slide presentation 10 20 30

Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Presentations > Implementing The 10-20-30 Rule of PowerPoint

Implementing The 10-20-30 Rule of PowerPoint

If you’re not used to making a PowerPoint presentation , it can be tough to know how long to make it and how to format the slides. On the other side of the coin: you might overthink your presentation and put too much information on too many slides.

A top down view of someone using a laptop to prepare a PowerPoint presentation.

With help from the 10-20-30 rule, you can make a PowerPoint presentation that’s engaging and efficient . The guidelines for this rule are as follows:

  • No more than 10 slides.
  • No longer than 20 minutes.
  • No larger than 30-point font.

Let’s look deeper at the 10-20-30 PowerPoint rule, why it’s a good rule to follow and things to do to follow this guideline.

Tell your story with captivating presentations Banner

Tell your story with captivating presentations

Powerpoint empowers you to develop well-designed content across all your devices

Don’t use more than 10 slides. A good presenter shouldn’t have to (or want to) lean heavily on their PowerPoint slides. The slides should be a supplement for your presentation, not the headliner. Limiting to 10 slides will ensure that you’re not going over the top with the length of your presentation and keeps it moving. Your slide count should include both your title and conclusion. A presentation that goes on any longer than 10 slides will distract from what you’re saying and starts to feel like an information overload.

Keep your presentation 20 minutes MAX. During a presentation, people start tuning out after about 10 minutes.Limiting your presentation to this length will ensure that your audience will remember much of what you’re saying. If you’re covering a more complex topic and need more time, stick to the 20-minute MAX rule—it’s much easier to schedule your presentation by timing each slide down to about two minutes. That feels like a much more manageable timeframe, doesn’t it?

Don’t use fonts smaller than size 30. A 30-point font is a great minimum size because it ensures that your text is easy to read from a distance. The recommended guideline to make your presentation accessible to those who might be visually impaired is a 24-point font. Upping the size to 30 is a significant difference, and you can be confident that your audience can see what you’ve written. In addition, choose a font that’s easy to read. For years it was recommended that you stick solely to sans-serif fonts with digital media because serifs could blur together, making certain fonts hard to read. High-resolution screens have nearly eliminated this problem, so some serif fonts can be used and are easy to read in PowerPoint presentations.

A person researching and taking notes from a laptop as they prepare a PowerPoint presentation.

Tips for sticking to these guidelines. It’s not always easy to cut down your presentation to fit the 30-20-10 rule if you’re presenting a lot of information. Follow these tips while putting together your presentation to make the entire process easier on yourself:

  • Limit text to the 6×6 rule. It can feel like there are a lot of rules for making a PowerPoint presentation, but they’re all there to help you make a well-organized and engaging presentation. The 6×6 rule suggests that you don’t use more than six lines or bullet points on each slide and limit each line or bullet point to six words. Following the 6×6 rule helps to ensure that you’re limiting the amount of information on your slides so you can continue to present it rather than have your audience read it.
  • Use visuals instead. Visuals like graphics, animated gifs, and videos can help to keep your audience engaged . Including visuals with your presentation will also help you limit the amount of time and content on each slide. A graph or illustration on the right side of your slide limits the amount of space you have on the left side. This can help to minimize the amount of text you have.
  • Practice makes perfect. There’s a very cool, free tool called PowerPoint Speaker Coach , which leverages AI to help you nail your presentation. Speaker coach gives you feedback on your pace, pitch, use of filler words, poor grammar, lack of originality, use of sensitive phrases, and more as you rehearse your presentation. You’ll get a Summary Report at the end—with key pieces of feedback to help you become a confident presenter .

Use the 10-20-30 PowerPoint rule and these other tips to keep your presentation simple. Whether you’re a college student presenting a class project or a teen making the case for a new car, following these guidelines will help.

Get started with Microsoft 365

It’s the Office you know, plus the tools to help you work better together, so you can get more done—anytime, anywhere.

Topics in this article

More articles like this one.

slide presentation 10 20 30

How to create an educational presentation

Use PowerPoint to create dynamic and engaging presentations that foster effective learning.

slide presentation 10 20 30

Five tips for choosing the right PowerPoint template

Choose an appropriate PowerPoint template to elevate your presentation’s storytelling. Consider time length, audience and other presentation elements when selecting a template.

slide presentation 10 20 30

How you can use AI to help you make the perfect presentation handouts

Learn how AI can help you organize and create handouts for your next presentation.

slide presentation 10 20 30

How to use AI to help improve your presentations

Your PowerPoint presentations are about to get a boost when you use AI to improve a PowerPoint presentation.

Microsoft 365 Logo

Everything you need to achieve more in less time

Get powerful productivity and security apps with Microsoft 365

LinkedIn Logo

Explore Other Categories

Home Blog Presentation Ideas Understanding the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint Presentations

Understanding the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint Presentations

Cover for Understanding the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint Presentations

Imagine sitting through a seemingly never-ending presentation. The speaker rambled on, reading from text-heavy slides, using a tiny font that strained your eyes, and failing to connect with the audience. As the minutes ticked by, you found yourself daydreaming and eagerly awaiting the end of the ordeal.

If you have been in this situation, then you know what to do if you were in the presenter’s shoes – make your presentations concise. But how do you even start?

You can follow several techniques when preparing your deck and your presentation as a whole. One of them is the 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint , a presentation rule championed by Guy Kawasaki – a former Apple employee and a marketing specialist.

Table of Contents

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

Applying guy kawasaki’s 10 slide template in any presentation, the 20 minutes rule, the 30-point font rule, the benefits of using the 10/20/30 rule, tips for applying the 10/20/30 rule to your presentation.

The idea of the 10/20/30 rule is easy to understand, which is summed up in three points.

  • Your presentation should consist of no more than 10 slides .
  • Your presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes .
  • The text on each slide should be no lower than 30 points in size .

Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule emphasizes brevity, focus, and visual appeal to keep your audience engaged and deliver your message effectively.

Let’s examine each rule and explore how to apply it to your presentations.

The 10 Slides Rule

Kawasaki argues that a typical person can only take 10 concepts in one sitting. Therefore, according to him, a presentation should only consist of 10 slides, each serving a specific purpose and conveying a distinct concept.

This insight underscores the importance of concise, focused presentations that prioritize key messages and avoid overwhelming the audience with too much information.

If you are a business presenter struggling to develop a pitch deck , Kawasaki suggests a 10-slide PowerPoint template that includes what venture capitalists like him care about.

  • Title – Includes the business name, the presenter’s name, contacts, etc.
  • Problem/Opportunity – Highlights pain points or unmet needs of customers you aim to solve.
  • Value Proposition – Articulates the value or benefits of your product or service.
  • Underlying Magic – Explains the key technology that goes into your product or service offers.
  • Business Model – Describes how you plan to generate revenue.
  • Go-to-Market Plan – Outlines your strategy for bringing your product or service to market, e.g., marketing and sales plan .
  • Competitive Analysis – Explains how your business is positioned to compete and capture market share.
  • Management Team – Highlights your management team’s skills, experience, and expertise that will drive the success of your business.
  • Financial Projections and Key Metrics – Highlights your business’s financial viability and potential profitability.
  • Current Status, Accomplishments to Date, Timeline, and Use of Funds – Provides an overview of your current business status, any accomplishments or milestones achieved to date, the timeline for future milestones, and how you plan to use the funds you seek.

Infographic showcasing the 10 slides needed for any PowerPoint presentation

The 10 rule slide was specifically designed for startup and business presentations , focusing on pitching a business idea or concept to potential investors . However, it can also be a useful framework for other types of presentations that don’t deal with selling a service or product.

For example, if you are a lecturer, you can emulate Kawasaki’s PowerPoint template layout and reduce your presentation to 10 slides. Some slides might not be relevant to the nature of your topic, so replace them with one that works for your presentation. Using PPT templates helps you focus on the graphical aspect so you can articulate the content to fit into exactly 10 slides (while preserving the same aesthetic).

