Jan 18, 2013

Do 20% of your slides give 80% of the results?

Pareto Principle is a famous management principle which states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In business it is observed that 80% of sales come from 20% of customers. 80% of work is done by 20% people. This is also referred to as the 80-20 principle. In my career as a sales manager and marketing manager I too have seen this principle working.

Do you think this principle applies to your presentation as well? Do 20% of your slides provide 80% of the results?

Go back to the last few PPTs you have made. How many slides were there? If your PPT had 25 slides, identify the most important 5 slides (20%). Do you think these slides contained 80% of the message and (more importantly) they created 80% of the impact. Think about it.

If you think its true (which it is) then can you do the following:

1. Focus on these 20% slides and prepare them well.
2. While rehearsing your presentation, give special emphasis and more time to these slides.

In every presentation you make from now on, decide which are those slides which give you 80% results. While preparing these slides spend extra time. While delivering these slides, give extra emphasis and take extra effort.

What happens if your time is cut short by the organisers. You can just present these 20% slides and still make 80% of the impact.


  1. It is quite impossible that 20% of the work on the slides to relieve us from 80% of the entire work. Yes, slides are really important but it's really hard to impossible to find the ones that give you 80% results. Good points you have there that 80% of work is done by 20% people. But would you care to give any tips in this regard? Or should I need a professional designer to do this for me?

  2. Hi Darren

    Not clear on what you are looking for?