In startup fundraising, the difference between a deal or a pass often hinges on the pitch deck. Astonishingly, only 1% of these presentations crack the code to success, while the rest miss the mark.
What sets them apart? It's about striking the perfect balance: a pitch deck that's concise enough to keep investors hooked, yet comprehensive enough to cover the essentials.
Guy Kawasaki's formula of pitch deck presentations - 10/20/30 - has become a popular approach for founders looking to join that elusive 1%. His formula isn't just effective; it's proven to turn heads and open wallets.
In this guide, we'll discuss Guy Kawasaki's renowned pitching formula, breaking it down to understand why it's the blueprint for success in the competitive arena of startup fundraising.
Who is Guy Kawasaki and Why is he Relevant for Pitch Decks?
Known as a venture capitalist and marketing evangelist of many popular tech brands, Guy Kawasaki stands out in the startup scene and is renowned for his influential books, The Art of the Start 2.0 and The Art of Social Media.
His 10-20-30 rule for presentations is simple yet revolutionary, designed to engage investors and partners alike. Here's what Kawasaki says about his approach to presentations:
With roots as an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and Apple's former chief evangelist, he's now sharing his genius at Canva. His knack for captivating an audience is legendary, especially in Silicon Valley.
Guy Kawasaki is not just a theorist; his field-tested methods make him a trusted voice for entrepreneurs aiming to make their mark. That's why, when Guy talks pitch decks, it pays to listen.
Guy Kawasaki's Magic 10/20/30 Rule for Startup Pitch Decks
Guy Kawasaki's presentation rule of 10/20/30 is a streamlined approach to crafting pitch decks that resonate. It's about presenting your vision within ten slides, sharing it in twenty minutes, and ensuring clarity with a minimum thirty-point font, making your pitch memorable and effective.:
- 10 Slides: Enough to explain, only a few to bore.
- 20 Minutes: Short to keep interest, long enough to tell.
- 30-Point Font: Big enough for all to see clearly.
Slides Limit - 10 Slides
Within a mere ten slides, your pitch presentation needs to encapsulate the essence of your business. It’s not just about limiting information but about crystallizing it. This constraint compels you to distill your message to its purest form, ensuring that each slide packs a punch.
By the time slide ten rolls around, your audience should have a clear understanding of your business without feeling overwhelmed.
Pitching Time - 20 Minutes
Twenty minutes isn't just a cap; it's a strategic frame to ensure your message hits home fast. This brevity respects your audience's time and allows for a dialogue rather than a monologue.
It’s about efficiency—delivering your message before attention wanes. It also builds in a buffer for life’s little unpredictabilities, like late arrivals or tech troubles, ensuring your pitch isn't rushed.
Font Size - 30 Points
A 30-point font ensures clarity for every viewer, catering to those with less-than-perfect eyesight, which can be common among seasoned investors. This size avoids visual strain and keeps your slides accessible and digestible.
With larger text, there's no squinting in the back row, just a room fully tuned into your pitch. It’s about being considerate to your audience, making sure they’re aligned with you every step of the way.
Guy Kawasaki Pitch Deck Structure
In Kawasaki's pitch deck structural rule, each of the ten slides is a building block, carefully designed to construct your business narrative and engage investors with precision and purpose.
Now, let's explore this foundational framework:
Slide 1 - Title/Introduction
Your first slide is the handshake of your presentation. It's simple: your company’s name, a tagline that snaps like a flag in the wind, and your contact details. Make it professional and clear. This isn't just a slide; it's the front door to your business, opening conversations with potential investors.
Keep it updated because this is how they'll reach you. A clean, uncluttered title slide sets the tone for the story you’re about to unfold. It's your first chance to stick in the minds of your audience, so make it count.
Slide 2 - Problem/Opportunity
The second slide tackles the big 'why' of your business: the problem you're solving. Here's where you lay out the challenges your customers face, the ones your company will tackle head-on. It’s about highlighting the need for a solution.
Use clear facts or a story that sticks, making the problem as real for investors as it is for your customers. This isn’t just about stats; it’s about connecting on a human level. Get the investors to feel the pinch of the problem, and you’ve got their attention. Remember, your business isn’t just offering a product—it’s offering a solution.
