The 10:20:30 Rule

The 10-20-30 Rule

In his book, The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, Guy Kawasaki gives some great advice regarding presentations. His tips are meant for business men and women when giving pitches, but I think they are transferable for presentations everywhere.

New product announcements from Apple seem to follow these rules. Most TED talks seem to follow them as well. I think these would be great rules to implement in our classrooms as well. We should try to do this when we are teaching a lesson and make sure we don’t speak for longer than twenty minutes at a time. And we can give these guidelines to your students when they have to give a presentation.

The 10:20:30 Rule

  • 10 Slides

The recommended number of slides for a pitch is 10. This impossibly low number forces you to accomplish on the absolutely essential. You can add a few more, but you should never exceed 15 slides. The more slides you need, the less compelling your idea.

  • 20 Minutes

Presentations should last no longer than twenty minutes. Even if you have an hour to make a presentation, use the extra time for discussion.

  • 30-Point Font

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 then 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.

Use these tips and your presentations will be more powerful. Also, think about how these can apply to your everyday teaching as well.

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