The PowerPoint 10/20/30 Rule for Winning Sales Presentations


As a support business, one of the services we provide is working with our clients to create sales presentations which have helped them in winning big deals and acquiring key customers. One of the reasons that our presentations work well is because we have taken some tips from one of our business icon – Guy Kawasaki.

Kawasaki is a Silicon Valley based marketing specialist and venture capitalist who also writes a blog. He has come up with a great formula for the perfect PowerPoint presentation. He explains that he came up with this idea after observing hundreds of entrepreneurs pitch their companies to him.

On his blog he admits that most of the pitches he has to listen to are not worth his while and, that going through sixty slides about a startup acts as a catalyst for his tinnitus, an illness he suffers, which causes a constant ringing in his ears starts.

Kawasaki puts a little humor to the situation and says that, “To prevent an epidemic of Ménière’s in the venture capital community, I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. While I’m in the venture capital business, this rule is applicable for any presentation to reach agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership, etc.”

So what is this 10/20/30 rule exactly? What does it mean and how can you as an entrepreneur use it in your own company to win business deals? Read on to find out.

Ten Slides

The ideal number of slides in any PowerPoint presentation is ten. This is because a normal person cannot understand more than ten concepts at a time. If for some reason you need to use more than ten slides for your pitch, you probably don’t have a successful business. The ten topics of interest are:

  • Problem
  • Your solution
  • Business model
  • Underlying magic/technology
  • Marketing and sales
  • Competition
  • Team
  • Projections and milestones
  • Status and timeline
  • Summary and call to action

Twenty Minutes

These ten slide should be explained in twenty minutes. That means two minutes for each slide. Even if you have an hours’ time slot, it is better to leave the extra time to configure the laptop with a projector and any questions and answers after the presentation.

Thirty-Point Font

A number of presentations you see today have a standard ten-point font. This is obviously done to cram in as much text as possible into one slide. People think that loading all the information they have into one presentation is a good move. It’s really not. Since there are low chances that the presenter will have it all memorized, they often read from the slides. Once the audience realizes that the presenter is reading, they read it themselves to save time. The result is simple: the presenter and the audience are not in sync. Always use a thirty point font.

So if you want to pitch your presentation successfully, practicing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint will help keep your audience’s attention focused and get your pitch to the point.

You can find a link to Kawasaki’s very helpful blog here

Ada ObiThe PowerPoint 10/20/30 Rule for Winning Sales Presentations


Join the conversation
  • idm crack - September 14, 2017 reply

    never saw a website like this, relaly impressed. compared to other blogs with this article this was definatly the best site. will save.

  • Mikel Schlaack - September 23, 2017 reply

    Interesting read , I am going to spend more time learning about this subject

  • tanie implanty zbowe - March 14, 2019 reply

    Hello. remarkable job. I did not anticipate this. This is a excellent story. Thanks!

  • - August 5, 2019 reply

    Now, it’s been a while since this rule has been all the rage, and with PowerPoint no longer being the only viable option to deliver media-rich presentations, we have to ask ourselves if this rule is still effective as it once was.

  • SEO SERVICES - January 22, 2020 reply

    Very informative blog article.Thanks Again. Cool.

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