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Presentation Trends for 2020 in Numbers

Preliminary Decktopus Survey Results are Out!

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, an overwhelming majority being college students or graduates.

Let’s check out the results!

The first section of our survey concerned people from the audience point of view.

How long would you prefer a presentation to be?

  • When asked how long users prefer a presentation to be 34.6% stated a preference of 5–9 slides, while an equivalent 34.6% stated a preference of 10–14 slides. The preference for the minimal option of 1–4 or the maximum option of 15–19 slides were insignificant. This shows that, on average, audience members prefer at least 5 but at most 14 slides per presentation.

What percentage of the slide should be text?

  • Almost half the survey takers preferred the text to comprise no more than a fourth of the slide. The remaining quarter of the survey takers preferred the text to cover no more than half the slide.

What do you think about visuals on a slide?

  • About 60% of participants said they prefer to see some visuals on slides. About 40% said visuals are an absolute must in presentations. The remaining minority said that they wouldn’t mind having any visuals on the presentation. This reinforces the known fact that visuals are becoming increasingly important elements in presentations.

How many times do you look at your phone or you computer screen while listening to a presentation?

  • About a fifth of the participants said they looked at another screen constantly during presentations. About half the participants said this figure depended on either the presentation topic, or more importantly how engaging the presenter is. This figure highlights how important it is to keep your audience engaged during a presentation.

How long is your attention span for a presentation?

  • Most survey participants say they can sustain their attention on the presentation content as long as it is between 10 to 15 minutes. Shorter or longer presentations were not as popular.

What is the most memorable part of a presentation?

  • The majority of survey participants said that the most memorable part of the presentation is the “story”. This replicates earlier presentation survey results that emphasized the importance of telling stories. 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.

What is the most important thing you expect from a presenter?

  • About half of survey participants said they expect the presenter to first and foremost interact with the audience. Over quarter of the participants expected clear speech from the presenter. What followed these two variables were eye contact and loud voice.

The second section of our survey concerned the presenter point of view.

How often do you make presentations?

  • 30% of participants said they create presentations at least 1–3 times a month. About 10% created presentations daily. On average, more than half the participants create at least one presentation per week.

What kind of presentations do you create often?

  • This figure was pretty evenly distributed. But, to give you a glimpse of what kinds of presentations people tend to create here is a list:
  • 21% internal team/project updates
  • 17% class course presentations
  • 15% homework presentations
  • 12% sales proposals
  • 12% startup pitches
  • 4% investor updates
  • 3% conference presentations

Given the new circumstances of the pandemic, how do you like having to present remotely?

  • 33% of participants said they found it somewhat difficult to present remotely. But an overwhelming majority of the participants said that they didn’t mind having to present remotely, with about a quarter of participants saying they actually preferred it. This is a significant result showing that online presentation tools are actually super helpful in helping people with public speaking anxiety.

On a scale of 1 to 5(5 being the proudest), how proud were you of your last presentation?

  • About 80% of participants ranked their last presentation as a 4 or 5! (This figure is kind of skewed given most of these people were creating presentations using the best presentation tool out there.)

How often do you reuse the same slide deck?

  • About 75% of participants said they reused the same slide deck at least once, with around 30% of them reusing the same deck over 5 times. This statistic replicates the previous findings that people find it difficult to locate appropriate and suitable templates for their decks and stick with one once it is remotely acceptable.

On average, how long does it take for you to prepare a 10 slide presentation?

  • Over 60% of participants said it took them at least a couple hours to put together a decent looking presentation, with a staggering 12% saying it took them about a week.

What is your priority while creating a slide?

  • As expected, 40% said they prioritize text and general content before anything. 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.

What is the biggest problem you face with current presentation tools?

  • 31% said they take up too much time
  • 31% said bad presentation design
  • 10% pointed to high learning curve
  • 10% complained about how they were hard to use
  • 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

Which one is hardest when preparing a presentation?

  • When given the option, our participants pointed to the following hardships of preparing presentations.
  • 50% preparing the content of the presentation
  • 23% handling the design, integrity, theme, fonts, visuals of the presentation
  • 13% presenting the presentation
  • 5% collaborating with others on the presentation

Do you think presentation tools should:

  • Offer many design, theme, template related options. → 42%
  • Offer sample presentation outlines → 24%
  • Offer a limited amount of options specifically tiered to your presentation topic → 19%
  • Offer ready assets like images, gifs, icons → 5%
  • Thankfully, there is a presentation tool that offers them all; you guessed it, it is Decktopus!

Do you think presentations should be mandatory at school?

  • 65% said that presentations should be mandatory at school, while 35% preferred that they weren’t. This result replicated previous findings suggesting a duality between people who think pushing students to present will help them overcome their public speaking fear, while the other group thinks this is undue pressure on young adults.

How do you get started on a presentation?

  • While 50% said they started a presentation from scratch, 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, while the remainder enjoy the ability to build a presentation from zero.

These survey results were powered by Poltio, helping brands like ours engage with their users better with interactive content and data collection. 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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Ceylan Ersoy

Ceylan Ersoy

I am an alumnus of UC Berkeley with a BA in Psychology and minors in Human Rights and Theater. I specialize in the creation of news content.