Presentations—whether they're for business or for school, they're a part of life. One of the first things you may wonder about when you're assigned a presentation is how long it needs to be. You may also wonder how many PowerPoint presentation slides to use per minute.
Unfortunately, that question doesn't have a simple answer. But in this guide, I'll help you to work out how many slides you need for presentations of different lengths. I'll also include some tips to help you with presentation timing and delivery.
How Many Slides for a 5-Minute Presentation?
Let's start with the answer to a common question: how many slides for a 5- minute presentation?
While 5-minute presentations may not be the norm (let's face it, that's a pretty short presentation slot), sometimes that's all the time you've got. Typically, you might do a 5-minute presentation at a weekly stand-up or similar meeting.
Tips for Creating a Short Presentation
For short presentations, it's best to limit the number of slides. In fact, you probably won't want more than 10 slides. And you could get away with fewer. I've even seen people do 5-minute presentations with a single, well-designed slide.
The short time slot means you'll have to make your presentation snappy and get straight to the point. That's because you'll have to cover a couple of slides every minute. That gives you 30 seconds on average to spend on each slide.
For best results, stick to one main point per slide. There really isn't time to do more. It's good practice anyway, which is why I'll say it over and over during this guide.
Make sure your slides pop with an attractive design template. If design isn't your strong point, there's no need to worry. Envato Elements has a great offer you can take advantage of today. Download as many PowerPoint presentation templates for your 5- minute presentation as you want all for one low price.
To find the perfect PowerPoint slide design, select Presentation Templates from the onscreen search box. You'll find thousands of templates. Use the on-site filtering tools to find the perfect one for your next presentation.
These PowerPoint slide designs are professionally created and well supported to allow you to create virtually any kind of presentation you want. Learn more in our guide to using presentation templates.
How Many Slides for a 10-Minute Presentation?
So, if a 5-minute presentation is short and sweet, how many slides do you need for a 10-minute presentation? There are a couple of answers to this question.
One option is to keep the number of slides similar (no more than 10) and spend longer discussing key points.
But another option is to have more slides, ideally no more than 20. Then decide how much time you want to spend on each slide. As before, it's good practice to stick to one main point per slide.
Get more PowerPoint presentation tips in How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide).
How Many Slides for a 15-Minute Presentation?
As you start to increase the length of your presentation, the issue of the number of slides becomes less important. So, when thinking about how many slides for a 15-minute presentation, you can include more slides. You could perhaps use as many as 30.
But you don't have to. You can also stick with a smaller number of slides, and spend more time talking about key points. In other words, adjust the verbal part of your presentation without changing much else.
If you do decide to go for more slides, you can move beyond the bare bones approach. That means besides having slides for your main talking points, you can include slides for supporting points, too.
Stuck on slide design? Envato Elements is excellent for people preparing many presentations. But sometimes you just need a single PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation template for one-off use.
In that case, take a look at the single-use Google Slides and PowerPoint slide designs available on GraphicRiver.
How Many Slides for a 20-Minute Presentation?
Once your presentation starts getting a bit longer, the question of how many slides you need for a 20-minute presentation gets more complex. Guy Kawasaki believes the ideal presentation has 10 slides, lasts 20 minutes, and has no font smaller than 30 point. That's his 10/20/30 rule.
That's one approach. But you can also go longer. Some recommend 20 slides for a 20-minute presentation, with an allocation of a minute of speaking time per slide.
My take is that it's not always necessary to have a set time per slide. Just spend more time on the slides where you've got more to say. With longer presentations, include a brief introduction and conclusion to make your presentation even more polished.
A 5-minute presentation can have a pretty simple design. As presentations get longer, it's important to think about ways to hold your audience's attention. This is a good time to illustrate key points with graphics, photos, charts and graphs. They'll give your audience images they'll remember long after you end your presentation.
How Many Slides for a 30-Minute Presentation?
The same principles apply when considering how many slides for a 30-minute presentation. If you used 30 slides for a 15-minute presentation, you'll likely feel more comfortable with more slides for a longer presentation slot. In that case, add more slides for sub-points.
But if you prefer a minimalist approach, that's OK, too. Stick to the main talking points and spend more time talking about each one. See our public speaking guide for more presentation tips:
How Many Slides for a 45-Minute Presentation?
