What can you really do in 10 minutes? A shower? A power nap? An entire presentation?
You might already be sweating at the idea of that last one. Cramming an entire presentation into 10 minutes is tough, but doing it without even knowing what to talk about is even tougher.
No matter where you’ve been challenged to give a 10-minute presentation, we’ve got your back. Check out the ideal presentation structure below and over fifty 10-minute presentation topics that you can use for your big (actually, pretty small) speech.
The 10-Minute Presentation Structure
As you might imagine, the hardest part of a 10-minute presentation is actually sticking to 10 minutes. None of your audience, organisers or fellow speakers will be pleased if your speech starts running over, but it’s hard to know how not to.
You might be tempted to cram as much information as possible, but doing so is just going to make for an overbearing presentation. Knowing what to leave out is as much of a skill as knowing what to put in, so try and follow the sample below for a perfectly structured presentation.
- Introduction (1 slide) – Start your presentation with a quick question, fact or story relayed in a maximum of 2 minutes.
- Body (3 slides) – Get into the nitty gritty of your talk with 3 slides. Audience’s struggle to take home more than three ideas, so spacing all three out over the course of 6 or 7 minutes can be very effective.
- Conclusion (1 slide) – End it all with a quick sum up of your 3 main points. You should be able to do this in 1 minute.
This 10-minute presentation example format contains a fairly conservative 5 slides, based on the famous 10-20-30 rule of presentations. In that rule, an ideal presentation is 10 slides in 20 minutes, meaning a 10-minute presentation would only require 5 slides.
10-Minute Presentation Topics for College Students
A 10-minute presentation is all you need as a college student to show your knowledge and forward thinking values.
They’re also great practice for presentations you might be making in the future. If you feel comfortable within 10-minutes, chances are that you’ll be alright in the future, too.
- How to work alongside AI – Artificial intelligence is making huge steps forward every day. We’ll soon be in a different world, so how are you, the worker of the future, going to deal with it? This is a super interesting topic and one that’s very relevant for your classmates.
- Fighting the climate catastrophe – The issue of our age. What is it doing to us and how do we solve it?
- Portable homes – The portable home movement is on the way to revolutionising the way we live. What’s good and bad about having a house you can move around and what does your ideal one look like?
- The thrift life – How to save money on clothes, along with the pros and cons of throwaway fashion for youngsters.
- The future of streaming platforms – Why is TV on demand so great and why is it not universal? Or is it stealing too much of our free time?
- What happened to newspapers? – Newspapers are probably ancient technology to college students like you. A deep dive into history will reveal what they were and why they’re on their way out of print.
- The evolution of the mobile phone – Has any device in history advanced as quickly as mobile phones have? There’s so much to talk about in this 10-minute presentation topic.
- The life and times of your hero – A great chance to show your love for someone who inspires you the most. This can be within or outside of your college subject.
- My permaculture future – If you’re looking for a greener existence in your future, try explaining to your classmates about the advantages and logistics of having a permaculture garden.
- E-waste – We dump out so much electrical waste these days. Where does it all go and what happens to it?
10-Minute Interview Presentation Topics
More and more nowadays, recruiters are turning to the quick-fire presentation as a means of testing a candidate’s skill and confidence in presenting something.
But, it’s more than that. Recruiters also want to learn about you as a person. They want to know what interests you, what makes you tick and what has changed your life in a profound way.
If you can nail any of these presentation topics in your interview, you’ll be starting next Monday!
- Someone who inspires you – Pick a hero and talk about their background, their achievements, what you’ve learned from them and how it’s shaped you as a person.
- The most eye-opening place you’ve ever been – A travelling experience or holiday that blew your mind. This might not necessarily be your favourite ever abroad experience, but it was one that made you realise something you had not thought about before.
- An imagined problem – Set out a hypothetical problem at the company you’re applying for. Show the recruiters the steps you would take to eradicate that problem for good.
- Something you’re proud of – We’ve all got achievements we’re proud of; and they’re not necessarily work achievements. A quick 10-minute presentation on something you’ve done or made that has made you proud can reveal a lot of good stuff about you as a person.
- The future of your field – Make some interesting, bold predictions about where you think the industry is heading in the upcoming years. Do your research, get stats to back up your claims, and avoid being condescending.
- A workflow you’ve fixed – Untidy workflows are rampant in a lot of workplaces. If you’ve had a hand in turning something inefficient into a well-oiled machine, make a presentation about it!
- A book you’d love to write – Assuming you were a top-class wordsmith, what’s the one topic you’d love to write a book about? Would it be fiction or non-fiction? What would the plot be? Who are the characters?
- Your favourite work culture – Choose the job that had the best work culture in terms of office atmosphere, rules, after-work activities and trips away. Explain what was so great about it; it might give your potential new boss a few ideas!
- Pet peeves in the workplace – If you fancy yourself as a bit of a comedian, listing out the things that grind your gears in the office could be a good laugh and a nice bit of observational comedy for your recruiters. Make sure it’s actually funny though, as listening to a candidate moan for 10 minutes is not normally something that leads to recruitment.
- The good and bad of remote working – Surely every office worker in the world has experience of remote working. Pry open your own experiences and discuss whether or not they’ve been for the better or for the worse.
Relatable 10-Minute Presentation Topics
People love stuff they can relate to their own experiences. It’s the reason why your presentation on the problems of the post office was a hit, but your one on the use of thermoplongeurs and suspension compression on modern fatigue carousels was an absolute travesty.
