How to Time a PowerPoint Slideshow

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After creating a PowerPoint presentation, you can set the show to run automatically by setting timing. Timing automatically advances animation effects applied to text, images and other objects, as well as advancing slides. There are two ways to set timing: while rehearsing your presentation, or by entering the time for each slide manually. Timing is usually added to self-running presentations, like kiosks or shows being delivered online, that require no interaction from a presenter.

Rehearsing

  • Create your presentation. Be sure to include all of the information that the audience needs.

  • Click "Rehearse Timing" on the Slide Show tab, in the Set-up group. Timing starts automatically as soon as you click Rehearse Timing.

  • Read the presentation at a moderate pace. The goal is to provide enough time for the audience to read the slide. Advancing the slide too quickly frustrates the audience because they cannot keep up with the on-screen material. In contrast, advancing slides too slowly loses the audience's attention.

  • Click the "Next" button on the Rehearsal toolbar that appears when you click Rehearse Timing.

  • Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you finish rehearsing all of the slides. When you click the "Next" button on the last slide, a pop-up screen displays the time of the entire presentation. Click the "Yes" button to keep the timing. Save your presentation.

Manual Setting

  • Create your presentation. Be sure to include all of the information that the audience needs.

  • Click on the first slide of the presentation. Select "Advance Slide" on the Transitions tab in the Timing group.

  • Select "Automatically After" and enter, in seconds, the duration for the slide's display.

  • Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for each slide and save your presentation.

Tips & Warnings

  • When rehearsing timing, you can click the "Repeat" button on the Rehearsal toolbar to re-record the timing of the slide.
  • When manually setting timing, to be able to advance through slides by both duration and on-click, select both "Automatically After" and "On-Click" on the Advanced Slide section.
  • Most presenter-led presentations should not have timing set, since speaking rates vary, questions may come up or you may add more information than rehearsed.

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