Slide 3 - Solution
Slide three is all about the 'how.' After spotlighting the problem, you show how your business is the key to solving it. This is where you shine, explaining your product or service in a snappy sentence. Think of it as your primary slogan—like how Airbnb is a home away from home for travelers, yours could be just as memorable. Keep it super simple.
Maybe you're the Uber for dog walking or the Netflix for learning. This slide is your hook; make it count. Tell investors straight up why you're worth their time and money without any extra fluff.
Slide 4 - Product
The fourth slide is where your product steps into the spotlight. It's time to unveil the features and benefits that make your offer irresistible. This is the part where you reveal what makes your product or service a game-changer.
Forget about piling on the text; this is show-and-tell. Diagrams, images, and even a quick demo or video can do the talking. Share the unique perks and the magic that only your team can deliver. Make it a story they'll remember, backed with solid facts that prove you're not just another 'me too' product.
Slide 5 - Business Model
Slide five gets down to business – the money business. How will your company earn cash? This slide is all about your plan to make profits and reach customers. It’s where you spell out your revenue sources, pricing model, and how you'll sell your product.
Keep it straightforward: show investors the path your business will take to fill its pockets. Use clear visuals like charts or diagrams to detail your strategies and projections. This isn’t just about making money; it’s about proving your business can thrive and grow.
Slide 6 - GTM
Slide six should map out how you'll win over your customers. It's your master plan for marketing and sales, showing investors exactly how you'll catch the eye of your target market and keep them coming back. This is about understanding your customers deeply and tailoring your approach to fit them like a glove.
Will you use social media, ads, or something else? This slide should lay out the journey you plan for your product to take from its launch pad directly to the hearts and hands of your customers, all without spending a fortune.
Slide 7 - Competition
Slide seven zooms out to show the big picture: your rivals. It's crucial to prove you know who you're up against. Here, you’ll map out the competitive landscape and showcase what sets you apart. This isn’t just listing other players; it’s a display of your strategic edge.
Use visuals to plot where you stand among the crowd and spell out how you turn competitors’ weaknesses into your strengths. It's your chance to shine a light on why your business isn't just another option, but a choice for customers.
Slide 8 - Team
Slide eight should be about your team—the brains behind the operation. It's more than just names and titles; it's about the people who bring their skills, experiences, and unique strengths to the table every day. Show off your team's expertise and the collective power they bring to your vision.
Here, you let investors know who's steering the ship and why they're not only capable but the best for the journey ahead. It's about trust; when investors see a committed and skilled crew, they're more likely to come aboard because most of them invest in the brains behind a killer idea or product.
Slide 9 - FInancials
Slide nine is where numbers tell the story. It's all about your financial forecast: the sales, costs, and the all-important break-even point. This is where you lay out the roadmap of your financial journey, with realistic projections and the metrics that matter. Think about customer numbers, sales conversions, and growth.
Keep it honest, keep it real, and let the facts speak for themselves. This isn’t just about what you’ll earn but how and when. It’s your chance to show that your vision is not just a dream; it’s a viable, future success story.
Slide 10 - Why Now/Urgency
Slide ten is your closing argument—it's about the 'why now.' It's here you ignite a sense of urgency, outlining why the moment is ripe for investment. Share your current triumphs and how you plan to evolve and expand.
Be clear on the investment you’re seeking and exactly how it’ll propel growth. This slide isn’t just a summary; it's the final nudge for action, showing the future is bright, but the time to act is now. It's your call to arms, inviting investors to be part of your journey at this crucial point.
And there you have it—a complete walk-through of Guy Kawasaki's famous pitch deck approach. With just ten slides, you articulate your vision, map out your plan, and make a case for investment—all within the span of twenty minutes. Using a font size that ensures clarity, your message stands out, leaving a lasting impression.
This rule isn't just guidance—it's the framework that could elevate your pitch from forgettable to funded. Stick to this formula, and you're not just sharing an idea; you're showcasing a future success. Now, it's your turn to present with confidence.