15-Minute Presentations: Design, Write & Deliver

Delivering a 15 Minute Presentation

One of the most popular sorts of presentations is the 15-minute presentation. 15 minutes are ideal for practically every situation. You have enough time to delve further into your topic, ask questions, and summarise your objective without taking up too much of your audience’s time. It is swift and dependable. It is, however, quite easy to do it wrong. Use this article to help you improve your style of writing and deliver the perfect 15-minute presentation.


How many Slides to include in a 15-Minute Presentation?

The issue of the number of slides becomes less significant when you begin to lengthen your presentation. You can thus add more slides when calculating the number of slides for a 15-minute presentation. You might perhaps utilise up to 20.

For Speeches or Business Conferences

Aiming for one slide every 45-50 seconds in a presentation helps you to look knowledgeable and competent without offering too much or too little information. The objective is to keep your audience interested in your message and in the common results.

One concept per slide is another suggestion. You may concentrate on the most important details, demonstrate your subject-matter knowledge, and convey knowledge and awareness to your audience by presenting only one topic on each slide.

The rule of thumb of one slide every 45 to 60 seconds is not rigid, though. There may be quick slides and slower slides. You may alternatively stay with fewer slides and devote more time to discussing the critical issues. In other words, just make minor changes to the spoken portion of your presentation.

You may go beyond the basic strategy if you desire to go for extra slides. That implies that in addition to providing slides for your key talking points, you may also include slides for your arguments.

For Scientific Presentations

Give each slide two to three minutes, giving a total of 5-7 slides, not counting the envelope (the “title”, “end and questions?” slides and certain images in between). In a classic blueprint, there are around 4 actual content slides, including 1 for topic specification and 2 for introduction, motivation, and background. The body should have everything it needs, but it shouldn’t take up more than four slides, with at least one of those slides reserved for a specific example.

Of course, you can take your own approach to this and edit it as per your content. If you have a lot of information to break down, increase your slides and help your audience understand everything clearly. Add exciting example slides and bring the research down to easier terms.

How Many Words to include in a 15-Minute Presentation?

Daphne Gray-Grant, a speech and publishing coach, discovered that humans talk at a pace of 125 to 150 words per minute. Therefore, a 15-minute speech utilises between 1,875 and 2,250 words. It is nearly always preferable to talk slowly rather than rapidly. So stick to the lower end of the scale. If left unchecked, you may speak for a lot longer than intended. 

Once you’ve gained some speaking expertise, try to avoid giving word-for-word presentations unless you already have a teleprompter. If you talk from outlines or notes instead of a script, your presentation will be more intriguing and authentic. 

You can memorise an introduction to help you get started, but the remainder should be done with an outline. A few blunders are acceptable if they help you enhance your delivery. Your capacity to be intriguing and engaging with the audience will compensate for any little flaws.

Planning the 15-Minute Presentation

Never deliver a presentation without a clear goal in mind. If you don’t have a clear goal for your presentation, even if it’s very engaging, the audience will leave without using the information.

The content and structure of your presentation are guided by the purpose when it is connected to an outcome. Your graphics and all of your verbal content should be directed toward a single, distinct goal. the action you want them to take. You’ll be an effective presenter if you can achieve that objective and cut out unnecessary fluff.

How to Prepare for a 15-Minute Presentation

The adage “Keep things Short and Simple” is pretty useful. If you prepare a lengthy presentation, it will be even better than in a case. When you write down your speech, read it aloud several times, cross out any unnecessary words, and then only use short, concise sentences with no ambiguity.

Keep in mind that your speech must be a lot shorter when you practise at home. To our loved ones, including ourselves in the mirror, we always communicate more clearly. Since there will likely be a large audience and there may occasionally be technological difficulties, you should prepare extensively and limit the length of your presentation to considerably less than 15 minutes.

Try covering all the points in 10 minutes, this will give you more than enough time to make up for any unforeseen circumstances. 

Consider yourself one of the attendees. You attend the presentation and pay money. What are the chances that the outcomes of this meeting or event will satisfy you (them)? Examine each and every prepared slide; see every word. How may it appear to your audience? Will they comprehend the details of what you plan to tell them? Do they get information, an impression, or interest from your slides? Don’t finish your preparation without answering these questions first.

