10-Minute presentations: How to Write, Design & Deliver (Complete Guide)

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Presentations are an interesting way to introduce a new topic, perspective, or study to your audience. 10-minute presentations serve the same purpose but they come with a specified restriction on time.

When we see the word presentation, we instantly think of PPTs and while PPTs are used in many cases, some presentations are completely oral as well.

The number of speakers is another variable while presenting. It can be done individually like in the case of a job interview presentation or in a group setting like in the case of a college assignment. 

How long should a 10-minute presentation be?

Ideally, for 10-minute presentations, you should focus on adding 5-10 effective, crisp slides. And a speech of about 1000-2000 words should be enough to complete the presentation within 10 minutes.

However, there are no set rules while making a presentation which means that you are free to increase or decrease the number of slides in your presentation depending upon your pace of presenting.

Now when we talk about the pace of presenting, we mean the number of words you can speak in an understandable manner per minute. So, if you can speak 100-120 words per minute (adding the usual pauses), then a 1000–1200-word speech would be enough for your 10-minute presentation.

While we cannot point out an exact word count specifically catered for you in this blog, we can surely suggest you take up any piece of long article and go on reading it out loud while taking necessary pauses and timing it. It might give you an idea of your speed which in turn would help you gauge the perfect word count for your presentation.

Another factor that would define the way you present your topic is whether you are presenting it individually or in a group.

Individual Presentations

A man presenting his topic.

In Individual presentations, you are the one to shoulder your entire presentation’s responsibility. You can make use of effective PowerPoint presentation skills or use props to keep the audience engaged and interested in your presentation.

Further, it becomes extremely important for you to have sufficient knowledge about your topic, as in case of any doubts you are the only one to be questioned by the audience members.

Group Presentations

A group of two college students presenting to a class full of students.

On the other hand, in group presentations, the responsibility to carry out an effective and good presentation falls on all group members. This calls for a lot of coordination which would require a ton of practice.

In groups, you can make use of skits to explain a certain phenomenon. Or maybe the use of coordinated props per speaker can also make your presentations more eye-catchy.

Further, involving your entire group to present rather than just 2 people doing it with beautifully placed content, will easily stand out to the audience.

The placement of your content could be in a para format wherein one person speaks a para followed by another one. Or one person can explain one subtopic followed by another; whatever suits best for your group.

A beautiful example of group presentations is the one by The minimalists.

It is a beautiful presentation because we see that while one person is speaking, the other enacts what is being said, thus making it an interesting presentation involving both speakers.

Tips for your 10-minute presentations

1. Avoid information overload

While it can be very tempting to add all the relevant information in your presentation, limiting it will turn out to be one of the best decisions taken by any presenter.

The reason is very simple, every individual has a very limited attention span and capacity to take in new information. 10-minute presentations exceed the average duration of attention span among humans which is 7 minutes.

If you bombard them with tons of information, chances are that they might feel exhausted and detached from your topic and presentation altogether.

2. Avoid reading from your slides

We know you might have heard this a gazillion times but here we are to say it again because it is very important. Avoid reading from your slides. As it might indicate your lack of understanding of the topic. It can also end up being a little boring for the audience to listen to something present in front of them that they can easily read themselves.

3. Give your audience an incentive to listen to you

It is always better to assume that your audience is not innately motivated to listen to your presentation and hence to give them a reason why listening to your presentation would be worth it.

Are you planning on discussing a new perspective on a widely-spoken topic? Are you trying to introduce new findings? Is your presentation trying to motivate the audience?

TELL THEM.

Whatever goal you wish to achieve through your presentation, make it known to the audience.

4. Try to offer something new

The very essence of presentations is to offer some new idea, perspective, or study to your audience. This holds especially true when your presentation is on a generic or widely-spoken topic like climate change.

5. Avoid exceeding the time limit

This goes without saying, avoid exceeding your time limit. If you know you have been given 10 minutes, either finish it by the time it hits the limit or better yet, finish it before time.

Everyone would appreciate you for finishing your presentation before time for sure.

6. Make it easy to understand

Another point that goes without saying is to make your content very easy for everyone in the audience to understand.

Try to tweak your presentation in a manner that is convenient for the youngest and the least experienced member to understand easily.  For if your presentation doesn’t reach your audience, it might not fulfill its very purpose.

Structuring 10-minute presentations

Just like we structure any speech, with a beginning, a middle, and an end, structuring your presentation follows a similar pattern.

Beginning

In the initial few minutes or even seconds of your presentation, the audience might have decided whether they should listen to your presentation or will it be more fruitful to dive deep into their thoughts.

This is the reason why starting 10-minute presentations on a strong foot is emphasized so much. But again, there is no need to stress out about it.

