Developing and delivering a five-minute presentation seems like a fairly easy task at first, until you realize that the condensed format actually requires significantly more efficiency, focus, and attention to detail than longer presentation types. When there is less time to express your point of view, every second counts more. While creating short presentations can be unexpectedly challenging, when done right they can have more impact than longer presentations. Five minutes is long enough to present a compelling narrative on a topic, without any filler or nonsense. The time limit forces you to include as much valuable information as possible in your presentation while maintaining a consistent structure. The shorter format also encourages the public to pay more attention. But how can you ensure that your short presentation achieves everything you need in just five minutes? We’ve put together a (properly condensed) five-minute presentation guide to help you get started.
How many words are in a 5 minute presentation?
A person speaks an average of 120 to 160 words per minute, which means that the average five-minute presentation will be 600 to 800 words. That means each word must be chosen carefully to support the central idea of your presentation. By building a longer presentation, you may become more concerned with transitions and keep your audience engaged with longer narrative elements. In a short presentation, everything you say should relate directly to your central premise and further advance your main point. By keeping your scope limited and using your words carefully, you will ensure that your time is not wasted and the audience leaves with a clear and singular conclusion.
How many slides are in a 5 minute presentation?
Generally speaking, you’ll want to stick to just five or six slides for a five-minute presentation, but there is no set limit on how many of yours you’ll require. You can choose to have twenty slides and spend about 10-15 seconds on each, depending on your topic. More important than the number of slides is what each slide contains. While it’s a good rule of thumb to keep your slides simple and focused on images (rather than text) for a presentation of any length, this becomes especially important when it comes to a condensed presentation window. It can be tempting, with a small window of time, to try to accumulate as much information as possible; resist the temptation. Instead, focus on simple, clean images that (once again) relate to your core premise. If you’re concerned that narrowing the scope of your presentation will leave things out, add a slide at the end of the presentation with additional resources and information that your audience can access after the presentation ends.
Sample 5 minute presentation format
If you’re looking for a starting point for your own five-minute presentation, we’ve created a basic outline below that you can use to organize your initial thoughts in the planning stage. You can choose to dedicate one slide to each section or multiple slides if you want to divide them further. Feel free to deviate from the structure depending on the content or format of your presentation. Just remember not to give your audience too much to chew on – the key here is, you guessed it, linking each slide to a central idea.
An extremely short introduction
Your first slide should serve as an introduction to the topic of your presentation. Try to limit your title to about six words or even less. If your title is too long, it can become unwieldy and your presentation can confuse your audience by covering too much. Remember: your audience (hopefully!) Already has an idea of what you’re presenting, so you don’t need to spend too much precious time or real estate slides explaining what you’re going to cover – just jump right in. in.
Slide of a problem
Most presentations can be reduced to a problem that you have identified, resolved, or are in the process of resolving. Lead with that family narrative. It will give your presentation a clear starting point and prepare your audience for the rest of your slides.
Solution / Analysis Slide (s)
Now that your issue has been presented, tell your audience what they need to know about what you are doing about it. In shorter presentation formats, you’ll want to focus less on details and more on large-image elements. Ask yourself: what does your audience need to know when they leave the room? Anything in the “good to know” category can be cut up and sent to stakeholders after the meeting in a follow-up email.
A concluding slide
The conclusion side allows you to put a consistent ending to your presentation and summarize the important points for the audience. Don’t skimp on your conclusion just because it’s a short presentation – it’s the last thing your audience will hear from you. A good conclusion will reinforce the other information you presented and ultimately make your overall presentation more memorable.
5 minute presentation examples
While (unfortunately) we were not in the room when these presentations were originally given and therefore we cannot confirm with 100% certainty that they only lasted five minutes, all of these decks record fewer than 15 slides and use a simple format. to convey a problem and a solution.
1. Presentation of AirBnB
2. Buffer launch pad
3. Presentation of Mixpanel
How do I create a spectacular 5 minute presentation?
Here are some of the best practices to follow when creating a short presentation.
1. Focus on the most important part.
The biggest challenge you will have when designing your presentation is choosing what to focus on, but from the format we discussed above, you can see how important it is to have a unique premise in designing your presentation. It’s easy to get too ambitious in your presentation or to feel overwhelmed by the information you want to present. Choosing a single idea to focus on gives you clarity when designing your speech and allows you to eliminate superfluous information. It also provides a narrative structure that your audience can more easily understand.
2. Do your research, check the facts, and do it twice.
Your presentation is your chance to shine, but the shorter format also means that every point you make will be more visible, memorable, and consequently more vulnerable to scrutiny. Take the time to thoroughly research the topic of your presentation and make sure that each point you make is technically accurate and easy to understand. This will put you in a better position to answer questions and discuss your topic in depth. With a strong command of your topic, your presentation will also be more confident and compelling.
3. Appeal to how people learn best: stories.
A story can give your presentation meaning and elevate it to more than just facts, figures, and a few eye-catching slides. Building your presentation around a simple, easy-to-understand narrative (like the problem / solution narrative we show you in the avoid template) can make your content more digestible. Your presentation will only last a few minutes, but the story you tell should stay in your audience’s brains longer, and stories naturally help humans understand and retain information more easily.
4. Don’t skip that practice session.
Just because your presentation is only five minutes long doesn’t mean you should try to improvise. Your audience’s time is valuable, and practicing your presentation before delivering it will help you get the most out of it. From CEOs to interns, everyone can benefit from practicing their presentations ahead of time, no matter how confident they are. If you can transmit much (or all) by heart, your presentation will be much more natural, allowing you to develop a stronger connection with your audience. And once the nerves kick in, you’ll have the muscle memory to draw on and help you get through the tough times!
5. Relax and don’t rush.
You only have five minutes to present, so it’s natural to feel the pressure to go a little too fast. Stay relaxed during your presentation and avoid distractions, such as someone informing you that you only have one minute left. Staying focused on your presentation will improve your presentation and give you more confidence, even if you are normally terrified of speaking in public. If you need to speed up your presentation to cut it down to a five-minute window, it’s a good sign that you’re trying to do too much and should consider trimming your slides.
You know your audience better
When creating your five-minute presentation, think about your audience and do it to engage them. The information you decide to highlight and how you frame it will differ greatly depending on who your presentation is intended for. It’s natural to be nervous when starting your presentation, especially if you don’t like public speaking or are afraid of it, but with enough thought and practice, you will be a master of whatever topic you want to present.