If you have no time to prepare, watch this video to learn how to give the best speech you can without preparation.

How Long Does it Take to Prepare a 15-Minute Presentation?

For a 15 Minute presentation, the advantage you have is that you roughly know who you are presenting to, and it frequently ends with time for questions and discussion. You are typically aware of the presentation well in advance, sometimes two weeks or more. You are now in a good position since you can truly schedule how you will utilise your time up until the birth.

If at all feasible, begin your preparations at least two weeks before to the seminar. Although you shouldn’t spend the next two weeks working only on your presentation, you should start early enough to ease the pressure off and give yourself time to think about what you want to say.

The first week can be spent completely on research and preparation for the topic. Make a rough blueprint of what you want to say and don’t worry about the delivery just yet. Get the ideas down on paper.

In the second week, start working on how you want to deliver the presentation. You will need to work on the content and crucially on the slides. Formatting graphs and charts take a lot longer than first thought, so give it enough time. Focus on getting your message across.

You’ll have enough time to process the presentation and relax if you finish it two or three days before your presentation. It relaxes anxiety and allows for a last-minute rehearsal.

Finally, these are ideal timetables. Depending on how you prepare, it might take a lot less or a lot more time. These are just the guidelines that have been shown to be the most beneficial.

Structuring the 15-minute Presentation.

Introduction: Because you don’t have a lot of time here, this might be one of the most difficult portions of a discussion. Include all important details to take your viewers on a journey through your data. This is where knowing your audience comes in handy: it will offer you an excellent starting point for what level to start at.

Content: The most crucial aspect of your presentation is the content. Make your remarks as clear and simple as possible. Include no unnecessary information. This will be the longest portion of your presentation, so make the most of it. For a study or research, tell the audience only what is important to the data you are displaying.

Summary: During your presentation, if you have 5 essential points, you should have five distinct interpretations of your results. Your summary will just be a reiteration of these interpretations and nothing more. 

Designing the Presentation


There are no concrete rules to designing presentations. However, there are a few guidelines that people choose from, such as the 6×6 rule, 7×7 rule, etc. The 6×6 rule makes the most sense to us. According to these presentation guidelines, each slide should have no more than six bullet points and no more than six words on each line. This guideline is intended to keep your slides from being so text-heavy and crowded that viewers won’t want to look at them. It can seem like a good concept in principle, but it’s not as simple as it appears.

Your primary goal should be to communicate your important arguments as clearly as possible. While it’s true that you don’t want to lose people with text-heavy slides, there are situations when explaining your argument in six words or fewer is simply not possible. You end up reducing and twisting the material to the point that your message is lost when you attempt. This is not to say that the 6×6 Rule should never be adopted; rather, it is to explain why it should not be forced all of the time.

Introductory Slides

This would be the very basic slide of your presentation, which would include the title of your presentation, alongside a subtitle that could include your name, your company name, or your tagline.

Follow this up with an index slide which describes what you are going to talk about throughout the presentation.

Content Slides

These are the heaviest slides of your presentation. These slides would contain all your information, graphs, charts, and images. In order to get your point across in the best way possible, these slides need to look good. Avoid creating any sort of clutter by following the 6×6 rule explained above, but also remember to not force it.

Avoid using showy transitions like text fly-ins. These features may appear spectacular at first, but they rapidly become distracting and tiresome. Check that the slides are legible from the back row seats. Text and graphics should be large enough to be read but not so huge that they look “loud.”

Conclusion Slides

These are the final slides of your presentation. It is very important for you to have a summary slide here, as it serves as a reminder of all the important points that you made in the presentation. Lay all the points out individually and recap them. Additionally, add a thank you slide here if you think you need one. For more information about saying thank you at the end of a presentation, check out this article.

Delivering a 15-Minute Presentation

Start Strong

1. A Story

You may begin with a story to illustrate why your topic is important. For example, if the topic is the benefits of meditation for psychological wellbeing, you may tell a story of a friend or someone else whose mental health improved dramatically after learning to meditate. This story is more likely to elicit an emotional response and be remembered by the listeners than a list of points.

