Business Presentation Format

Cite this article as:"Business Presentation Format," in The Business Professor, updated July 19, 2014, last accessed October 27, 2020,

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The Presentation Format

One of the most famous of whom is Guy Kawasaki, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. In his book, Art of the Start, Guy proposes the 10-20-30 rule for investor presentations.  That is, the presentation should consist of 10 slides, presented for 20 minutes, with no smaller than size 30 font.  This is a good guideline for your presentation and presents some important concepts about presenting.

  • Number of slides – You want to keep the number of slides you use to a minimum. As when you are going through prototypes to arrive at the minimum viable product, here you are trying to use the least amount of material necessary to present the relevant information.  Given the short time frame for delivering the business presentation, presentations are normally limited to 15 or less slides. Several famous entrepreneurs and investors propose standard presentation formats that consist of 10-15 slides that you can easily locate with a simple google search.
  • Length of the presentation – Most business presentations are less than 20 minutes. Like children watching cartoons, investors have short attention spans for hearing about individuals’ business ideas. The investor will generally form a firm opinion of the business within the first few minutes of the presentation. Unfortunately, investors rarely make decisions on whether to invest in a business at the time of the presentation. If the investor is interested, then he or she will follow on with an investor-entrepreneur meeting to further discuss the opportunity. If this conversation is fruitful, it can turn into preliminary bargaining and a period of due diligence where the investor inspect various aspects of the business operations and finances.
  • Information on the Slides – Each slide should contain as few words as possible. That is, the slides should provide a cue for delivering the necessary information. Don’t depend on the slide to deliver the information. It is the job of the presenter to deliver the information. The slides should reinforce the information and should simply demonstrate points covered in the verbal delivery.  For example, you may tell the investors that the market size is $400 million per year, there are 20 million individual purchasers who make an average of 2.5 purchases per year, at an average price is $8 per product. Well, then your slide may contain simply contain the following information:

20 million x 2.5 x $8 = $400 M (per year)

As you can see, a slide with only this information provides a cue so that you can explain the size of the market, broken down by the number of purchaser, the number of purchases per customer, and the average price of the products purchased. You can now explain verbally how you arrived at this information.

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