Once your presentation slot gets longer, you'll probably want to have a LOT more slides. When planning how many PowerPoint slides for a 45-minute presentation, it's unlikely that you're going to stop at 10 or 15 slides.
If you're an engaging public speaker who's confident when ad libbing, you might keep slide numbers low and spend longer on each point. Otherwise, you'll want to have a bit more for your audience to look at. As always, well-designed slides will help hold your audience's attention.
How Many Slides for a 1-Hour Presentation?
So, what about the number of slides for a 1-hour presentation? This is a pretty long presentation slot. There's a good chance your audience's attention will wander.
As advised for presentations 20 minutes and above, you've got the choice to add more slides for supplementary points. Or, you can speak much longer about the key points. And you'll need to keep slide design appealing to give your audience something to focus on.
There's another option, though. Even if you've got a 1-hour presentation slot, you don't have to fill the whole thing with your own voice. Instead, make it interactive by getting the audience involved throughout. You can also leave plenty of time for a Q&A session at the end.
How Many PowerPoint Slides Per Minute?
Another question people often ask is how many PowerPoint presentation slides per minute you should have for a typical presentation. Again, this question doesn't have a simple answer.
The number of slides you need per minute may depend on your topic. If it's simple, a few slides might do, while a more complex topic might need more slides.
Another factor is your speaking rate. The average person speaks at 150 words per minute. If you speak faster than that, you'll cover more slides in a minute than someone who speaks more slowly.
One important thing to remember is that your slides alone aren't the presentation. They support what you say. So, don't add or remove slides just to meet an arbitrary PowerPoint slides per minute target.
Match your slides to your material. Even long presentations can hold attention if the topic is interesting enough.
A couple of notable examples are Mary Meeker's Internet Trends (Source: TechCrunch) and the Hootsuite/We are Social Global Social Report. Both of these can run over 100 slides. Both make good use of graphs and charts. Learn how to do this for your own presentations in our infographics creation guide.
How to Make Your Presentations Better
Instead of focusing on how many PowerPoint presentation slides per minute you need, there are other ways to improve your presentation.
For example, focus on what your audience needs. Choose the presentation length that's right for your subject and the occasion. Here are a couple of examples:
An executive presentation is usually short and focused. So, you'll get straight to the point and may only need a few slides.
In contrast, a keynote speech or lecture is usually longer. Spend more time painting a picture or telling a story.
Use templates to give your presentations a harmonious and attractive look without having to do the design work yourself. Human beings are very visual. Attractive slides will subtly enhance the appeal of your presentation.
When designing your slides, avoid walls of text, which are a real turnoff. Keep your slides uncluttered. It'll be easier for the audience to focus on them.
Finally, practice your presentation so you know your speaking rate and get the timing right for moving from slide to slide. This will help you deliver an appealing presentation, no matter how long it is.
Learn More About Presentation Preparation
If you want to learn more about preparing presentations, check out the articles below:
- The Complete Guide to Making Great Business Presentations in 2021Laura Spencer22 Mar 2021
- How to Write a Professional PowerPoint Presentation (Discover the Writing Process)Brad Smith26 Jan 2020
- How to Write, Format, & Give a Great Business Presentation Report 2020Sarah Joy09 Jan 2020
- 15+ Top Presentation Design Trends to Create Cool PowerPoint PPTs 2022Andrew Childress01 Jul 2021
Find a Template For Your Next Presentation
I've shared some example presentation templates throughout this guide. You can find even more stunning templates for your next presentation in the following presentation template guides:
- 20 Best Free Corporate PowerPoint Templates: Company PPT Presentations 2022Sharon Hurley Hall01 Sep 2021
- 25+ Best Premium PowerPoint PPT Templates to Download for 2022 PresentationsSharon Hurley Hall06 Jul 2021
- 20 Best Free News & Newspaper PowerPoint Templates (PPT Slides for 2022)Barni Rajah03 Apr 2021
Download Your Next Presentation Template and Get Started!
Remember, for a head start on creating the perfect visual identity for your presentation, download unlimited PowerPoint templates from Envato Elements. Plus there are plenty of PowerPoint and Google Slides templates for one-off use available on GraphicRiver.
Now it's over to you now to get started on creating the perfect slides for your next presentation.