2. Attention-Grabbing Statements

Attention-grabbing statements evoke an immediate reaction from the listener, whether they are favourable or controversial.

When delivered enthusiastically, agreeable phrases motivate the audience to agree with the presentation and begin with a positive attitude.

Provocative statements bring about a feeling of shock in the audience. This shock prompts individuals to pay closer attention to the presentation since it is something new to them. However, be certain that your shock has the right impact; you want the audience to stay involved because they appreciated the surprise or found it intriguing, not because you offended them.

An example of using favourable attention-grabbing statements. Ben Gran uses the agreeable statement “I love nursing” and delivers it with enough passion to fuel the audience with energy.

3. A Question

You may elicit thought and interest from your audience by posing questions throughout your presentation. There are two distinct categories of queries: Direct and Rhetorical.

Direct questions warrant a response: “Why are people turning vegan?”. The audience is cognitively stimulated by these. You may pass the mic around and ask the crowd to come up with the answer you want, or just let the audience ponder by themselves.

Rhetorical questions don’t really require replies and are frequently used to highlight a concept or point, for example, “What’s in a name?”

Graham Shaw starts this iconic presentation by simply asking the audience a direct question “How many people here would say they can draw?”

These aren’t the only ways to begin a presentation, but they are the strongest or most widely used ones. Find what works best for you by experimenting with various methods and getting as much experience as you can. If you have a strong introduction planned, the rest of your presentation will go much more smoothly.

Delivering the Content

1. Using the Three-Point Outline

For Data Heavy Presentations

For data-related or scientific presentations, you have only a few minutes to convey your crucial points. Try limiting your key points to only 3. Any more would be hard to squeeze in this short span but can be done if it is not too heavy. Make the points short and precise. Don’t include any unnecessary information. Make the most of this time because it will be the longest section of your speech. Tell the audience only the information about your experimental design that is pertinent to the results you are displaying.

For Content Heavy Presentations

The purpose of the Three-Point Outline is to break up your major information into three memorable portions. Although you are free to add more, having three points makes it slightly simpler for listeners to remember the information and to keep the conversation moving. This is because this format perfectly utilises the rule of three, about which you can learn more here.

2. Using Jokes and Stories

Just like how we can use a story to start a presentation, we can use it to deliver our key points. People enjoy hearing stories. Stories are easy to recall. However, every story must have a message, so make sure yours does too. Whether you’re elaborating on a project, describing a technical issue, or pitching your services, storytelling is essential for capturing the attention of your audience. Top executives are making the most out of it. Make it the centrepiece of your interview presentation. For instance, Sara Blakely, creator of Spanx, uses storytelling to describe how she produced a successful product in the video below.

For using jokes, it’s acceptable to be funny if you’re actually funny. Don’t attempt it in a talk if you aren’t. Be naturally amusing rather than trying to be so. Finally, quotes are lasting and serve as excellent points of recall. If a quote can assist you in making your argument, use it.

A perfect example of a 15 Minute Presentation filled with humour while delivering key points.

Ending the 15-Minute Presentation

Be confident and organised so that you can concentrate on the larger picture. What actions did you take, why did you take them, and what lessons have you learnt as a result? The audience is not concerned with all the specifics. Keep in mind that if you can’t summarise it within a few phrases, it’s too difficult. You can follow this outline to get an idea of how to conclude. Any of these points can be skipped, but they’re all important in their own rights.

1. Asking for Questions

To ensure that the audience understands your ideas, provide time for clarifying questions. Then move forward to the conclusion of the conversation. A dialogue based on misinterpretations is not what you need. If possible, include a message that the audience can take home. 

3. Summarising key Points

If you are faster than you thought you would have been, say a quick summary or recap of your points to drive your points home. Out of the last 15 Minutes, the presentation can be 12 Minutes with the rest reserved for recap or questions.

3. Concluding statements:

The final statements are very important to your presentation. They define the memory the audience takes back home with them. They can be of several kinds, here are a few useful ones:

A Call-To-Action(CTA)

A persuasive speech ends with a call to action, in which you urge the audience to take some action once they have finished listening to you. The CTA assigns audience members certain duties to fulfil and leaves them with a sense of determination.

