Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood. William Penn
What is the 10-20-30 Rule for Presentations?
Guy Kawasaki framed his 10-20-30 Rule for Presentation as:
10 slides are the optimal number to use for a presentation.
20 minutes is the longest amount of time you should speak.
30 point is the smallest font size you should use on your slides.
(Kawasaki was one of the chief evangelists and strategists for marketing the original Macintosh)
Attention Span is the amount of time the average person can concentrate on a task without becoming distracted. This consists of two elements. Focused Attention: which can be as short as 8-seconds; and Sustained Attention: which is the amount of attention that produces consistent results. This is usually 20 minutes before people need to refocus.
You may feel this is a very short space of time. However, this time limit forces you to be simple, to be direct, to be precise, and to eliminate or trim all of the unnecessary words we pollute our language with. “I’m delighted to be here” – may be polite but it does nothing to reinforce your purpose or deliver your irresistible value.
And remember Martin Luther King Jr. only needed 17 minutes to share his dream.
Do you have something more important to say?
If you are forced to speak for an hour, break your presentation down into three parts, or into three separate but connected speeches. When you do this provide a “Change-of State” in-between for the audience to move, to change position and to shake them out of their comfort zone.
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