Guy Kawasaki, one of the early Apple employees, championed the concept of a ‘brand evangelist’ to describe his position. Today he works as a brand evangelist for Canva, an online graphic design tool. he’s figured out that the 10/20/30 is a successful formula to follow. Kawasaki’s book, Art of The Start, is where he first introduced the concept and described how it works. Briefly, a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, not exceed twenty minutes, and not contain a font smaller than thirty points.

Ten slides

Ten is the optimal number of slides in a PowerPoint presentation because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting—and venture capitalists are very typical. The ten topics that a venture capitalist cares about are:

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

Twenty minutes

You should give your ten slides in twenty minutes. Sure, you have an hour time slot, but you’re using a Windows laptop, so it will take forty minutes to make it work with the projector. Even if the setup goes perfectly, people will arrive late and have to leave early. In a perfect world, you give your pitch in twenty minutes and have forty minutes left for discussion.

Thirty-point font.

The majority of the presentations that I see have text in a ten-point font. As much text as possible is jammed into the slide, and the presenter reads it. However, as soon as the audience figures out that you’re reading the text, it reads ahead of you because it can read faster than you can speak. The result is that you and the audience are out of synch.

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