A Quote

A quote does wonders for stressing your argument. To make sure that they really are appropriate to both you and your audience, you might want to look for quotes from popular people in history or media. Make sure the quotation you select is pertinent to the subject of your presentation and will be memorable to your audience.

A Thought-Provoking Question

An excellent method to guarantee that your audience will remember your presentation for a long time is to pose a thought-provoking question to them. The query must be relevant to the issue at hand. Your audience will think about the answers after hearing them in your presentation.

To perfect your style of ending, here is an article that talks about the various issues to avoid while ending your presentation, and what to do instead!

15-Minute Presentation tips for Job Interviews


Aim for around 6-10 slides and make each one brief and meaningful. This guarantees that the material you present is memorable and will help you stand out from the crowd of interviews.

Some interviewers may even set you a time restriction for your presentation; make sure you consider this and don’t go over it, otherwise you’ll look to have bad time management abilities.

Instead of creating paragraphs of text, use bullet points and font size of no less than 24.

Know your audience

Before presenting a 15-minute business presentation, a person must first understand his or her audience.  For example, if someone is presenting himself to a possible employer during a job interview, he may conduct a background study on the hiring manager on LinkedIn. The manager’s alma mater or prior jobs might be fantastic conversation starters.

Prior understanding of the audience may also help a person avoid making a bad first impression. If, while presenting to senior management, he discovers that the manager is a straight shooter with little time for pleasantries, he might alter his presentation to eliminate any extraneous details.

Use Visuals

Including graphics in your presentation is a tried-and-true formula. Our brains are programmed to pay greater attention to visual material, and around 65% of people are visual learners. However, these are not the only reasons why you should use graphics in your presentation.

Visuals draw the audience’s attention and improve your performance. Visuals help your audience absorb difficult topics more quickly. They pique your audience’s interest and elicit an emotional response, giving your words more impact and keep your discourse on the topic. To describe key ideas, you can utilise video, photos, infographics, and symbols alongside map charts and statistics maps that can aid in the visualisation of geographical data.

Key Tips for a 15-Minute Presentation

Face your audience: Don’t show your back to your audience, show your face.  Know all of your slides by heart. Know your tale like the back of your hand and don’t even bother looking at the slides.

Repeat key points: You must repeat your points at least three times: once in the introduction, once when you make them, and once more in your conclusion. It may appear unnecessarily repetitive to you, but not to your viewers. Because they are not documenting the presentation, the audience can forget or miss anything.

Show your enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is noticeable. Boredom is also very noticeable. Do not propose your topic if you are not enthused about it. Keep your energy up all the way through the presentation. Don’t give your audience a chance to lose interest. 

Adam Grant embodies enthusiasm in this 15 Minute speech, which keeps you engaged from start to finish.

Respect Time: The most obvious but crucial point is that a 15-minute presentation should always be kept to 15 minutes. Any longer, the crowd becomes irritated and begins to check their watches. They lose interest in the topic and forget the core elements. Always keep track of the time.

Topics for 15-Minute Presentations

For College Students

  • The methods used globally to combat unemployment.
  • Understanding the Pride Movement.
  • The advantages of alternate energy sources.
  • The concept of the Global Internet
  • The development of the contemporary film.
  • Strategies to make higher education free for everybody.
  • Gentrification: what is it?
  • The European Union: What Is It?
  • The advantages of diversity in the workplace.
  • Describing Sharia law.
  • Greek mythology in contemporary media.
  • What you should know about COVID-19

For Funny Presentations

  • Grades are not that useful.
  • A comprehensive guide to using icebreakers.
  • Three signs that show you are addicted to BuzzFeed quizzes.
  • Nobody is ever “too busy”.
  • How to smile and wave when someone offends you.
  • What would your pet say if it could talk?
  • Evidence that we are living in a simulation.
  • Ways to definitively clean your room.
  • How to lie effectively.
  • Why are successful songs so catchy?


Consider your favourite movies. They often have fast and slow, loud and quiet sections, and they elicit various emotions in you. The same is required of presentations.

Be deliberate in how you present yourself. Slides that inspire will move and engage your audience. It’s fantastic if you are self-assured and your message is clear, irrespective of the number of slides. It all boils down to giving the presentation your best shot while still accomplishing the presentation’s objectives.

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