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Rule of Thumb

Make sure your message is loud and clear by following the 10/20/30 rule of Powerpoint.

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This story appears in the May 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

I suffer from something called Ménière's disease. The symptoms include hearing loss, a constant ringing in the ears and vertigo. There are many medical theories about its cause, but I have a different theory: As a venture capitalist, I have to listen to hundreds of entrepreneurs pitch their companies. Most of these pitches are crap: 60 slides about "patent pending," "first-mover advantage," and "all we have to do is get 1 percent of the people in to buy our product." These pitches are so lousy that I'm losing my hearing, there's a constant ringing in my ears, and every once in a while, the world starts spinning.

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