Several years ago Guy Kawasaki caught a lot of flack for his "less is more" 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint for pitching to venture capitalists, the gist of which is:

  • No more than 10 slides
  • No more than 20 minutes
  • No smaller than 30 point font

Recently, I've been taking this a step further when presenting at various educational seminars around town. Here's my new 0/1 rule:

  • Zero text per slide
  • One picture per slide

Preparing slides this way is much, much faster. I don't spend time crafting perfect bullet points or tweaking font and color schemes. I just snap a screen shot and go.

But more importantly, it makes for better presentations:

  • There is no temptation to read my way through a presentation.
  • I am forced to have a single, well-defined purpose for each slide.
  • My speech is more natural when I'm not confined to hitting certain bullet points.
  • Pictures are just plain more interesting than text.

As a side note, I now use Google Presentations instead of PowerPoint. PowerPoint is too bloated, especially if you're creating slides in this manner. It's also comforting to know that I can present from any computer with an Internet connection (though I always save my presentation as a PDF on a USB key in case Internet isn’t available).

Here are the slides from two of my most recent presentations:

How to build an effective remote team that actually collaborates