Let’s say you are a mindfulness expert talking about the benefits of meditation. The first three slides of Kawazaki’s workflow may be applied as you’ll need to establish your audience’s pain points and your solution.

However, you may need to modify the remaining slides as you’re not seeking to make a sale or raise funding. You may use them instead to discuss the main content of your presentation – in this case, the benefits of meditation. The last two slides may contain your conclusions and call to action, respectively.

Time constraints in presentations - Example of an illustration with a woman presenting a presentation and depicting time constraints.

Now, off to the second part of the 10/20/30 presentation rule.

According to Kawasaki, you only have 20 minutes to present your 10 slides – the time needed before your audience’s attention starts declining. He believes it is long enough to convey a meaningful message but short enough to maintain the audience’s attention span.

This is exactly why most TED Talks or The Big Bang Theory episodes would only last for approximately 18 minutes. 

While giving longer presentations is possible, longer presentations may be more difficult to maintain audience engagement and attention.

Kawasaki’s final rule pertains to the font size that presenters can use. This rule suggests that presenters should use a font size of at least 30 points for all text in their slides , including titles, headings, and body text.

When creating presentations, it is common to jam each slide with text and information. This poses two possible problems:

  • First, it may take your audience’s attention from you as they may end up reading your whole presentation and stop listening to you. 
  • Second, including too much information can make your presentation overwhelming and difficult to follow.

Using a larger font size, you must include only the key points of your presentation slides. This prevents your audience from getting ahead of you and keeps them listening to you speak. By applying this rule, you are also ensuring your content is understandable for people with visual impairments. We highly recommend you check concepts from on how to make events accessible, as some of these rules can benefit your audience.

Presenters often ask themselves whether is worth applying a new framework for their presentation design and delivery. The reality is that the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint Presentations is one of the most effective methods to build your presentation skills . In the list below, we expose the main benefits of this framework for presenters.

Concise and Focused Presentation

With a limited number of slides and a strict time limit, the 10/20/30 encourages you to choose the most relevant content and eliminate unnecessary information carefully. This avoids overwhelming your audience with too much information and ensures your key message is clear and memorable.

Improved Audience Engagement

This rule encourages presenters to focus on delivering a clear message rather than overwhelming the audience with flashy visuals. With fewer slides and a shorter duration, you are likelier to hold your audience’s attention throughout the presentation. This also allows you to address questions from the audience, leading to better interaction and a productive meeting.

Increased Chance of Success

Whether pitching to investors or selling a product, a concise and focused presentation can significantly increase your chances of success. The 10/20/30 rule helps you effectively communicate your value proposition and address potential concerns. This makes your presentation more persuasive and memorable, increasing the likelihood of securing funding or closing a sale.

Time Management

The more senior the person you present to, the lesser time you got to make your case and convey your message. Following the 10/20/30 encourages you to be mindful of the time and deliver your presentation within the allocated timeframe. It also allows you to show respect for your audience’s time.

1. Present One Idea Per Slide

Overpopulating slides with content

Following Kawasaki’s rule on creating your PowerPoint presentation, identify the key points you want to convey to your audience and allocate one slide for each.

Presenting one idea per slide can help your audience stay focused on the topic at hand.  It makes it easier for them to understand and remember your message, as it reduces the amount of information they have to process at once. When there’s too much information on a slide, it can be overwhelming and distracting, making it difficult for your audience to stay engaged and attentive.

Presenting one idea per slide can also help you control the flow of information and ensure that you cover all of your main points.

2. Keep Your Slides Simple

As mentioned earlier, the 10/20/30 rule emphasizes simplicity. Keep your slides simple and avoid flashy design elements that may distract your audience.

Use a consistent color scheme , font style, and layout throughout your presentation. This will help your audience follow along and focus on your message.

3. Balance Text and Visuals

Visuals like images, charts, graphs, videos, and diagrams can help break up text-heavy slides and make your presentation more interesting and memorable. However, relying solely on images can also be ineffective and lead to confusion or disengagement.

When using visuals in your slides, it’s important to balance text and images. Text can provide important context and details, while images can help illustrate key points and make your presentation visually appealing.

Let’s say you want to inform your audience of your company’s marketing plan . Using a rising spiral template is an excellent choice since it can represent multiple plan stages with increasing intensity.

Balance between text and graphics in slides - Example showing a funnel slide design with four levels.

4. Break Down Your Presentation into Smaller Units and Make it Interactive

Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule only gives you 20 minutes to wrap up the whole presentation, but what if you need more than that?

It’s not uncommon to give presentations that last 45 minutes to an hour – for instance, if you are giving a lecture or facilitating a training workshop for employees. The longer your presentation, however, the harder it will be to hold your audience’s attention.

One great way to keep them engaged is to divide your presentation into smaller units and pause in between.

So, before the guy from the third row starts yawning, plan in-between activities to reenergize your audience and reacquire their attention. It can be a simple Q&A session, interactive exercises, or team-building activities.

Don’t forget to time your activities so they won’t disrupt the flow of your presentation.

5. Start Strong

The opening of your presentation is critical in capturing your audience’s attention and setting the tone for the rest of the presentation. Start with a compelling hook, such as a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or an engaging story, to grab your audience’s attention. Clearly state the purpose and objectives of your presentation to establish the context and provide a roadmap for what’s to come.

6. End Strong

Your outro is as important as your introduction. So, instead of ending your presentation with a flat Thank you slide , use the opportunity to nudge your audience to action.

Using a summary slide is one of the ways you can end your presentation if your goal is to reinforce your key points. It can be a useful reference for the audience, helping them remember the most important information.

You can also encourage your audience to take action based on what they’ve learned in your presentation. This can be a great way to motivate them to apply the concepts you’ve covered.

The 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint is a useful framework to emulate in creating your presentation.

There are questions about the practicality of its application outside the business context. However, we can agree that it teaches us valuable insight – keeping presentations concise as possible. Limiting the number of slides, adhering to a strict time limit, and using a larger font size can create a concise presentation that effectively communicates your message.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to presenting; you don’t have to strictly follow Kawasaki’s rule. Depending on the audience and the topic, modify the template and adapt your presentation to suit the situation.

slide presentation 10 20 30

Like this article? Please share

Presentation Approaches, Presentation Skills Filed under Presentation Ideas

Related Articles

How to Make a Presentation Graph

Filed under Design • March 27th, 2024

How to Make a Presentation Graph

Detailed step-by-step instructions to master the art of how to make a presentation graph in PowerPoint and Google Slides. Check it out!

How to Make a Fundraising Presentation (with Thermometer Templates & Slides)

Filed under Presentation Ideas • February 29th, 2024

How to Make a Fundraising Presentation (with Thermometer Templates & Slides)

Meet a new framework to design fundraising presentations by harnessing the power of fundraising thermometer templates. Detailed guide with examples.

How to Create a 5 Minutes Presentation

Filed under Presentation Ideas • February 15th, 2024

How to Create a 5 Minutes Presentation

Master the art of short-format speeches like the 5 minutes presentation with this article. Insights on content structure, audience engagement and more.

Leave a Reply

slide presentation 10 20 30

The 10 20 30 Rule: What it is and 3 Reasons to Use it in 2023

The 10 20 30 Rule: What it is and 3 Reasons to Use it in 2023

Lawrence Haywood • 25 Oct 2023 • 8 min read

We don’t know you, but we guarantee you have experienced a PowerPoint presentation that’s gone on far too long . You’re 25 slides deep, 15 minutes in and have had your open-minded attitude comprehensively battered by walls upon walls of text.

Well, if you’re veteran marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki, you make sure this never happens again.

You invent the 10 20 30 rule . It’s the holy grail for PowerPoint presenters and a guiding light to more engaging, more converting presentations.

At AhaSlides, we love great presentations. We’re here to give you everything you need to know about the 10 20 30 rule and how to implement it in your seminars, webinars and meetings.