Here are a few tips on how you can start your presentation:

1. Provocative statements

Provocative statements are the ones that try to shake some strongly held views of the audience. Reggie Rivers make use of a provocative statement in his TED talk that might help you understand its use better.

He begins by saying

If you want to achieve your goals, don’t focus on them.

The statement clearly goes against a belief we have grown up with; the idea that we should chase and focus on our goals in order to achieve them.

2. Hypothetical scenario

Starting with a hypothetical scenario includes the use of words like “Imagine” or “what if.” It gives your audience a chance to put themselves in a situation that you are about to address in your presentation.

An example of the same is given below.

Imagine you are going out for a drive with your friends. It is a little late and the roads are wet from the heavy shower that had surrendered only a few minutes ago. You are all singing and laughing. But then you look to your left only to realize two giant lights come close to you at lightning speed and you know at that moment you are going to die. That you are going to die in that crash. Then you hear a screech and *pause* the truck halts 5 cm from your car. That is exactly what someone with anxiety feels but unlike you, it doesn’t end within a few minutes; it persists for hours or even days.

3. Hard-hitting questions

While questions are one of the most widely used ways to open any speech or presentation, the task here is to open with a hard-hitting question.

A question that your audience probably doesn’t have an answer to, which you plan on providing them through your presentation.

Some examples of these would be:

  • Is there anyone here who can give me the exact amount of microplastics they consumed during this week?
  • Did you know that with the advancement in technology, there is a possibility that the organ transplanted to you in 20 years would not be from another human but from an animal?

4. Props

Starting your presentation with props is the easiest and most creative way to start a presentation. The reason why it is creative is that you can use absolutely anything as a prop. Be it a plastic bottle, a jar full of waste, or even some hula hoops.

Middle

Once you have introduced yourself and your topic, you can go on to the next step: the main content of your presentation.

However, it isn’t just about presenting your points but how you present them that we will take a look into.  Presenting your topic in a more structured manner makes it easier for your audience to stay in tune with your presentation.

One of the formatting ways is the 3-pointer format. The idea behind using a 3-pointer structure is to divide your main content into 3 huge chunks or points. And while you are free to add more points, having 3 points makes it a tad bit easier to recall the information and to maintain a flow among the listeners.  

An example of using a three-pointer structure is this 5 slide presentation by Ashley Stahl where she talks about 3 key questions to unlock your authentic careers.

  • What are you good at?
  • What do people tell me I am good at?
  • What is holding you back?

End

The closing remarks like the opening lines are quite important.

There are several ways in which you can close your presentation. But it takes more than a mere thank you to make it an effective closing remark for your presentation.

A few ways in which you can close 10-minute presentations are:

1. Fitting remark

A fitting remark or in simple terms a summary is where you revise what you just spoke in a couple of lines. It is better to keep it as short as possible as 10-minute presentations don’t give you enough tie to elaborate.

2. Calling for action

You can end your speech by instilling a sense of action and purpose among the audience members to make a difference. An amazing example of this is the speech by Leonardo DiCaprio. While it is a speech, you can observe his way of delivering the last couple of lines and inculcate the same in your presentation.

For more ways in which you can close your presentation check out our video on 5 Powerful Speech Closing Remarks for your next Presentation.

Designing 10-minute presentations

Designing your PowerPoint is as important as presenting your topic confidently and effectively.

A few dos and don’ts of designing your PPTs are:

DosDon’ts
Keep it short.Don’t add an unnecessary slide to your presentation.
Select a template and add appropriate information.Try not to select a basic and generic template.
Add information in the form of bullets if possible.Avoid using whole sentences in your slides.
Use images and charts.Do not use colors and fonts that are not situation appropriate.

Some amazing websites that will help you in making effective and aesthetically pleasing presentations are canva, Prezi, and more.

Best PowerPoint presentations on TED 

Some of the most innovative PowerPoint presentations we came across on Ted were the ones given by Tim Burton and Adam Grant.

1. Tim Burton

I can not emphasize how absolutely wonderful the Presentation by Tim is. A mix of information with tons of humor coupled with very entertaining visuals.

His confidence makes the presentation quite engaging and interesting to watch.

2. Adam Grant

Adam Grant like Tim Burton has made use of animated cartoons to make the statistical data quite entertaining. However, the way he presents his topic is a little different.

His presentation is filled with images and cartoons. When he states quantitative data, the font size and color are something that must be taken a look into. Further, the language that he includes in his PPT is very candid and informal.

Delivering 10-minute presentations

While you are trying to make your content crisp, 10 minutes may seem way too little; But when it comes to presenting it and speaking, 10 minutes is not that short of a time.

There are a few things that you can do so as to deliver your presentation in its most effective way.

