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How to check PowerPoint presentation timings

Byte-size Bulletin by Simon Heath in PowerPoint on Jul 20, 2021

Rehearse timings

Most presentations require us to keep to a time limit. PowerPoint can help ensure you are making the best use of your time. When you practice PowerPoint records how long you take for each slide and the overall presentation . Then, if you have to adjust you know which slides to change.

Once you have rehearsed your timings make sure you delete them, unless you want your slides to advance automatically.

How to rehearse your presentation delivery times in PowerPoint:

  • Open the presentation you want to rehearse in PowerPoint.
  • From the main ribbon select Slide Show
  • From the Slide Show menu, click on Rehearse Timings
  • The presentation will start and display a small window called Recording
  • This will have two times on it:
    1. Time taken for the current slide
    2. and to the right, overall time taken for the entire presentation
  • The window will also have a control to pause the recording, if you want a break or get interrupted.
  • Should you pause the recording another pop-up window will appear so you can “Resume Recording” when you are ready.
  • If you mess up on a slide and want to go back to the beginning of just that slide, click on the Repeat (backward arrow). The timing for that slide will start again. The overall presentation timing will revert to whatever it was at the beginning of that slide, so your overall times remain accurate.
  • Work your way through the presentation as you were delivering it live.
  • When you finish the last slide, PowerPoint will give you the total time taken. Take a note of this.
  • PowerPoint will also offer to save the timings for you. Click Yes to have them saved.
  • If you saved your timings, once back in the presentation, go to the main menu, select View and Slide Sorter.
  • Under each slide, on the right, you will see the time you spent on it displayed. From here you can work out which slides need more or less time.
  • The timings given to each slide can now be used to automatically progress the presentation. To control this, from the main menu select Slide Show, then Setup Slide Show.
  • In the Advance Slides section set the slides either to advance Manually or Using timings, depending on your preference.

When rehearsing your talk you may want further feedback, other than just the timings. PowerPoint also has a presentation coach you can find out about here.

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