Table of Contents

What is the 10 20 30 rule.

  • 3 Reasons to Use 10 20 30

More Great Tips for Presentations

More tips with ahaslides, frequently asked questions.

  • Types of Presentation
  • How to make a 5 minute presentation

Alternative Text

Start in seconds.

Get free templates for your next interactive presentation. Sign up for free and take what you want from the template library!

But, the 10-20-30 rule of PowerPoint is a collection of 3 golden principles to abide by in your presentations.

It’s the rule that your presentation should…

  • Contain a maximum of 10 slides
  • Be a maximum length of 20 minutes
  • Have a minimum font size of 30

The whole reason Guy Kawasaki came up with the rule was to make presentations more engaging .

The 10 20 30 rule may seem overly restricting at first glance, but as is necessary in today’s attention crisis, it’s a principle that helps you make maximum impact with minimal content.

Let’s dive in…

The 10 Slides

The 10 20 30 rule of PowerPoint presentations in Stockholm.

Many people are confused with questions like “How many slides for 20 minutes?” or “How many slides for a 40-minute presentation?”. Guy Kawasaki says ten slides ‘is what the mind can handle’. Your presentation should get a maximum of 10 points across 10 slides.

The natural tendency when presenting is to try and unload as much information as possible on the audience. Audiences don’t just absorb information like a collective sponge; they need time and space to process what’s being presented.

For the pitchers out there looking to make the perfect pitch presentation, Guy Kawasaki already has your 10 slides for you :

  • Problem/Opportunity
  • Value Proposition
  • Underlying Magic
  • Business Model
  • Go-to-Market Plan
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Management Team
  • Financial Projections and Key Metrics
  • Current Status, Accomplishments to Date, Timeline, and Use of Funds.

But remember, the 10-20-30 rule doesn’t just apply to business . If you’re a university lecturer, making a speech at a wedding or trying to enlist your friends in a pyramid scheme, there’s always a way to limit the number of slides you’re using.

Keeping your slides to a compact ten may be the most challenging part of the 10 20 30 rule, but it’s also the most crucial.

Sure, you’ve got a lot to say, but doesn’t everyone pitch an idea, lecturing at university or signing their friends up to Herbalife? Whittle it down to 10 or fewer slides, and the next part of the 10 20 30 rule will follow.

The 20 Minutes

The importance of having a 20 minute presentation.

If you’ve ever been turned off an episode of a Netflix Original because it’s an hour and a half long, think about those poor audiences around the world who are, right now, sitting in hour-long presentations.

The middle section of the 10 20 30 rule says that a presentation should never be longer than an episode of the Simpsons.

That’s a given, considering that if most people can’t even entirely focus through Season 3’s excellent Homer at the Bat , how will they manage a 40-minute presentation about projected lanyard sales in the next quarter?

The Perfect 20-Minute Presentation

  • Intro (1 minute) – Don’t get caught up in the panache and showmanship of the opening. Your audience already knows why they’re there, and drawing out the intro gives them the impression that this presentation will be extended . A lengthy introduction dissolves the focus before the production even begins.
  • Pose a question / Illuminate the problem (4 minutes) – Get straight into what this presentation is trying to solve. Bring up the main topic of the production and emphasise its importance through data and/or real-world examples. Gather audience opinions to foster focus and illustrate the prominence of the problem.
  • Main body (13 minutes) – Naturally, this is the entire reason for the presentation. Offer information that attempts to answer or resolve your question or problem. Provide visual facts and figures that support what you’re saying and transition between slides to form the cohesive body of your argument.
  • Conclusion (2 minutes) – Provide a summary of the problem and the points you’ve made that resolve it. This consolidates the audience members’ information before they ask you about it in the Q&A.

As Guy Kawasaki states, a 20-minute presentation leaves 40 minutes for questions. This is an excellent ratio to aim for as it encourages audience participation.

AhaSlides’ Q&A feature is the perfect tool for those after-pres questions. Whether you’re presenting in-person or online, an interactive Q&A slide gives power to the audience and lets you address their real concerns.

💡 20 minutes still sounding too long? Why not try a 5-minute presentation ?

The 30 Point Font

The importance of large text in the 10 20 30 rule.

One of the biggest audience grievances about PowerPoint presentations is the presenter’s tendency to read their slides aloud.

There are two reasons why this flies in the face of everything the 10-20-30 rule represents.

The first is that the audience reads faster than the presenter speaks, which causes impatience and loss of focus. The second is that it suggests that the slide includes way too much text information .

So, which is true about font use in presentation slides?

This is where the final segment of the 10 20 30 rule comes in. Mr Kawasaki accepts absolutely nothing less than a 30pt. a font when it comes to text on your PowerPoints, and he’s got two reasons why…

  • Limiting the amount of text per slide – Capping each fall with a certain number of words means you won’t be tempted to read the information aloud simply. Your audience will remember 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read , so keep text to a minimum.
  • Breaking down the points – Less text means shorter sentences that are easier to digest. The final part of the 10 20 30 rule cuts out the waffle and gets straight to the point.

Suppose you’re thinking of a 30pt. the font isn’t radical enough for you, check out what marketing guru Seth Godin suggests:

No more than six words on a slide. EVER. There is no presentation so complex that this rule needs to be broken. Seth Godin

It’s up to you whether you want to include 6 or more words on a slide, but regardless, the message of Godin and Kawasaki is loud and clear: less text , more presenting .

3 Reasons to Use the 10 20 30 Rule

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s Guy Kawasaki himself recapping the 10 20 30 rule and explaining why he came up with it.

So, we’ve discussed how you can benefit from the individual sections of the 10 20 30 rule. From Kawasaki’s presentation, let’s talk about how Kawasaki’s principle can raise the level of your presentations.

  • More engaging – Naturally, shorter presentations with less text encourage more speaking and visuals. It’s easy to hide behind the text, but the most exciting presentations out there are manifested in what the speaker says, not what they show.
  • More direct – Following the 10 20 30 rule promotes the necessary information and slashes the redundant. When you force yourself to make it as brief as possible, you naturally prioritise the key points and keep your audience focused on what you want.
  • More memorable – Pooling the focus and giving an attractive, visual-centred presentation results in something more special. Your audience will leave your presentation with the correct information and a more positive attitude towards it.

You may be one of the millions of presenters migrating to online presentations. If so, the 10 20 30 rule can be one of many tips to make your webinars more captivating .

Remember that experience we talked about in the intro? The one that makes you want to melt into the floor to avoid the pain of another one-way, hour-long presentation?

Well, it has a name: Death by PowerPoint . We have a whole article on Death by PowerPoint and how you can avoid committing this sin in your presentations.

Trying out the 10-20-30 rule is a great place to start, but here are some other ways to spice up your presentation.

Tip #1 – Make it Visual

That ‘6 words per slide’ rule that Seth Godin talks about may seem a little restricting, but its point is to make your slides more visual .

More visuals help to illustrate your concepts and heighten your audience’s memory of the critical points. You can expect them to walk away with 65% of your info remembered if you use images , videos , props and charts .

Compare that to the 10% memory rate of text-only slides, and you’ve got a compelling case to go visual!

Tip #2 – Make it Black

Another pro tip from Guy Kawasaki, here. A black background and white text is a far more potent than a white background and black text.

Black backgrounds scream professionalism and gravitas . Not only that, but light text (preferably a bit greyer rather than pure white) is easier to read and scan.

White heading text against a coloured background also stands out more. Be sure to leverage your use of black and coloured backgrounds to impress rather than overwhelm.

Tip #3 – Make it Interactive

You might hate audience participation at the theatre, but the same rules don’t apply to presentations.

No matter what your subject is, you should always find a way to make it interactive . Getting your audience involved is fantastic for increasing focus, using more visuals and creating a dialogue about your topic that helps the audience feel valued and heard.

In today’s online meetings and remote work age, a free tool like AhaSlides is essential for creating this dialogue. You can use interactive polls, Q&A slides, word clouds and much more to gather and illustrate your data, and then even use a quiz to consolidate it.

