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Is Guy Kawasaki's Rule For Presentations Still Relevant?

PowerPoint is a complete presentation graphics package. It gives you everything you need to produce a professional-looking presentation. PowerPoint offers word processing, outlining, drawing, graphing, and presentation management tools- all designed to be easy to use. When used properly PowerPoint can be an effective visual aid for professional speakers. However, at the hands of inexperienced presenters who have no eye for design, it can pave the way for jarring and unattractive slides. This brings to creating mediocre pitch decks, 25 slides deep that are going on for far too long.
Luckily, people like Guy Kawasaki can show the newbies how a perfect presentation should be done.

At DeckRobot, we love great presentations. We’re here to give you everything you need to know about the famous 10 20 30 rule by Guy Kawasaki and how you can start implementing it in your meetings.

Who is this Guy Kawasaki?

Guy Kawasaki, a  former Apple employee, achieved his notoriety status amongst other venture capitalists. However, he is renowned not because he is a venture capitalist but because he was the leading thinker behind the famous 10–20–30 rule which was devised in the year 2005. Guy Kawasaki is the ultimate hero who once and for all had totally transformed PowerPoint presentations.
Attending hundreds of PowerPoint presentations delivered by others, he came up with this famous 10–20–30 rule of his.

What is this 10–20–30 Rule?

In simplest of its form 10–20–30 rule stands for:

Not more than 10 slides,
Not more than 20 minutes,
A minimum of 30 font size.

Why the 10-20-30 rule is still relevant today?

Kawasaki’s rule is now 16 years old—which is quite a long time for any virtual rule to last. Although PowerPoint is still the most recognizable presentation design software in recent history and everybody uses it.  Apart from the fact that many competitors have emerged, PowerPoint is still the ultimate tool for making presentations. So, if you are asking whether  Guy Kawasaki's rule for presentations is still relevant, the answer is definitely YES! Here is why.

Presenters still overwhelm their pitch deck

16 years later presenters still cram several ideas into one pitch deck. They are still putting too much text with bad, not readable fonts on their slides. They still make more than 10 slides in their presentations thus running out of time during their speeches. It’s the individual presenters who have not fully maximized the use of PowerPoint that still make the same mistakes. They don’t even bother to filter out the unnecessary stuff and keep only the crucial points.

People’s attention span is getting shorter

We’re in the age of social media, where the best content is short and fast, and people appreciate things that don’t take much of their time. According to research, our attention span has markedly decreased in just 15 years. In 2000, it was 12 seconds. Now, 15 years later, it's shrunk significantly to 8.25 seconds.
This is why when delivering a presentation, you should always be considerate of your audience’s time and level of interest. Even if you’re given an hour to present, prepare for a speech that doesn’t last longer than twenty minutes.

Readability is still a problem

If you think you are the boss of the presentation you are giving then you are very wrong. The only boss is your audience. Wherever you are in the presentation process, you should always put the audience at the forefront of your mind. Everything in your presentation should be customized for them. That is why optimizing the font size of your text to accommodate all of your viewers is crucial. When you see people squinting at your slide, take the hint that something’s not right.
Another good thing about using big, readable fonts is that you won’t be able to put much text on your slides. As much as possible, don’t overload your slides with information. Remember that your goal is not to bombard your audience with ideas but to present them with a few that can change their lives for the better.


We don’t urge you to religiously follow the rule of 10-20-30 neither does Guy Kawasaki. Of course, each situation is unique, so there’s no hard-and-fast rule that applies to all. The idea is that you should consider the needs of your audience when creating a presentation instead of mindlessly jumping on the bandwagon. Sixteen years later and Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule is still as effective as ever. If every presenter applies these three timeless guidelines, it will not only improve their presentations but consequently, their speeches as well.

Speaking of improving presentations DeckRobot is already helping out to many presenters of enterprise levels. The DeckRobot plugin is an easy PowerPoint add-in for users that reduces manual work and saves up to 40% of your working time while preparing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. The plugin helps create appealing presentations that match the company brand book guidelines with a focus on the quality of the content. You can easily adjust all the visual elements in each slide of your presentation like fixing headers, footers, background, logo, font, color pallet according to the chosen corporate guidelines. With the help of DeckRobot, you can maintain consistency by aligning any complex object on the slide or even adapt any icon that you like to the corporate-approved format and much more.