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10/20/30: Why the Rule Should Be Used in Presentations

January 26, 2021 / Articles

Are you familiar with the 10/20/30 rule? It states that a presentation should have 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and should not have a font sizes less than 30 pt. 

This rule was made due to the gradual decrease of people’s attention spans. Making presentations concise and straightforward will save time while still getting the core message across. 

Let us elaborate.

10 Slides 

It can be quite a challenge to comprehend more than 10 concepts during a meeting. 

The 10/20/30 rule suggests using 10 slides to discuss your core message. It details the following flow of topics for investor proposals and venture capitalist presentations:

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

Remember these if you want to get your point across in a concise and straightforward way. Depending on the type of presentation you’re giving, you can tweak these to fit your purpose, but try to keep your slides to a 10 slide minimum, with a visible flow like the one above.

20 Minutes 

Ideally, a 10-slide presentation would only take 20 minutes to finish. Beyond that and you’ll start losing your audience’s attention. 

Keep your presentations short so you can address questions and other concerns at the end. 

30pt Font Size 

People usually use smaller font sizes to cram chunks of information into their slides. Doing so might distract your audience from listening to you. Being unfocused, your audience will not retain much information from your presentation. They may also question whether you are familiar with your own material.

Use a larger font and remove the unnecessary details. Remember, your presentation shouldn’t do the talking for you, but instead, be there to guide your audience. 

A straightforward presentation will assure the audience that you know the topic well enough to explain it in a way that they will understand, especially if they’re new to the concept. 

Use the 10/20/30 rule as a consistent baseline for your next presentation. Working within its boundaries will push you to craft a more refined presentation that focuses purely on the essentials, leaving out any distractions for your audience. It’s important to remember that people naturally have a limit to their attention span. This simple and effective rule is meant to guide you to creating a presentation that fits fully within the time people’s attention is at their peak. It’s at that point when your message is most effective.