Top Presentation Statistics for 2021

Decktopus shared a survey and collected data on presentation related trends and tendencies. The survey results reflect the responses of over 300 participants, with significant participation from business professionals, academics and student bodies.

Data is everything. Especially as 2021 is just around the corner, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to collect data from their users to gain valuable insights and improve their product offerings. Further, this data could be used to help develop the industry and user experience trends in general. For this very purpose, Decktopus shared a survey and collected data on presentation related trends and tendencies. The survey results reflect the responses of over 300 participants, with significant participation from business professionals, academics and student bodies. The optimal length of a presentation for an audience member is about 10 slides.

1. The optimal length of a presentation for an audience member is about 10 slides.

Audience members do not prefer exorbitantly long presentations or super short presentations. When given the option, the average preference for slide numbers were either 5-9 slides or 10-14 slides as opposed to 5-9 or 15-19 slides. This shows that an average audience member prefers that you keep your slide number to about 10 slides.

2. People prefer about one fourth of the slide to be composed of text at most.

It is a super common pitfall for anyone creating a presentation. You want to deliver on content, and you think the best way to do it is overload your slides with text. But, you are wrong; most survey takers prioritize visual aids and design elements before text and absolutely HATE text-heavy slides. Why? Simple: it is difficult to follow and sustain the audience's attention. This is why about half the survey takers said they preferred the text to take up no more than a fourth of the slide. If you are having difficulty maintaining the text portion to a certain limit, consider using tools like Decktopus that offer limits on text per slide.

3. 100% of people think a slide should include visuals.

While there were variations in how much of the slide should be visuals, one thing was clear from the survey results: no visuals is not an option. While about 60% of participants said they prefer to see some visuals on slides, the remaining 40% said visuals are an absolute must in presentations. It is a known fact that visuals are becoming increasingly important elements in presentations, and you should consider them as key assets in your presentation. Refer to the visual aids in Decktopus for free image, gif and icon libraries.

4. About a fifth of the participants said they looked at another screen constantly during presentations.

The reasons may vary, but it seems that it is relatively easy to lose attention on the presentation with many technological gadgets lying around at your disposal. About half the participants said this tendency depended on either the presentation topic, or more importantly how engaging the presenter was. Thankfully, there are ways to keep your audience members engaged rather than looking at their phones. For tips on how to deliver an engaging presentation, follow our blog: “What makes for a good presentation?”

5. Most people have an attention span of 10 to 15 minutes for a standard presentation.

Survey takers said they preferred a presentation to be no longer than 15 but not shorter than 10 minutes long. If a presentation is too short, you might find yourself unclear about the message or the material. Conversely, if it is too long, it becomes ever more difficult to sustain audience attention and engagement.

6. People consider “the story” the most important and memorable part of a presentation.

A presentation should be telling a story. Evidently, participants agreed as they placed the story as the number one thing they remember after the presentation. The remainder of the participants said that video, statistics, images and questions were less important than stories, yet still essential elements of the presentation experience.

7. Audience members primarily expect a presenter to interact with them.

There are many things that make a presenter shine through as they deliver the content of their presentation. But, according to our survey results, proper audience interaction comes first. This is followed by clear speech, eye contact and loud voice. For more information on public speaking tips, refer to our blog on “How to Deliver the Perfect Presentation”.

8. Most people create at least one presentation per week.

This figure varies drastically from person to person; in fact, while about 10% of participants said they created presentations daily, about 30% of participants said they created presentations 1-3 times a month. The general numbers accounted for one presentation being created every week per member; which means 55 presentations a year per person! Can you imagine how many presentations that adds up to for, say, a company, or a country? Quite a lot…

9. The most amount of presentations are created for academic purposes.

There is, understandably, a huge variety when it comes to what kind of topics people create presentations for. While about 32% of participants said that they most often create presentations for homework or course assignments, around 21% said they used presentations for internal team and project updates. The remaining 12% most often created sales proposals, another 12% startup pitches, and finally 4% investor updates. This also means that about 2/3rds of presentations are created for business purposes or commercial needs. What an interesting bunch! Looking to find creative presentation ideas you had never heard of before? Read our blog on “Creative presentation ideas”.