Want to try this out for free? Click the button below to join thousands of happy users on AhaSlides!

Feature image courtesy of Life Hack .

Got a question? We've got answers.

What is 10/20/30 presentation rule?

How is 10 20 30 rule effective, what is 50-30-20 rule.

' src=

Lawrence Haywood

Former ESL teacher and quiz master converted to the wild slide. Now a content creator, traveller, musician and big time slider preaching the good word of interactivity.

More from AhaSlides

The 5/5/5 Rule: How and Why to Use It with Best Examples in 2023

February 9, 2024

Can't find what you're looking for?

Everything You Need To Know About 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint Presentations

Would you like to deliver a perfect presentation? Who wouldn’t! Here is an overview of the 10/20/30 Rule for making your presentations polished and perfect.

What's Inside?

What does the best presentation look like? We may not have an answer for that, but we have a clear answer for how a bad presentation looks. Think about a presentation that goes for over 30 minutes, goes over 15 slides, and is still counting, and the speaker reads texts on the slides. Is there anyone even still listening? Most of the audience fell asleep, looking at their phone or daydreaming at this point. 

So, what was wrong with this presentation? What should the speaker do for their next presentation? Here is the 10/20/30 Rule! This rule will be your guideline to avoid horrible presentations. 

slide presentation 10 20 30

We prepared a comprehensive guide to create and deliver effective presentations by using the 10/20/30 Rule! If you want information about the 10/20/30 Rule, how to apply it to your presentation, its benefits and downsides, and some helpful tips from us for your next presentation, keep reading! 

Presentations in Our Life

Presentations are a ubiquitous part of our lives. In many settings, we can be asked to give presentations, convey information, share ideas, persuade others, or, as a recent trend, just for fun! In school, work, or maybe in your daily life, in a PowerPoint party , you may be asked to give presentations. 

slide presentation 10 20 30

What to Consider While Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation?

  • Topic and Purpose
  • Organization of the Slides
  • Design of the Slides
  • Delivery Style

You should choose your topic carefully. After choosing your topic, it is important to clearly describe your purpose for giving this presentation. Are you informing, persuading, inspiring, or entertaining? Knowing your purpose will shape your content and approach. Thus, it will create a roadmap for you to follow.

You should organize your slides. Of course, the title is the first slide, but what else comes after? You should outline your topic and organize your slides accordingly. The slides should keep up with the flow of the presentation and support the presenter.

Your slides shouldn't be dull. The slides should contain attention-grabbing designs. Otherwise, you may subject your audience to Death by PowerPoint. In other words, you will bore them to death with your presentation .

There should be a set time limit for delivery. The last thing you want in a presentation is to run around in circles and repeat. You should try to keep it as short as possible, of course keeping in mind the goal for your delivery. Remember that people's attention span is limited. Thus, giving a longer presentation than it should be is never a good idea. The last thing you want is for the audience to stop listening to you.

Your delivery is the most important part of the presentation. You may spend hours on your presentation design, but in the end, you are the one who will present it. Be sure to practice beforehand. Prepare your presentation according to the time limit and focus on your pronunciation. Practice for a smooth delivery. Try to be natural and confident when presenting!

Although you should consider these points for your presentation, you can also apply the 10/20/30 rule for your presentation. This rule almost covers all the main points of a presentation to be perfect! Capture your audience and deliver your point flawlessly!

What is the 10/20/30 Rule?  

  The 10/20/30 Rule refers to a presentation formula for the best and most effective presentations. This rule provides a valuable framework, emphasizing the importance of organization, time management, and legible text. According to this formula:

  • You should have 10 slides
  • The presentation should last 20 minutes
  • The slides should have at least a 30-point font

10/20/30 Rule

The 10/20/30 rule was coined by Guy Kawasaki , who is one of the early pioneers of Silicon Valley, now working as the chief evangelist of Canva . Back in 2006, Kawasaki was working as a venture specialist. After seeing enough presentations, which was a lot, he was able to analyze what makes a presentation better or worse than others. That’s when the 10/20/30 rule was born!

Here is Guy Kawasaki explaining the 10/20/30 Rule in a minute:

Who can use the 10/20/30 Rule in the Slides?

Kawasaki created this formula based on his experiences as a venture specialist. Therefore, this formula can be used for marketers. Presentations are different from advertisements . Presentations should be visually engaging, informative, and supportive of the presenter in times of need. 

The 10/20/30 rule idea can be used for any presentation made with the purpose of reaching an agreement: a pitch deck , making a sale , raising capital, and so on. 

However, if you have other aims for your presentation, you can still take the key points for your presentation. It is important to understand that this rule focuses on the structure of a presentation. This includes the organization of the presentation, time limit, and design of your presentation. Whether you are a student , teacher , or worker, you can consider using the 10/20/30 rule for your presentations.

10/ 20/ 30 Rule for Your PowerPoint Presentation

10 slides is more than enough.

No more than 10 slides! As Kawasaki points out, the human mind is only able to comprehend 10 concepts in a meeting. If you have more than 10 slides, some of them are bound to be forgotten. Some may be forgotten before you even finish your presentation. It is important to use your slides as supporters and add key points only. You should prepare your topic and slides accordingly. 

Actually, Kawasaki also shared an outline to follow on a marketing presentation. By following this outline, you can deliver every important detail in your marketing presentation.

slide presentation 10 20 30

a. This slide should include your name, company name, contact information, and other information needed.

2. Problem/Opportunity

a. In this slide, you can explain the problem in the market and your solution to this problem. You should be able to explain what needs your product or service addresses and how.

3. Value Proposition

a. You should highlight the values and benefits of your product for the customers in this slide.

4. Underlying Magic

a. In this slide, explain the technology behind your business model. Depending on your product or service, you can keep this part shorter or longer. 

5. Business Model

a. Explain your plan to generate revenue and profit. After all, you are looking for an investment or agreement, so you should highlight this part! 

6. Go-to-Market Plan

a. In this part, explain your market or sales plan. You can show a roadmap for revenue goals, target customers, activities to achieve your goals, and some problems you may experience.

7. Competitive Analysis

a. In this slide, present your strategy that involves examining and analyzing your rivals in the market. In this way, you learn about their offerings, sales processes, and marketing strategies. In addition, add your stronger corporate strategies to gain market share.

8. Management Team

a. Highlight your team and their work! You may want to focus on your management team’s experience, skills, effectiveness, and knowledge of the product. 

9. Financial Projections and Key Metrics

a. Provide a set of financial statements for your business idea. Your future revenues and expenses should be presented in an estimated timeline. Present a budget plan! 

10. Current Status, Accomplishments to Date, Timeline, and Use of Funds.

a. In the last slide, you should talk about the current progress or developments in your business, achievements that you accomplished, a timeline for your future achievements, and how you plan to use the investments that you seek. 

While the 10/20/30 Rule provides a structured framework, you may want to adapt some parts of the outline for your presentation according to your topic. But in the end, it is more ideal that your outline should be similar to Kawasaki’s. 

20 Minutes is Ideal For Your Delivery

slide presentation 10 20 30

No longer than 20 minutes! People have a very short attention span; this includes your audience, too! Even if everything else in your presentation is perfect, a longer presentation will tire your audience, like a class that is longer than it should be. The longer your presentation gets, the more your audience will get distracted, tired, or bored. Similarly, you will become tired, too. That will make you more prone to make mistakes and repeat yourself.

Most TED Talks are 20 minutes or less, mostly around 10-ish minutes. This shows that you can get your point across effectively in 20 minutes, so don’t hesitate! It may seem short, but because they are fast-paced, they become more engaging. The important part is to get your point across and make your audience understand you!

You may be given more time to present. However, you should still keep your presentation to 20 minutes and leave your remaining time for questions, discussions, and comments. This will also prepare you for any hiccups out of your control. For example, people can arrive late, and there may be problems with the computer and projector. Because of these problems, some of your designated time can stolen. Even if you are given an hour, keeping your presentation 20 minutes will give you an advantage.   