1. Practice your presentation in chunks.

Chunks are the division of your main content into small parts. 5-to-9 chunks are easy to remember.

We are not encouraging you to memorize or rote learn your presentation. However, it is important to remember the flow in which you are supposed to be presenting. And for this dividing, your presentation into chunks to practice can help navigate you through your entire presentation.

This also raises the question that,

How Long Should You Practice for a Presentation?

It is advisable to practice your presentation at least 3 times and a maximum of 10-12 times. But as the old saying goes “Practice makes a man perfect,” you can practice as long as you feel you have perfected your presentation.

If you are looking for a specific time duration for which you should practice then, for a 10-minute presentation, 30 minutes to about An hour and a half should suffice.

For some amazing tips on how you can rehearse your presentations, check out 13 Tips For Rehearsing A Presentation.

2. Add a story or share a personal experience

Stories are a very binding way to let your point across. It adds a personal touch, especially if you are sharing your personal experience. It also gives the audience a chance to understand where you come from and maybe even relate to you.

The TED by Jarret J. Krosoczka is a wonderful presentation where he illustrates his story while talking about it to the audience.

The creative bend makes it a presentation worth remembering, don’t you think?

3. Engage the audience.

While it isn’t mandatory for you to add elements that would ensure that the audience stays engaged, adding it will only help in enhancing your and your audience’s experience (if time permits).

You can add a quiz, or a small game like spot a difference between the two pictures. you can also ask a question and take a poll by asking the audience members who agree to raise their hands.

4. Add humor to your presentations

Humor can be your friend or your enemy while presenting a topic. If you get it right, it can make your presentation an unforgettable one. At the same time, if you end up making jokes that the audience might not find funny or worst even derogatory, It may land you in some trouble.

One of the funniest and most energy-filled presentations I have come across was the one by Alexis Nikole Nelson and her take on Veganism. The way in which she makes use of the prop is another thing you must take a look into.

Add elements of credibility

Elements of credibility include stating facts and figures. You can also quote some renowned personalities. All these things would build the confidence of the audience in your presentation. It also works best to give a reality check. How do you ask?

Simple, when you state figures, you give them a clear picture of the situation.

An example of this is the use of statistics used by Randy Palisoc in his Ted talk “Math isn’t hard, it’s a language.”

26%..Thats is the percentage of US 12 graders who are proficient in math

Find the full video of the same below.

Famous 10-Minute Presentations

1. Bill Gates

We might have all heard about Bill Gates and his talks or speeches on Climate Change. But this presentation was a little different.

Here, Bill Gates goes on to explain how teachers have not been receiving sufficient feedback which could’ve led to drastic changes in their teaching patterns.

He explains the wide disparity in feedback given to teachers through charts, thus providing a way to easily compare and evaluate one’s country’s performance to that of others.

His bidding statement ends on a positive note as it is filled with optimism. He says,

I am excited about the opportunity to give all our teachers the support they want and deserve. I hope you are too.

2. Vishaan Chakrabarti

Renowned Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti gives an insight into the need for sustainable housing to provide a roof over the head of additional 3 billion people who are expected to be born by 2100.

The presentation is particularly interesting for the way in which he has used the visuals and animations. The language is kept simple which makes it easy to understand even if you have no degree in architecture.

Topics for 10-minute presentations

Presentation topics for college students

  • Population explosion
  • The increasing gap between Rich and Poor
  • Virtual money as the next evolution in monetary exchange
  • Diversification and blending of cultures
  • Change in seeking entertainment post-pandemic
  • Data is the new oil
  • Are we prepared for the next pandemic?
  • Electric Vehicles: Future of Transportation
  • E-learning and the shift in the education system
  • Veganism and sustainability
  • Evolution of the fashion industry in the metaverse
  • Legalization of cryptocurrencies
  • Need for immediate action toward climate change
  • Do your degrees define your success in life?
  • Evolution in careers across the years

Presentation Topics for Interviews

  • Overcoming fears can lead to success
  • Diversification in the workplace and its impact on better decision making
  • Right to work is a fundamental right
  • Can a few jobs permanently start working from home?
  • Women as leaders
  • The rise in startup culture
  • The increasing threat of data breach
  • Influencer marketing and its advantages
  • Employee motivation and its relation to monetary rewards
  • Should employees be paid for working overtime
  • Paternal leave and its benefits
  • Building skills is more important than degrees
  • The efficiency of a 4 day work week
  • Benefits of going paperless to the organizations

Funny 10-minute presentation topics

  • 11 ways to order a pizza
  • Why you don’t need success
  • Why be excellent when you can be mediocre?
  • World’s worst Disaster: Crocs Heels
  • Evolution of Dance: from Bellydance to TikTok dance
  • Being an Adult: The Most challenging task
  • Struggles of Being a Planned Child
  • Alcohol fixes relationships
  • How autocorrect ruins your life
  • LOL: Only Socially Acceptable way to Avoid laughing
  • If only I had the life I do on My Instagram
  • 5 easy ways to make it out of the friendzone
  • 3 Totally useless professions
  • 6 ways to do absolutely nothing
  • The Rise of Family Whatsapp Groups

You can also find more speech topics depending on the type of your speech. Check out Demonstrative Speech Topics, Informative Speech Topics, and Persuasive Speech Topics on our website to get some inspiration for your speech.

