Friday, February 8, 2008

Pitch: Improving the 10/20/30 Rule

I'm working on Linkspank's pitch a bit as I mentioned. So far this is basically consisting of having conversations with some of my brilliant friends and colleagues about it.

One advisor checked with me that I would be following Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 rule. And I was like, "Of course!" And I do think about that rule. But I'm a contrarian guy and when I hear the words "of course" (even from my own mouth) I start to examine them. So after I got off IM, I was sitting at my computer with a raised Vulcan eyebrow. "Of course?"

Could the 10/20/30 rule be improved? Of course. :-) The improved version is the 0/10/20/30/1000 rule. How catchy is that? It's Guy's rule, plus a 0 rule at the beginning and a 1,000 rule at the end.

0: The ideal number of slides that you actually get through in your presentation. This is not a trick - you bring your presentation to use it. But the best presentations are stories, and the best stories hook the listeners immediately and have them so mesmerized by what they're hearing - sitting on the edges of their seats, eyes boggling, mouth agape, drooling - that the use of slides would actually be jarring and disrupt the magic spell that is occurring. What will you possibly ever remember from this little blog post? Maybe the Vulcan "of course" eyebrow, maybe the number zero, but at any rate the elements of a story.

The other rule to append:

1,000: the whole picture is worth thing. So far, one of the most effective parts of my attempts to explain Linkspank to an uninitiated person has been this picture:


Depending on what you watch on TV, this picture is just a guy, or it's a picture rich with associations and meaning (and usually immediately triggers a smile or laugh). This picture reduces the time that it takes me to explain my target market by about 30 seconds, which is a lot of time.

Summing Up

If you happen to be on my wavelength, you may have thought that the 1,000 rule boils down to the 0 rule, since good pictures boil down to telling a story. I think actually that's true for the 10/20/30 in general: it's about telling a story. The 10/20/30 parts of it are pointers for keeping the attention and understanding of your listeners.

Of course.