30 Point Font is Better

slide presentation 10 20 30

No smaller than a 30-point font! Font rule is a very important part of the 10/20/30 Rule. Your presentation shouldn't have any small text. If you have texts that are usually in 10-point fonts, then you probably have chunks of text in your slides and will read from them during the presentation. As most of us have experienced, those presentations are very hard to listen to! After all, the audience can read faster than you speak. Therefore, the audience is ahead of you, and after they read, there is no need to listen to you. 

The purpose of 30-points is this: because it is a large font size, you won't be able to fit all the information you want to deliver. Only key points and main ideas will be in your presentation! As it should be! You can add key points and get support from your slides when needed.

Also, a smaller font means that it will be harder to read for your audience. So, rather than being supporting material, it captures your audience as they try to read the small fonts. What's ideal is for the audience to listen and pay attention to you and maybe take a quick glance at the presentation.

If you think it is a too strict rule, Kawasaki also proposes another idea. If you can, find the age of the oldest people in the audience. By dividing it into two, you will have your ideal font size. For example, if the oldest person in your audience is 50, then your font can be 25 points! 

It is up to you to choose your font size. However, we recommend 30 points!

Why Should Apply Kawasaki’s Rule or Not?

As with everything, there are ups and downs to using this formula for your presentations. Consider these for your presentation to decide whether to use the 10/20/30 rule. Keep in mind that some benefits can outweigh downsides and vice versa. You can analyze it according to your own audience and the context of your presentation.

The Benefits of Kawasaki’s Rule: 

There is an apparent structure Kawasaki’s Rule provides. With years of use, this formula has proven to be accurate and useful. The rule is specially designed for marketers, so the structure fits perfectly into a marketer's presentation. However, everyone can adapt the 10/20/30 rule for their presentation, as it focuses on the structure of the presentation.

Focused Presentation: 

With 10 slides and 20 minutes, 10/20/30 makes your presentation more concise and focused. A concise presentation shows your mastery of the topic. There is more virtue in getting your point across with fewer words rather than talking for hours. The aim is to give your information in a shorter way to make your content easier to understand. Also, it will be easier for your audience to remember what was said in the presentation afterward.

slide presentation 10 20 30

Response to Your Audience’s Needs:

10/20/30 is prepared by Kawasaki from his experiences as an audience. Thus, it is no surprise that the rule focuses on the audience's perspective more. With this audience-centered approach, keeping it shorter makes your audience more engaged. It is also easier to remember a short presentation afterward. 

The Downsides of Kawasaki’s Rule: 

Remember that this presentation rule was from the 2000s. So, some problems are addressing issues that are out of date.

Time Management Problems:  

Kawasaki points out that 20 minutes is enough for a presentation. However, sometimes it may not be. The 10 slides Kawasaki proposes can take longer than 20 minutes, and this is highly likely. So, for the sake of keeping up with the time limit and being brief, some valuable information can be missed. 

Furthermore, Kawasaki advises that even if an hour is given, the presentation still should be 20 minutes, and the rest should be left for the audience's questions. But trusting the audience's questions is always risky. What if there are no questions? Your presentation will be short and brief. 

slide presentation 10 20 30

Advanced Technology: 

We now use more high-definition projectors that are able to show smaller texts in better quality. In addition, presentation platforms have become more online. In a video-conference, a 30-point font size is unnecessary and not visually satisfying. Also, a 30-point font does not leave much space for a creative and unique design for your slides.

Some Tips For Your Next Slide

Technology and tools:.

Stay updated with the latest presentation tools and technologies, like Decktopus. Decktopus is a modern presentation tool that offers a range of features for creating visually appealing and engaging slides with the help of AI. Decktopus is easy to use and quick to create slides you want to show in your next marketing presentation. With Decktopus, it is impossible for your slides to not take the attention of your audience.

Having visually appealing and supporting slides is important! You may capture the audience with your speech, but you also should capture them visually! Use creative templates, designs, and graphics! You can easily create decks with various templates and visuals on Decktopus! Take a look !


Storytelling is an art and a dynamic tool for presentations! By sharing your story, you can make your presentation more memorable and engaging. You may want to create compelling narratives that draw in your audience and make them resonate on an emotional level. Storytelling makes you and your product more relatable for the audience. The audience becomes invested in your story and begins to care about you and your product.

Body Language and Delivery:

As we said, delivery is the key part of a presentation! Your body language gives underlying messages about your confidence and expertise. Practice non-verbal communication before your presentation. You may practice in front of a group of friends to get their advice! Don’t forget the most important ones: maintain eye contact, use gestures effectively, and project confidence!

Handling Questions:

Think about possible questions and your answers before your presentation! You may develop a few strategies for handling questions and addressing unexpected challenges during your presentation. Familiarize yourself with possible questions and objections against your claims, and come up with well-thought-out answers before your presentation. It is important to answer all the questions asked to show your expertise and mastery of the subject. You may conduct a Q&A session after your presentation, or you can take questions during the presentation, depending on the flow of your presentation.

Make It More Interactive:

Creating an interactive presentation will certainly increase your audience engagement and make your presentation more memorable. You may want to get your audience’s attention by adding their input to the presentation. For example, you can conduct a live question and answer session during your presentation and add the input of your audience to the narrative. Similarly, you can create a spontaneous survey or poll, to make your presentation more engaging. You can use some tools in your slides or simply ask people to raise their hands. Remember that most of the TED Talks start with a question!

By incorporating these additional ideas into your presentation, you can create and deliver effective presentations not only in marketing but in various contexts and settings!

How to Start?

Try Decktopus for creating your next presentation. You can follow the 10/20/30 Rule easily with customized slides! 

Decktopus is a presentation assistant that helps you create presentations. Once you answer enough questions about your slideshow, it can also build decks for you. After you answer the questions about your audience, how long your presentation will take, what your presentation is about, your aim, and your template, Decktopus will create a deck for you with images, titles, logos, writings, etc. Because you’ve given detailed information about what you want to present, you don’t have to change many things.

slide presentation 10 20 30

For your practice, you can use Rehearsal Mode in Decktopus ! You can rehearse and adjust the time for your presentation. You can still make changes that are needed after your practice!

In addition, Decktopus has many templates ! These will make your presentation more visually engaging and look more professional. As with the concept, let’s say you will make a presentation about marketing. Decktopus has over 15 marketing presentation templates! You can choose any template that goes with your concept or product!

Decktopus has you covered for your next presentation! If you want more information about how it is used, you can look at this video: 

slide presentation 10 20 30

In the fast-paced world we live in, effective presentations have become a vital skill. Whether you're a student, teacher, entrepreneur, or professional, the ability to convey your ideas clearly and persuasively can open doors and drive success. 10/20/30 Rule by Guy Kawasaki, born out of years of experience, offers a structured approach to crafting presentations that capture your audience's attention and deliver your message.

Effective presentations are not just about slides and bullet points; they are about your audience, sparking their interest and leaving a lasting impact. While presenting, storytelling, visuals, slides, engagement, and confidence are equally critical components you should consider.

slide presentation 10 20 30

So, for your next presentation journey, keep Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 Rule in mind. With practice, preparation, and a deep understanding of your content, you'll be well on your way to delivering presentations that inform, inspire, and engage.

In the end, presentations are not just about the slides; they're about the connections you build, the ideas you share, and the impact you make. Whether you're giving a sales pitch , a classroom lecture, or a TED Talk, the art of presenting is a skill that can empower you to achieve your goals and leave a lasting impression. 

slide presentation 10 20 30

Don't waste your time designing your presentations by yourself!

