POWERPOINT. There is no doubt that, as a college student, you will hear this word early and often. Presentations are an essential part of modern day higher-education, and for a good reason. As a working professional you will need to know how to speak publicly, and more importantly, you will need to know how to CONVINCE. This is especially true regarding college presentations that require you to make cohesive arguments based upon a single thesis.
WHAT IS THE 10 20 30 METHOD?
Guy Kawasaki is the founder of Alltop.com, a prominent speaker, writer, venture capitalist, and evangelist. Today’s topic is his “10 20 30″ method of persuasive Powerpoint presentation. TOPICALLY, he intended this method to be applied to business presentations aimed at raising capital, making a sale, or forming a partnership, BUT it is also an efficient way of forming any presentation intended to educate and persuade. The theory is as follows: A presentation should have 10 slides, last 20 minutes, and use 30 point font.
Guy suggests that a normal person can comprehend about ten concepts and thoroughly digest them in a meeting, not to mention a classroom in which multiple groups must make similar presentations. So, in this case, it is especially pertinent that a presentation be certainly no more than 10 slides. The following table shows Guy’s ten slides for pitching to a venture capitalist on the left, and ten generic slides that a college student might use for a science presentation.
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|Guy’s Business Slide Topics||Sample College Slide: Science|
|Problem||Introduction of Occurence|
|Business model||Brief Experiment Definition|
|Underlying magic/technology||Materials Used|
|Marketing and sales||Controlling Variables|
|Projections and milestones||Experiment Success or Failure|
|Status and timeline||Conclusion: Why Success or Failure|
|Summary and call to action||Experiment Revision or Implications|
Now someone who is a science major might have a better sense of what the slides should be, but these examples could represent the foundation of a solid presentation. Obviously, if forming a presentation for a business class, it is clear how relevant Guy’s method is.
Twenty minutes is a perfect amount of time for a presentation. However, in college you will frequently be told to make your presentations in less time. The purpose of shortening a presentation in a professor’s mind, aside from simply not having time, is to isolate the pertinent facts to maximize efficiency. BUT, periodically, as students get closer to their diplomas, presentations will be expected to be approximately 20 minutes long, and this will be just enough time to pull out the prime-points, with enough time for discussion, which is where persuasion really occurs IF the presenter knows their topic.
30 POINT FONT
The ASSUMPTION in college is that your professor just wants to see that you did the work and that the obvious method of achieving this is to add loads of typed explanations onto your slides.
The TRUTH is: your professors really want to see that you have developed COMPETENCY. Excessively scripted slides DO NOT equate to competency, instead they equate to low confidence in your understanding and ability to expound upon your topic.
THUS, 30 point font forces you to really distill your important information into content soaked phrases. Further, it forces you to cultivate superior competency so that you can decode the content soaked phrases for the class in your presentation. If you can do this you will absolutely prove to your professor that you have developed competency, and ultimately score a better grade.