Guy’s 10-20-30 Rule

Yesterday, Guy Kawasaki publicized his 10-20-30 rule for presentations on his weblog. There is much to say pro and contra that rule. But, first we have to understand who this piece of advise is aimed at. Guy is a venture capitalist, and feels extremely bothered by boring sales pitches of startups looking for investors. As an act of pure self-defense, he came up with a simple rule of thumb:

It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. — Guy Kawasaki

That might sound a little too simple, but for the purpose suggested it makes perfect sense. Besides, the core message applies to every presentation: Do not bother your audience with too much information. In a presentation, given about three years ago, he offered one more advise: Do not read out loud your slides if you don’t want to look stupid:

If you start reading your material because you don’t know your material the audience is very quickly going to figure out that you are a bozo. They’re gonna say to themselves, “This bozo is reading his slides. I can read faster than this bozo can speak. I will just read ahead…” — Guy Kawasaki

We thought we might have Guy say it. After all, it could offend quite a few people we know personally… (For the non-native speakers who don’t know the word: A bozo is the equivalent of an idiot.)

Guy Kawasaki is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He is currently a Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, and has been involved in the rumor reporting site, Truemors, and an RSS aggregator, Alltop. (Wikipedia)

Axel Wendelberger