Type your content and let our platform design your presentations automatically. No more wasting time for your presentations. Use hundreds of presentation templates to impress your audience. This is the only tool you need to prepare presentations. Try our Presentation Builder today >>

Don’t waste your time by trying to make a website for all your content

Place your content links and let our platform design your bio link automatically. No more wasting time for your social content distribution. Use hundreds of presentation biolink to impress your audience. This is the only tool you need to prepare good-looking bio links. Try our Bio Link Builder today >>

Do You Want To Create a Presentation?

Latest Articles

slide presentation 10 20 30

March 28, 2024

Decoding Sales Strategies: Crafting the Best Sales Strategy Plan for Success

Unlock the secrets of successful sales strategies to achieve your sales goals and close more deals with a well-crafted sales strategy. Learn how to create an effective sales strategy plan to maximize your sales potential.

slide presentation 10 20 30

Marketing Campaigns: An Introduction with Definitions, Tactics, and How-To

Check out our in-depth guide on creating effective marketing campaigns. Learn how to improve your marketing game with these comprehensive templates, real-world examples, and successful tactics that work on a variety of platforms.

slide presentation 10 20 30

The Definitive Guide to Business-to-Business (B2B) Online Marketing

Master BB online marketing with our definitive guide SEO, content strategies, and PPC for businesses Boost your BB success now!

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips from Decktopus.

Let’s create a form here to get visitors’ email addresses.

Ready to dive in? Start your free trial today.

Frantically Speaking

The 10-20-30 PowerPoint Rule Explained For Beginners

Hrideep barot.

  • Presentation

Picture depicting the 10-20-30 rule of PowerPoint presentation.

I once attended a presentation that went on and on with no signs of ending. With every next slide, I was hoping it would be the last. The only thought in my head was, “When will this get over?”

Why do you think this was my reaction? Let me tell you why I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could.

The presentation I was attending had a million slides which in the start was helpful and informative to read but with each passing slide, it became increasingly difficult to concentrate with chunks of information on the screen.

The speaker also kept talking not keeping in mind that there is a time limit to presentations. Hence, this presentation overall lacked time management and organization skills.

Therefore, to avoid such situations use the 10-20-30 PowerPoint rule when creating your presentations.

Origin of the 10-20-30 rule

The first thought that comes to mind after hearing about the 10-20-30 rule is, where did such a rule come from?

This rule was founded by an American marketing specialist and author Guy Kawasaki .

In one of his speeches, he mentioned this rule for presentations. He claimed that he didn’t want to sit for 60 slide long presentations and this lead him to the 10-20-30 rule.

What is the 10-20-30 rule?

This rule is applied to make your presentations brief, intelligible and engaging. It can be considered as the golden rule for creating and presenting a presentation.

The 10-20-30 rule states that a presentation should be of 10 slides, not cross the time limit of 20 minutes and use a font size of 30.

Let’s break it down and have a detailed look at what it means.

This picture portrays PowerPoint slides and how many slides should the presenter use in his presentation.

Why 10 slides and not 15 or 20? 10 is a minimum number for your slides. It’s not more and not less. You can add more than 10 slides but keep in mind that it should balance out everything equivalently.

Adding meaningless slides to make your presentation prolonged, spoils the essence of your presentation.While creating your presentation refrain from adding unwanted information in your slides. Create an outline and framework.

This will give you a vague idea of how to go about your presentation. Guy Kawasaki, like mentioned above the founder of the 10-20-30 rule has provided a readymade outline to make things easy for us.

This table is more relatable to people who give business presentations. You can of course change the content according to your preference.

This table gives you a rough idea of how you can organize your slides. The material inside can change according to the type of your presentation.

It’s not compulsory to follow this format only but make sure not to cramp too much information in one slide. The point of all this is to make sure that the number of your slides are limited and they don’t exceed a certain limit.

In this picture the presenter is talking, using the 20 min factor from 10-20-30 rule.

In today’s fast-paced world even 20 minutes is too long. Nobody wants to sit for an hour-long presentation when it can be covered in far less time.

If the presentation exceeds more than 45 minutes the audience starts to get fidgety. Let’s take an example of studying. It is scientifically proven that the brain can only concentrate for 45 minutes straight before it needs a break.

Hence, when students study for exams they are told to take breaks in between to refresh their mind.

If you are unsure about how to divide these 20 minutes here is what you can do. You can allot specific time to the overall presentation. For instance, have a look at the table below.

slide presentation 10 20 30

Technically you can get done early leaving the rest of the time to answer any doubts or questions if any. The minimum time for questions is 2 minutes.

To know in detail how to structure your speech follow this article, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Structuring a Speech’ . This article will guide you through the process of structuring the ultimate speech for your presentation.

30 font size

What if I provide you with two pictures one with a font that looks like ants and one with a font that you can read even from far away, what would you choose? Isn’t the answer quite obvious?

This picture depicts the problem of font size faced by the audience during some presentations.

Similarly, while presenting when your font looks like tiny ants in a line the audience prefers not to read what is written.

The content in your slides is the core of what your discussion will be about. Put into simple words these are the bullets from which the audience gets an idea of what you will talk about and that’s one of the reasons the font and font size should be apparent.

And when the audience can’t read they will rely entirely on what you say. So, at this point if you make any mistakes or miss out on anything that’s where the trouble starts. This puts a negative marking on your credibility.

It’s not a compulsion to use font 30 only, but Guy Kawasaki implies that 30 should be the minimum font size so that the readers who are present in the hall can read your presentation without trouble.

One of the reasons he suggests font 30 should be used is because the larger the font size fewer words can be fit into a slide and unnecessary information gets cut out.

In such situations, you can use the 5×5, 6×6 and 7×7 rules. These rules can be used while you prepare your presentations to ensure that there is no extra information and even if there is, these rules will get rid of it.

What is the 5×5 rule?

The 5×5 rule proposes that the presenter use no more than 5 words in a sentence and 5 sentences in each slide.

This rule helps keep the slides precise. It makes sure the content is not exaggerated and is to the point. The benefit of this rule is that the audience can easily take down notes because of the shortened statements.

What is the 6×6 rule?

The 6×6 rule emphasizes that the presentation should at the most consist of 6 words per line and 6 lines per slide.

The purpose of this rule is that short bullet points are easy to read and it may convey the crux of your message accurately in a short period.

What is the 7×7 rule?

The 7×7 rule suggests that the presentation slide should be inclusive of no more than 7 words in each sentence and of 7 sentences/bullets in each slide.

Why? It reduces repetition and wordiness. Captures the attention of the audience instantly as compared to long slides with too much information.

Note- Keep in mind that these rules can be used while preparing for your presentation though it’s not an obligation or necessity.

At times these rules may not be relevant and you may need to add more information according to the theme of your presentation. The objective of these rules is to remind the reader not to add excessive information in a slide.

How to make your slides concise whilst not missing out on relevant information

Follow these steps to ensure that your presentation is to the point and at the same time you do not leave out essential and meaningful information. These points will give you an insight into how to organize your slides

1. Construct an outline of your presentation

The first step before you start making your presentation is to structure your presentation step by step and create an outline.

The outline will help you remember the format of your speech and make you familiar with your material. One benefit of being familiar with your content is that you will know what to put in your slides and cut out the extra.

2. Gather and organize your pointers/arguments

Often presenters face a very common problem that is they keep adding points because they think everything is important. Try not to do that.

You must distinguish between what is important and what is not. Prioritize your points or arguments in a legitimate order.

Eliminate points from the slide that you think you can remember or will easily touch upon during the presentation. Keep those points that you tend to forget or are difficult to remember.

3. Add bullets in place of full sentences

Making use of bullets is suggested by most public speakers. Adding bullets in place of long paragraphs in the slide can help the audience focus on both, the presentation and the presenter/speaker.

The purpose of adding bullets is that they are easy to read, short and make the presentation look crisp and concise.

4. Add images, graphs and tables

Graphics are more appealing when compared to words. Also, they grab the audience’s attention. Therefore, try to add more tables, graphs, pie diagrams, charts and pictures.

