How to Estimate the Amount of Time Your Presentation Will Last

A presentation should last as long as it takes to adequately deliver your message. Furthermore, you need to make sure you adhere to any specific time restrictions. For these reasons, it’s important to know how long your presentation will last so you can plan accordingly and ensure you are not boring your audience to tears. Here are a few tips for determining the length of your presentation.

Consider the Complexity

Much of your time will be based on the complexity of your topic. If your topic is heavy in stats, graphs, and complex material than it will take you longer to present. The goal is to make sure your information is clearly presented to your audience so you will need to consider the complexity of the topic to determine how long it will take you to explain it thoroughly.

How Many Slides are Being Used and How Detailed are They?

Another factor that will determine the length of your presentation is the number of slides you are using and the amount of detail in each slide. In general, you should talk for less than a minute per slide. However, some slides might be more text heavy and require a bit more time to explain. You should never speak for more than 3 minutes, however, on one slide. If it takes you longer than that, you should consider adding another slide. Presenters should be mindful of how much time they spend per slide, so they remain focused on communicating their ideas more efficiently.

How Many Different Points are in the Presentation?

Every presentation should have an introduction and a conclusion but the number of main points in the body of the presentation will vary. Consider how many points you will be addressing and how many slides will be associated with each point. Generally, you should spend no more than 5-7 minutes per main point.  

Give Your Presentation

The best way to determine how long your presentation will last is to perform it live. Perform it exactly as you would in front of your audience and time yourself. You can even record yourself, so you know where to make adjustments if needed.


Once you have finalized your presentation it is important to rehearse it several times. The more familiar you are with the presentation the more efficient you will be with transitions and overall delivery.