What is the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint Presentations?

Presentations are a significant part of team workflow. Presentations keep everyone on the same page from internal communications and reporting to client-facing proposals and pitches. Even though collaboration is great but having too many people can make things messy. It is important to have brand rules and guidelines in place to make sure all firm decks are professional and consistent.

What is the 10/20/30 rule for presentations?

The widespread rule was invented by Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur, speaker, evangelist, and Silicon-valley based author. He suffers from a disease that shows symptoms like occasional hearing loss, a constant ringing sound, and vertigo which is claimed to be triggered by boring presentations. The disease is known as Meniere’s disease which inspired him to create the presentation rule and put a stop to snooze-worthy pitches once and for all. Since he is a venture capitalist, he has a good grasp of entrepreneurship, pitches, and all these things.

To rescue the venture capital association from boring presentations and death by PowerPoint, he coined the 10/20/30 rule for presentations which states:

a presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.
Source: beautiful.ai


Importance of the 10/20/30 Rule

Even if you are presenting a ground-breaking topic to an interested audience, they still might lose interest by distraction and boredom. Guy Kawasaki’s rule makes sure that the presentation is legible and concise which makes it more retainable resulting in larger wins for the team.

10 Slides

You should know that less is always more when we talk about presentations and Guy Kawasaki’s rule truly drives that point home. We cannot expect the audience to remember and comprehend more than 10 concepts from one meeting. So, we should keep the presentation up to 10 slides. Each slide should concentrate on and emphasize its key takeaway and it should be crystal clear about what we want the audience to learn from the presentation. This is a good thumb rule for proposals, internal meetings, and sales decks which Kawasaki applies to the venture capitalist world.

20 minutes

Before we get into the detail of what this heading means, ask yourself when was the last time you attended a 90-minute presentation and thought to remember it all. Probably, your answer would be never. Since it is perfectly normal for people to lose focus and get distracted while sitting through a presentation and it has nothing to do with the topic.
The presentation should be short and sweet to keep your audience engaged and interested. Despite how many minutes you have blocked out for the meeting, your team should aim to keep their presentation under 20 minutes and wrap up it in the given time. If by chance, you get some time left on your hands then use it for discussion and answer any queries from the audience.

30 Point Font

The last thing in this rule is that you should be mindful of the font size because if the audience has to struggle to read your slides, then they won’t bother reading them at all. Irrespective of the age group of the audience, no one wants to stain their eyes in a 20-minute presentation.

Kawasaki’s thumb rule is to keep all the text to a 30-point font or larger. Needless the say, the larger the font, the lesser will be the text it will be able to fit. So, it is essential to decide about the information you necessarily need on the slide and what you can just remove. By creating more legible slides for the audience, you are encouraging them to follow along.


At Share Presentation, the whole team helps team members collaborate with content management and branding control settings in place so that less design-savvy departments can’t mess up the deck. But even so, your team might need some additional rules to help them achieve the highly effective and efficient deck possible.

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