Monday, September 22, 2008

The 10/20/30 Rule

Well, if you are wondering what is a post on presentation skill doing at 'The HR Channel', the answer is here. There is nothing more putting off for people than having to sit through hour long presentation on God knows what, because by the time the presenter has finished you have lost track of the presentation. And what adds insult to the injury is if the presentation is completely in caps.

Here is a small guide on how to structure your presentations.

The 10/20/30 rule. 10 is the number of slides your presentation should have. 20 is the maximum time you get to talk. 30 is the font size on each slide. How does this help?

10 slides is more than enough for you to talk about anything under the sun. Especially if you are doing an induction program and you know that the previous guy just covered everything that you are going to cover. Talk about something different. If you are presenting to a board, you don't want board members asleep at the end of the meeting. Trust me, at our age (junior/middle management level) it is difficult to keep your eyes open when the presenter is droning on and on, at the age that most board members are, you wouldn't want to risk having more than 10 slides.

20 minutes is all that you get. If you observe carefully, people start walking in and out, fidgeting in their chairs after 20 minutes. The intent listener who is taking down every word as you speak, get a life, she is probably doodling. Plus the earlier you finish, the more time you get for some fruitful discussion. And in case there is no discussion, all of us do get to go home early.

30 font size. Face it people, we are already half blind after having to squint at our monitors all day. The last thing we would want is to try and read your point 10 slides on the screen. And also the more material you have on the slide, the more is the tendency to read out the slides. The minute you start that, you have already lost your audience, they can read faster than you can speak.

To sum up, follow the 10/20/30 rule. And if nothing else, at least we all can get on with our lives instead of having to sit through presentations that go on and on and on.

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