentation, here's one antidote.


Internet guru Guy Kawasaki has long advocated something called the 10/20/30 Rule, designed to encourage you to make smarter, sharper, more effective presentations. Here's what you need to know:

10 slides. Guy says this is the optimal number of slides because humans cant process more than ten concepts in a single sitting.

20 minutes. The whole pitch should take no more than 20 minutes. If you book an hour, that gives you nearly 40 minutes for questions.

30-point font. That's the smallest your text should appear anywhere in the deck. If you make the text smaller, you're going to be tempted to just pour your whole narrative onto the slides and read from the deck -- which is a fatal error which will cost you your audience's respect and attention. [via ReadWrite]

While you're updating your PowerPoint shtick, be sure to brush up on other ways to improve your presentations: