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How to Rehearse Timings in PowerPoint 2013

Microsoft PowerPoint has animation features to create a livelier, more memorable presentation. These include a wide variety of options to visually enhance your topic.

But what if you’ve prepared a well-developed and engaging speech, then all of a sudden, your slide transitions seem stilted, or outright don’t work?

In this post, we’ll cover how you can take advantage of PowerPoint’s transitions and animation pane to get your timing on point.

What Can Go Wrong?

Awkwardly timed transitions on each slide might distract your audience from your main point. If a slide plays for too long, you might resort to using filler words until the next slide plays. But if the slide ends abruptly, you’ll scramble your thoughts in an attempt to keep your presentation on track.

Both outcomes make you look unprofessional. So we highly recommend rehearsing timings in PowerPoint 2013 to create a seamless flow during your pitch.

Set your timing right for live or self-running presentations. End your live presentations on the dot and create a compact and coherent self-running deck with the help of PowerPoint.

Simple Timing and Transitions

A simple presentation focuses on the core message. This avoids misleading the audience with distracting motions and effects. A standardized flow of timings and transitions works well with a simple deck.

If you have a simple presentation at hand, open it and we’ll quickly add timings and transitions.

1. Click on the slide object itself that you want to adjust, then select the Transitions tab.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: PPT logo2. Under the Timing group, go to the Duration box to set how many seconds you want the object’s animation to last.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: timing3. Set your slide’s duration under the same group. Check the After box and put in the amount of time you want your slide to appear on screen.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: After OptionYou can click Apply to All if you want to set the same duration to all the slide objects and slide timing. But you won’t be warned by a dialog box to accept the changes, so be careful about applying this option to your entire deck.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: Apply to AllAdvanced Timing and Transitions

When we need to impress a client, a bare-bones presentation won’t cut it. Rehearse your timings to see the overall appearance of your deck and synchronize your delivery with each slide.

We’ll need to have a deck ready for this tutorial. So open up your presentation and we can synchronize your slide timings and animation.

1. Go to the Slide Show tab. Under the Set Up group, click on the Rehearse Timings icon.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013; rehearse timings2. Your presentation will now play in Slide Show mode. On the upper left corner, the Recording menu will appear. It has three buttons and two timers.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: recordingClicking Next will take you to the next slide to record your next timing. You can also click on the slide itself to move to the next slide.

The Pause Recording button pauses your recording. A dialog box will prompt you to resume it.

The Repeat button will delete your recording. Use it when you need to repeat the recording of your slide timings.

The middle timer displays how long the current slide is playing, while the second displays the total running time of recorded slide timings.

3. When you’re finished recording, a dialog box will show you the total running time of your presentation.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 20134. Click Yes. You’ll be sent back to Normal view.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: Normal ViewYou can see how long each slide timing lasts by going to the View tab and selecting Slide Sorter view under the Presentation Views group.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: Slide sorter viewIn the bottom-right corner of each slide, you’ll be able to see the time you recorded with the Rehearse Timings function marked with a small gray star.

Now let’s return to Normal view. If you need to go back to a slide to change how long it plays, go to the Transitions tab and look for the Timing group. Click the arrows in the After box to add or subtract one second to the slide timing. Refine your slide timing and leave enough room in your speech to pause before the next slide begins.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: timingMore Tips

If you’re wondering why your presentation won’t run at the exact amount you specified when you look at the timer in Presenter view, it’s because the total running time of your slide will be the sum of the numbers found in the Duration and After box.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: durationThe Duration box contains the length of your transition’s animation, while the After box contains the amount of time that your slide will last between the transition until the next slide.

Run Presenter view again and look at the timer then return to the Transitions tab to make the adjustments.

Delete all your timings in one go by going to the Slide Show tab and clicking on the dropdown menu below Record Slide Show in the Set Up group.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: Record Slide showChoose Clear from the dropdown menu and select Clear Timings on All Slides.

rehearse timings in PowerPoint 2013: Clear Timings on all slidesA dialog box won’t prompt you about confirming the changes, so be careful of clicking this option.

Final Pointers

Before inserting animations and transitions to your slide deck, choose transitions wisely to avoid confusing audiences. If your slides discuss simple topics, it’ll be better to set all the slides to the same duration to promote consistency and readability.

Double check if each slide’s speed timing is set. This prevents you from an awkward and mistimed presentation. If you notice that a slide doesn’t have any transition synchronized, check the setting again.

Preview each slide and observe if each animation functions. Check the other animation options, such as entrance or exit, to see if they’re all working. If one of them fails, rearrange and redo until you get it right.

Ensure that your timings and transitions don’t distract from your overall message.

Apply each reminder and be mindful of these tips to deliver clear and successful pitches.

To help you make an error-free PowerPoint presentation, SlideGenius experts can offer you a free quote!



Michael, Jackie. “How to Troubleshoot a PowerPoint Animation Problem.” EHow. Accessed January 29, 2016. www.ehow.com/how_7289937_troubleshoot-powerpoint-animation-problem.html
“Rehearse Timings for a Slide Show.” Office Support. Accessed January 28, 2016. https://support.office.com/en-US/Article/Rehearse-timings-for-a-slide-show-4fcac25a-d244-4047-b340-c3d683c3f549

About Rick Enrico

Rick Enrico is the CEO & Founder of SlideGenius, Inc., a San Diego based marketing & software agency. Rick currently oversees an experienced team of talented designers, software developers and marketing professionals that specialize in creating custom corporate presentations and cloud publishing applications. Mr. Enrico and our team of PowerPoint design experts contribute to this blog frequently. If you have any questions or just want to drop us a line please forward them to admin (@) slidegenius.com

About SlideGenius

SlideGenius.com is your PowerPoint presentation specialist for business. Based in San Diego, California, SlideGenius has helped enhance the presentations of more than 1000+ clients all over the world, including J.P. Morgan, Harley-Davidson, Pfizer, Verizon, and Reebok, among others. Let us help you with your presentation needs!