It’s a misconception that pie diagrams and graphs are used only for statistical data. No, it can be used to depict information also. For instance, I have made use of a pie diagram to depict the division of 20 minutes in the 10-20-30 rule. Scroll up to see the diagram.

5. Edit until you are satisfied

Editing is an essential part of this process. To make your presentation slides concise you need to edit relentlessly.

One thing that you can do is that when you sit for the final edit you can add the long points in your notes which are right below the slide.

These notes will only be visible to you. You can refer to these notes on the day of your final presentation. Check out this article ‘13 Tips for Rehearsing a Presentation’   where we have mentioned notes used in power-point slides.

6. Time your presentation

Presenters frequently make the mistake of not timing their presentation. Time is a very important element in public speaking. The presenter must know the value of time.

If the presenter, in such a position, does not implement time restriction it gives out a wrong message to the audience. So, before you start rehearsing, time your presentation and keep in mind not to exceed the time limit.

While rehearsing you will also know how much time you are exceeding and you can practice accordingly.

This rule can be used when you begin with the journey of your presentation. You can create and format your presentation using the 10-20-30 rule. This rule will make your presentation 10 times more appealing.

Short, crisp and interesting, this is how the audience will perceive your presentation. The extra material is taken out with the help of this rule and only the essential points are utilized.

Hrideep Barot

Enroll in our transformative 1:1 Coaching Program

Schedule a call with our expert communication coach to know if this program would be the right fit for you

slide presentation 10 20 30

Interrupted while Speaking: 8 Ways to Prevent and Manage Interruptions

speak English

Speak English Like a Pro at the Workplace

Talk Smart: Strategies for Efficient and Impactful Communication

Talk Smart: Strategies for Efficient and Impactful Communication

slide presentation 10 20 30

Get our latest tips and tricks in your inbox always

Copyright © 2023 Frantically Speaking All rights reserved

Kindly drop your contact details so that we can arrange call back

Select Country Afghanistan Albania Algeria AmericanSamoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Rwanda Samoa San Marino Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Tajikistan Thailand Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe land Islands Antarctica Bolivia, Plurinational State of Brunei Darussalam Cocos (Keeling) Islands Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Cote d'Ivoire Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Guernsey Holy See (Vatican City State) Hong Kong Iran, Islamic Republic of Isle of Man Jersey Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Lao People's Democratic Republic Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Macao Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Micronesia, Federated States of Moldova, Republic of Mozambique Palestinian Territory, Occupied Pitcairn Réunion Russia Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sao Tome and Principe Somalia Svalbard and Jan Mayen Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan, Province of China Tanzania, United Republic of Timor-Leste Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Viet Nam Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, U.S.

What Is The 10/20/30 Rule For Presentations And Why It's Important For Your Team

What Is The 10/20/30 Rule For Presentations And Why It's Important For Your Team

Presentations are an integral part of team workflow. From internal communications and reporting, to client-facing proposals and pitches, presentations keep everyone on the same page. Or in this case, on the same slide.

While collaboration is great, having too many cooks in the kitchen can make things messy. In regards to presentations, it’s important to have brand guidelines and rules in place to ensure all company decks are consistent and professional. In, our Team plan helps team members collaborate with content management and branding control settings in place so that less design-savvy departments can’t make a mess of a deck. But still, your team might need additional rules to help them achieve the most effective (and efficient) deck possible.

One of our favorite standards to follow is Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 presentation rule . Not sure what we’re talking about? Let us elaborate. 

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

The ever-popular 10/20/30 rule was coined by Guy Kawasaki, a Silicon-Valley based author, speaker, entrepreneur, and evangelist. Kawasaki suffers from Ménière’s disease which results in occasional hearing loss, tinnitus (a constant ringing sound), and vertigo— something that he suspects can be triggered by boring presentations (among other medically-proven things). While he may have been kidding about presentations affecting his Ménière’s, it did inspire him to put an end to snooze-worthy pitches once and for all. As a venture capitalist, he’s no stranger to entrepreneurship, pitches, and everything in between. We’d be willing to bet that he’s heard his fair share of pitches that have fallen on deaf ears (almost literally, in his case). 

To save the venture capital community from death-by-PowerPoint, he evangelized the 10/20/30 rule for presentations which states that “a presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.” 

Why it’s important

Because we’re passionate about our own stories, we’d like to think that our audience will feel the same way. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. You could be presenting the most groundbreaking topic, to the most interested audience, and you still might lose people to distractions or boredom. Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule ensures that your presentation is legible and concise, making it more retainable, resulting in bigger wins for your team. 

You’ve heard us say that less is more when it comes to presentations, and Kawasaki’s rule really drives that point home. You can’t expect your audience to comprehend (and remember) more than 10 concepts from one meeting, so keeping your presentation to 10 slides is the sweet spot. Each slide should focus on its own key takeaway, and it should be clear to the audience what you want them to learn from the presentation. While Kawasaki applies this to the venture capitalist world— and the 10 slides you absolutely need in your pitch — this is a good rule of thumb for internal meetings, proposals, and sales decks, too. 

When was the last time you sat through a 90-minute presentation and thought, “this is great, I’m going to remember everything.” That’s a rhetorical question, but it’s probably safe to assume the answer is never. It’s normal for people to lose focus, get distracted, or run through their to-do list in their head while watching a presentation, and it has nothing to do with you or your topic. To keep your audience engaged and interested, keep it short and sweet. Regardless of the time you have blocked out for the meeting, your team should aim to keep their presentation under 20 minutes. If there’s time leftover, use that for discussion to answer questions and drive your point home. 

30 Point font

If your audience has to strain their eyes to read your slides, they probably won’t bother to read them at all. Regardless of the age of your audience, no one wants to squint their way through a 20-minute presentation. Kawasaki’s rule of thumb is to keep all text to 30 point font or bigger. Of course, the bigger the font, the less text you’ll be able to fit. This is a good exercise to decide what information you really need on the slide, and what you can do without. By making your slides more legible for your audience, you’re encouraging them to follow along. Additionally, being intentional about what your team includes on each slide helps the audience know exactly what you want them to pay attention to in the presentation. 

Applying the 10/20/30 presentation rule in 

Now that you know what Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule is, let’s apply it to your next team presentation. 

In, our pre-built presentation templates make it easy for you to start inspired. Simply browse our inspiration gallery, curated by industry experts, pick the template that speaks to you and customize it with your own content. Most of our deck templates are well within the 10 slide standard, so you’ll be on the right track (the Kawasaki way).  

Once you’re in the deck, our Smart Slides handle the nitty gritty design work so that you don’t have to. Changing the font size is easy, and our design AI will let you know if the size is too big or too long for the space on the slide. You can choose your favorite (legible) font when customizing your presentation theme, and that font will be applied to each slide throughout the deck for a cohesive and consistent look. 

Of course, it’s all for naught if you don’t practice. We recommend doing a few dry runs in the mirror, or in front of your dog, to get the timing of your presentation right. Remember, 20 minutes is the magic number here. 

Jordan Turner

Jordan Turner

Jordan is a Bay Area writer, social media manager, and content strategist.

Recommended Articles

New here 3 easy ways to get started in, the top 10 powerpoint add-ins to level up your ppt, bring remote presentations to life with animations, 6 creative presentation tools to make your presentation more engaging.


The 10/20/30 rule: Create better PowerPoint presentations!

What does a perfect PowerPoint presentation even look like? This is a question that many speakers still ask themselves. And still, every now and again the audience almost falls asleep during a presentation.

Online and on social media, there are multiple tips and tricks for good presentations. Some of these are useless, but some of them have been established over years and set the standard, such as the 10/20/30 rule by presentation professional Guy Kawasaki.

What does the 10/20/30 rule look like?

The 10/20/30 rule is a simple, yet effective way to improve your PowerPoint presentations. It brings structure to your presentation and improves the layout and design of your slides.

Your presentation should…

… be no longer than 10 slides.

… last no longer than 20 minutes.

… have a font of at least 30 pt.

Who invented the 10/20/30 rule?