10. Most people don’t mind having to present remotely with the new conditions Covid-19 is imposing.

While it is clear that Covid-19 has brought on a whole new way of living and working, it seems it might have helped many people suffering with public speaking or presentation related anxieties. While 33% of participants said they found it somewhat difficult to present remotely, an overwhelming majority of the participants said that they didn’t mind having to present remotely. What’s more about a quarter of participants said they actually preferred it! This is a significant result showing that online presentation tools are actually super helpful in helping people who experience fear of public speaking.

11. Many fellow Decktopus users were extremely proud of their last presentation.

Almost all presentation statistics and figures published to this day show that many people are not proud of the latest presentation they made. Most account it to limited time for preparation or dislike of public speaking, but, nevertheless, they found their presentation performance unsatisfactory. But, about 80% of participants ranked their last presentation as a 4 or 5(5 being the proudest)! Thus, the result of our survey is an anomaly and there is only one explanation: most of our survey participants were Decktopus users and they are proud to use the best presentation tool out there.

12. Almost three quarters of people reuse the same slide deck at least once.

Previous surveys show that people find it difficult to locate appropriate and suitable templates for their decks and stick with one once it is remotely acceptable. Further, building a deck from scratch is severely daunting. That is perhaps why about 75% of participants said they reused the same slide deck at least once to this day, with around 30% of them reusing the same deck over 5 times.

13. It takes most people at least a couple of hours to put together a 10 slide presentation.

Preparing a decent looking presentation is no easy feat. Perhaps this is why over 60% of participants said it took them at least a couple hours to put together 10 slides, with a staggering 12% saying it took them about a week. You may be asking what all this time is being used on: we asked our participants the same question! Apparently while half of their time is spent on preparing the content, the entirety of their remaining effort  is distributed across these dimensions:  handling the design, integrity, theme, fonts, visuals of the presentation and collaborating with others on the presentation. There are ways to go around these hardships; check out alternative presentation tools like Decktopus to find the easiest way.

14. About half of people think content matters before anything else while preparing a presentation.

While we spend over half our time worrying about things like design elements, we are actually forgetting the main priority: content. While preparing slides 40% said they prioritize text and general content before anything. Further, about 25% said they focused on images, 15% on quotes and 10% on video. The reason why modern presentation tools like Decktopus are sought out as much is because they understand that when it comes to making a presentation, the creator wants to first and foremost focus on the content while not having to deal with design related secondary elements.

15. The biggest grievances modern presentation makers have are the time they spend and their design related efforts.

The gaps in current presentation tools are leading to exorbitant amounts of money, effort and time lost. When asked their biggest issue with presentation tools 31% said they take up too much time, while another 31% said they end up with bad presentation designs. The remaining participants pointed to high learning curves and limited usability. These facts and figures show that these gaps in the presentation industry required a solid replacement that would minimize the time and effort wasted on presentation preparation.

16. Most people think presentation tools should first and foremost offer design related aids.

Presentation tools should capitalize on design, while the user focuses on content. In fact, 42% of participants said presentation tools should offer many design, theme, template related options. The remaining portion of the participants said tools should either offer a limited amount of options specifically tiered to your presentation topic, or offer ready assets like images, gifs, icons. Thankfully, there is a presentation tool that offers them all; you guessed it, it is Decktopus!

17. A majority of people think presentations should be mandatory at school.

This idea is heavily debated. While previous findings suggest a duality between people who think pushing students to present will help them overcome their public speaking fear, the remainder thinks this is undue pressure on young adults. On our survey, 65% said that presentations should be mandatory at school, while 35% preferred that they weren’t, showing a preference for challenging students to work on their presentation skills. For more information on student accounts on presentation, read our blog: “Why Students Hate Giving Presentations”.

18. 1 in 2 people look for alternative solutions to not start their presentations from scratch.

About 50% of people start their presentations from scratch but find it extremely difficult to complete it from step 0. In contrast, 21% said they look for templates, 15% said they worked on an existing template, and 8% said they recycle a used presentation. This shows that about 50% of all presentation makers look for alternative solutions so that they don’t have to start from scratch. Thankfully, presentation tools like Decktopus allow you the options to both start from scratch and build from templates.

And, that’s 18! A big shout out is in order to Poltio; it was through their survey expertise that we were able to create this astonishing survey and engage better with our users! If you’ve still not had the chance to take the survey, keep in mind these are preliminary results. Become a part of the final data by taking the survey now!

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