10-Minute presentation sample

Presentation on Sustainable Fashion

I want you to imagine the amount of water you drink in a day. Now imagine and tell me if you can do the math, how much water would you have consumed in 3 years?

Let me help you.

2720 liters of water.

Now how would you feel if I tell you that this also equal to the amount of water that went into making the t-shirt you quite stunningly adorn right now?

*Imitates mind being blown*

With a 4-fold increase in the production of clothes over the last 20 years, we cannot even imagine the extent to which it has penetrated the pollution index across the world. Every year, fast fashion brands release several micro collections against the ideal 2. So if you ever wondered how the store has a very different collection every time you step into H&M or Zara, you know now. In fact, In the US per person, approximately 35 kgs of textile waste are generated every year.

If this wasn’t enough, the extent of water pollution caused by Fast fashion is beyond imaginable. 22,000 toxic waste is released into rivers by tanneries in Bangladesh,

Every. Single. Day.

So, what is the most immediate action that you can take to switch to more sustainable styling?

I am going to introduce a mantra that has worked wonders for me when I felt overwhelmed about switching to sustainable fashion. The 4 Rs and No it isn’t Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

The 4 Rs for sustainable fashion are

Reduce

Repair

Resell

Rethink

Reduce your consumption of clothes. Has it ever happened that you end up buying a shirt only to realize you don’t a perfect pair of pants to wear with it? Or bought something that you found super cute but never touched once you got home? It’s okay! Don’t feel guilty, I have done that too.

But that can be avoided. A simple method is to ask yourself “Do I need this Now?” and “Will I be able to use it in the long run?” The answer to the second question will immediately direct you away from fast fashion brands that offer cheap quality clothing at a very affordable rate.

Repair.

If the clothes you own can be repaired in any way, it is better to do that than jump on to buy a new one. There were many times when I repaired or redesigned my outfits. For example. this one time when I slipped in my yard and tore my jeans a little from the knee area. Guess the ground was desperate for me to own another pair of ripped jeans and so I did exactly that. The other time a friend of mine, an amazing artist got some splashes of paint on her pants, Any guess what we did with those pants?

Exactly! Splashed more paint over it. Now I know it may sound bizarre but that was a time when that was in trend.

The third option is to Resell your stuff or give it to someone else.

This is where our popular thrift stores come into the picture. You’ve got a piece of clothing that you are never going to wear? Why let it take up the space in your closet when you can easily make money out of it and get rid of it at the same time. But if you are more altruistic, you can even consider donating your not-so-frequently used clothes to those who need them. And I know for a fact that every brown person sitting here is a pro at both lending and receiving hand-me-downs.

Lastly and the most important of all is, to rethink your consumption of fashion. It is 2022. Some brands have dedicated their entire efforts to providing you with sustainable alternatives. You can choose to buy consciously.

For instance, Adidas’s future craft loop edition shoes are one such example of big brands trying to do their part in this battle of saving our planet from our species. Further, there are brands like Baggit that use vegan leather for all their products.

Then there are completely sustainable brands like Eco India that use the clothes thrown into landfills to make fashion statements that are both iconic as well as sustainable.

While I can talk about this for as long as my voice doesn’t give in, I guess I should cut it short.

Reduce, Repair, Resell and Rethink what you can do to make the change towards a healthier fashion choice. After all the industry thrives upon you and your impulsiveness, try not to give in to it.

So the idea is simple. Maintain your style but not at the cost of the planet.

Final Thoughts

Presentations are an effective mode of presenting your topic with creativity.

10-minute presentations however come with a restriction on time which makes it important to focus on crunching the information you plan to add and thus keeping it short.

The use of visuals can be effective in carrying out successful presentations, be it PPTs or props.

Sharing personal experiences, humor, or any other element that makes your presentation stand out would enhance your presentation and make it easier for the audience to recall the information shared by you.

Lastly, there is no right or wrong way of presenting.

The only way we know is to enjoy your presentation just as much as you would want the audience to enjoy listening to it.

If you feel like you need more personalized guidance on carrying out your presentation in a more effective and confident manner, Check out Frantically Speaking.

We will be more than happy to help you!

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