Guy Kawasaki, marketing legend and bestselling author already helped Apple achieve cult status. He said early on:

‘I listen to hundreds of companies pitch for their companies. Most of those pitches are crap.’

As a result, he developed the simple 10/20/30 rule for brilliant presentations . You can also find more tips for a convincing pitch presentation in our article on the topic.

Guy Kawasaki and the 10/20/30 rule

What can the 10/20/30 rule be used for?

Even though our example of the 10/20/30 rule is designed for a business plan , this doesn’t mean that the rule can’t be used for other presentations. You can also use the rule for the following presentations:

#1: Sales presentations

#2: Press conferences

#3: Presentation of Business numbers

The 10/20/30 rule in more detail

In a nutshell – According to Kawasaki, ten slides are the optimal number for a successful business presentation or meeting. According to Kawasaki, anything above this will cause your audience’s attention and concentration to drop and make them unable to process the information.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to cram the whole content of your presentation on these 10 slides. Instead, focus on the key message . The following 10 bulletpoints act as an example of a business plan and you are welcome to use them as a guide for the content of your next presentation:

#1: Problem

#2: Solution

#3: Business plan

#4: Your deployed technology

#5: Marketing and Sales

#6: Competitors

#8: Predictions and Milestones

#9: Status and Timelines

#10: Conclusion and Call-to-Action

Depending on the need and topic of your presentation, you can of course customize these 10 points.

Are you looking for inspiration for your PowerPoint slides? Feel free to take a look at the following articles on our blog page:

  • Motivate your audience to (purchase) action with a call to action – the right way!
  • Create your own timeline charts
  • Create and Organizational Chart in PowerPoint
  • Images in PowerPoint presentations: Here’s 2 ideas how to skillfully include them!

The second aspect of the 10/20/30 rule states that you should deliver your presentation within 20 minutes . With a compact twenty minutes you can avoid that your audience’s attention slowly decreases.

Furthermore, when planning your presentation, keep in mind that there may be delays , for example, if the technology breaks down or some audience members are late. Furthermore, if your presentation lasts only 20 minutes and your audience thus remains attentive, you will still have enough time for questions and discussion afterwards.

For more advice on how to create a short presentation, take a look at our blog article on ‘short presentations in PowerPoint’ .

A common problem with PowerPoint slides is that they are overloaded with text . There is a risk that your audience will quickly become bored and that you will be tempted to read from the slides instead of speaking freely.

Better: Identify your presentations key points and explain these well. Many presentations are created with a small font size. If you stick to the 10/20/30 rule and use a 30 pt font size, you can only include the most important text onto your slides. And if you feel like 30pt is way too big: even using 20pt can already help.

Conclusion: Use the 10/20/30 rule for better presentation!

Make sure your audience doesn’t forget your presentation anytime soon and put quality over quantity with Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule!

Do you have questions about the 10/20/30 rule or about PowerPoint in general? Don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] . We will be happy to help you!

Are you looking for visually supportive and professionally designed slide templates? Take a look around in our shop. Here we have numerous prepared slides for you to download on a wide variety of (business) topics. Take a look today! To the shop

Further articles that could also interest you:

  • Revealed: The 10 secrets for a perfect PowerPoint presentation
  • PowerPoint Slide Masters: Save Time and Customize Your Presentations
  • Create PowerPoint Flowcharts
  • Interactive Presentations – 7 Tips to Help You Shape Them to Meet Your Goals!

Share this post

  • share  
  • save  

slide presentation 10 20 30

Design Thinking: Problem Solving with a Difference


Why Corporate Mission Statements Are So Important

7 Learnings from the apple keynote

7 Tips & Learnings from the Apple Keynote


  1. 10-20-30-Rule PowerPoint Template

    slide presentation 10 20 30

  2. 10-20-30-Rule PowerPoint Template

    slide presentation 10 20 30

  3. The 10-20-30 rule for presentations. Tips from Presented

    slide presentation 10 20 30

  4. Apply the 10/20/30 Rule to Your PowerPoint Presentations Now

    slide presentation 10 20 30

  5. What Is The 10/20/30 Rule For Presentations And Why It's Important For

    slide presentation 10 20 30

  6. What Is The 10/20/30 Rule For Presentations And Why It's Important For

    slide presentation 10 20 30


  1. The 10 20 30 rule for powerpoint presentations

  2. PowerPoint (Keynote) Tips

  3. Here's How Many Slides You Need for a 10 Minute Presentation

  4. 10 Clés pour Réussir une Présentation PowerPoint

  5. How many slides is a 10 minute presentation?

  6. 31 Creative Presentation Ideas to Delight Your Audience


  1. The 10-20-30 Rule of PowerPoint - Microsoft 365

    With help from the 10-20-30 rule, you can make a PowerPoint presentation that’s engaging and efficient. The guidelines for this rule are as follows: No more than 10 slides. No longer than 20 minutes. No larger than 30-point font. Let’s look deeper at the 10-20-30 PowerPoint rule, why it’s a good rule to follow and things to do to follow ...

  2. The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint Presentations - SlideModel

    The idea of the 10/20/30 rule is easy to understand, which is summed up in three points. Your presentation should consist of no more than 10 slides. Your presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes. The text on each slide should be no lower than 30 points in size. Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule emphasizes brevity, focus, and visual ...

  3. The 10 20 30 Rule: What it is and 3 Reasons to Use it in 2023

    But, the 10-20-30 rule of PowerPoint is a collection of 3 golden principles to abide by in your presentations. It’s the rule that your presentation should…. Contain a maximum of 10 slides. Be a maximum length of 20 minutes. Have a minimum font size of 30. The whole reason Guy Kawasaki came up with the rule was to make presentations more ...

  4. Everything You Need To Know About 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint ...

    You should have 10 slides; The presentation should last 20 minutes; The slides should have at least a 30-point font ‍ 10/20/30 Rule. The 10/20/30 rule was coined by Guy Kawasaki, who is one of the early pioneers of Silicon Valley, now working as the chief evangelist of Canva. Back in 2006, Kawasaki was working as a venture specialist.

  5. What Is the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint? - HubSpot Blog

    The 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint is a straightforward concept: no PowerPoint presentation should be more than ten slides, longer than 20 minutes, and use fonts smaller than 30 point size. Coined by Guy Kawasaki, the rule is a tool for marketers to create excellent PowerPoint presentations. Each element of the formula helps marketers find a ...

  6. The 10-20-30 PowerPoint Rule Explained For Beginners

    You can create and format your presentation using the 10-20-30 rule. This rule will make your presentation 10 times more appealing. Short, crisp and interesting, this is how the audience will perceive your presentation. The extra material is taken out with the help of this rule and only the essential points are utilized.

  7. What Is The 10/20/30 Rule For Presentations And Why It's ...

    The ever-popular 10/20/30 rule was coined by Guy Kawasaki, a Silicon-Valley based author, speaker, entrepreneur, and evangelist. Kawasaki suffers from Ménière’s disease which results in occasional hearing loss, tinnitus (a constant ringing sound), and vertigo— something that he suspects can be triggered by boring presentations (among ...

  8. The 10-20-30 Rule of Presentation Twelve Years Later

    Kawasaki advocated the 10-20-30 Rule of PowerPoint, which banks on the idea that a presentation “should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.”. Although Kawasaki originally meant it for entrepreneurs and startup business owners, this principle applies to all presentations.

  9. Apply the 10/20/30 Rule to Your PowerPoint Presentations Now

    According to the 10/20/30 rule: …a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. Kawasaki came up with this quick presentation style due to his line of business, citing how he’d often listen to dozens of pitches in a short period of time.

  10. Create the perfect presentation with the 10/20/30 rule!

    Better: Identify your presentations key points and explain these well. Many presentations are created with a small font size. If you stick to the 10/20/30 rule and use a 30 pt font size, you can only include the most important text onto your slides. And if you feel like 30pt is way too big: even using 20pt can already help.