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.

This Thursday, February 16th and Tuesday February 21st LifeStylized is holding FREE Speak Like a Pro Intensives from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Register online at….


….or call Kevin at 1-518-932-7856 to get your free admission. The Life Stylized Center is at 444 Broadway, Suite 302, on the Third Floor, above Wheatfields Restaurant.

Join us for these FREE workshops where you will learn to be:

  • more confident,
  • more memorable
  • more impressive 
  • more successful

… in ALL of your presentations!

Are you ready to get your message out with power and purpose?

Then this workshop is precisely what you need.


Public speaking is the art of diluting a two-minute idea with a two-hour vocabulary. Evan Esar

It is fascinating when preparing a presentation we often ignore the reality that 55% of the communication will be our Body Language, 38% is the tone of our voice, and only 7% is actual content! In spite of this we write and prepare our message as though it will be engraved in stone. We are consumed by using the right words, in their right sequence and in overwhelming the audience with facts and figures and immutable logic.

The stark reality of public speaking is the audience will probably remember little of what you say and their retention of your message or key points will diminish significantly within hours if not minutes of your conclusion.

Professional speakers use the mantra 10-10-Repeat as a guide in preparing a speech. Based on solid research and testing it states that an audience member is most likely to remember the first 10 seconds and the last 10 seconds of what you say, and anything you repeat.

In practice this means starting from your first sentence with something that is critical to the audience, and something you would like to be remembered. Even then it is important to deliver value, to be provocative, to startle the audience, to get their attention, and to make the best use of this one-time opportunity.

It is the same in closing. The entire focus of the speech should be captured in a memorable, vivid and powerful closing statement. These 10 seconds should be used to deliver on your stated Purpose of your Presentation.  They should deliver your Irresistible Offer, around which you crafted and carefully researched your presentation.

Finally, by repeating and integrating a key statement, mantra or theme, as many times as practicable into the presentation, these words, idea or images have the best chance of creating an indelible impression.

In preparing a speech or presentation, keep it simple, and remember 10-10-Repeat.

Speak Like a Pro – Start Well – End Well

What is the secret to Public Speaking and Presentation Success?

There are two quotes I particularly look to for guidance in everything I do in planning, in preparing and in delivering a speech.

The first is from Dale Carnegie: Begin with something interesting in your first sentence. Not the second. Not the third. The First! F–I–R–S–T! First!

This emphatic statement is so true and such good advice. You have limited time to make a great first impression. This is generally recognized as 7 seconds or less! You have also limited time to capture the imagination and the rapt attention of your audience, so why begin with unnecessary information?

Get going, get moving and get to the point!

It is essential to start making an indelible and a compelling impression from the first words you speak – to the last thing you say. You have a specific purpose in making your presentation. The audience has a specific purpose in listening to you. Is there any reason you would not want to be fascinating, intriguing and interesting from your first sentence?

The second quote is from Winston Churchill: If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit again. Then hit it the third time – a tremendous whack.

If you have any doubt about the soundness of this advice click on the following Talking Points link – Speak Like a Pro News-Feed –  It discusses the Four Key Principles of Effective Communication. Great information.

The key to great speaking is to eliminate verbiage, to concentrate on a small number of key facts, to be succinct, to stimulate intense curiosity and to get to the point. Your audience will certainly approve and they will respond accordingly!

LifeStylized is holding 3 FREE – Speak Like a Pro events, in which you will receive great instruction and inspirational ideas to kick start your Public Speaking and Presentation prowess. These will be held at 444 Broadway, in Saratoga Springs. (Above Wheatfields)

These are to be held on

  • Saturday – February 11th @ 1:30 to 3:00pm
  • Thursday – February 16th @ 6:30 to 8:00pm
  • Tuesday – February 21st @ 6:30 to 8:00pm.

They are just like the Carnegie opening – practical, effective, and productive – from word one!

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