Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint

Guy Kawasaki was one of my first mentors when I decided to be an entrepreneur. I've never met him but have read all his books and followed his career from Apple Computer (AAPL) to Venture Capitalist. To the best of my knowledge he is the original author of the 10/20/30 Rule of Powerpoint.

I think this is excellent advice for giving a sales presentation with PowePoint and would encourage you to read his thoughts. The points are simple and include the following:

1. A PowePoint presentation should have ten slides.
2. The presentation should last no longer than twenty minutes.
3. The presentation should contain font no smaller than thirty point.

Speaking from personal experience, which I outlined here, I would say Guy's recommendations are great food for thought! Obviously, there is no one way to give a presentation but these are excellent guidelines that I encourage my clients to incorporate into their sales presentations.

He feels that ten is the optimum number of slides you should use because the normal individual cannot comprehend more than 10 concepts in one meeting. Personally, I feel that is a lot of material and would encourage 3 major points and maybe 3 subpoints. Again, let me stress there is no one right way, but 10 points are a lot for your audience to take away. I hope all my friends in the financial services industry are reading this! They are clearly the biggest violators of these suggestions :)

He concludes by listing the 10 topics that venture capitalists care about:
1. Problem
2. Your Solution
3. Business Model
4. Underlying magic/technology
5. Marketing and sales
6. Competition
7. Team
8. Projections and milestones
9. Status and timeline
10. Summary and call to action

Good thoughts and good suggestions for your next sales presentation!

Steve Mertz
Don't Kill Em With PowePoint!

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