Keeping topics nicely open and accessible for everyone is a great way to get a good reaction. Check out these fun presentation topics below…
- The best Disney princess – Everyone’s got their favourite; who’s the one that gives you the most hope for generations of strong, independent girls?
- The greatest language ever – Maybe it’s the language that sounds the sexiest, looks the sexiest or the one that just works the best.
- Coffee vs tea – Most people have a preference, but very few have the numbers to back it up. Do some scientific research into what’s better between coffee and tea and why.
- Stand-up – You may not initially think it, but a stand-up comedy performance is definitely a presentation of sorts. 10 minutes is a great time window for some witty observations that make everyone laugh.
- Reasons for procrastination – List out all the things that keep you from doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Remember to tell some stories in this – chances are that almost all of your audience will be able to relate.
- Is social distancing for life? Introverts, assemble. Or actually, don’t. Should we keep social distancing an opt-in, opt-out kind of thing?
- Paper books vs ebooks – This one is all about physical touch and nostalgia against modern convenience. It’s a fight for our age.
- Identity of the decades – We all know the distinction between the 70s, 80s and 90s, but what were the unique cultural points of the 2000s and 2010s? Will we see later or will they just never get their own identities?
- Pluto’s a planet – Believe it or not, there are a surprising number of Pluto aficionados out there. Talking about how Pluto’s a planet could really get them on your side, and they’re a powerful bunch.
- Observational comedy – A dive into the most relatable of relatable short presentation topics. What makes observational comedy so relatable?
Interesting 10-Minute Presentation Topics
This one is the exact opposite of ‘relatable topics’. This one is all about super interesting scientific phenomena that a lot of people don’t know about.
You don’t have to be relatable when you can be fascinating!
- Crown shyness – A presentation that explores the phenomenon of the crowns of trees that grow in such a way as not to touch each other.
- Sailing stones – There are rocks that can sail across the floor of Death Valley, but what causes it?
- Bioluminescence – Dive into what makes certain animals and plants light up the night using just their bodies. Include heaps of pictures in this one, it’s a glorious sight!
- What happened to Venus? – Venus and Earth came into existence at the same time, made of the same stuff. Yet, Venus is a real hellscape of a planet – so what happened?
- Music therapy in Alzheimer’s treatment – Music so effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Take a dive into the interesting reason why that is.
- What the hell is slime mold? – An exploration of the mold made up of single cells that can solve mazes when those cells combine forces.
- All about Havana Syndrome – The mysterious illness that struck the US embassy in Cuba – where did it come from and what did it do?
- The origins of Stonehenge – How did people 5000 years ago drag boulders from the Welsh highlands to lowland England? Also, why did they even decide to build Stonehenge?
- Intuition – Gut feeling, sixth sense; whatever you want to call it, scientists don’t really know what it is.
- Deja vu – We all know the feeling, but how does it work? Why do we feel deja vu?
Controversial 10-Minute Presentation Topics
- Cryptocurrency: good or bad? – It resurfaces in the news every few months, so everyone’s got an opinion, but we often only hear one side of the cryptocoin and not the other. In this 10-minute presentation, you can introduce the good and bad of crypto.
- Should we ban Black Friday? – Mass consumerism and mass tramplings at store entrances – has Black Friday gone too far? Some will say it’s not gone far enough.
- Minimalism – A new way to live that’s the opposite of everything Black Friday represents. How does it work and why should you try it?
- The best stuff for your health – Another one about which everyone’s got something to say. Do the research and give the facts.
- Disney whitewashing – This one’s definitely a controversial topic. It could be a quick exploration of how Disney seemingly chooses and alters skin tones depending on the story being told.
- Time to eat some bugs – As the world will soon have to move away from meat, what are we going to replace it with? Hope your audience likes cricket sundaes!
- Free speech – Is free speech something we still have? Are you having it right now while you give this presentation? That’s a pretty easy one to answer.
- Gun laws around the world – See how the world’s most gunned-up country compares to other countries in terms of weapons available and its ramifications.
- 1 million vs 1 billion – The difference between $1,000,000 and $1,000,000,000 is much bigger than you think. There are so many ways to highlight the enormous wealth gap in a 10-minute presentation.
- Military spending – We could solve all world issues in a flash if every country dissolved its military and used its funds for good. Is it feasible?
Bonus Topics: Vox
Vox is an American online magazine with a real knack for making insightful video essays on interesting topics you may never have thought about. They were the guys behind the ‘Explained‘ series on Netflix and they’ve also got their own YouTube channel full of topics.
The videos vary in length but you can choose any of these to present about if you feel like it’s interesting enough for your crowd. Contract or expand the information in the video to 10 minutes and make sure you can present about it comfortably.
Some of Vox’s videos include…
- How music on TikTok goes viral.
- London’s super basements.
- The AI behind creating art on demand.
- The end of oil.
- The rise of K-pop.
- Why diets fail.
- Many, many more…
10 minutes is, categorically, not a long time. Okay, it’s a long time to spend on your turn on the karaoke machine, but it’s not a long time for a presentation.
Nailing yours starts with the right topic. Any of the 50 unique ones above would be a great way to kick off a 10-minute presentation (or even a 5-minute presentation).
Once you have your topic, you’ll want to craft the structure of your 10-minute talk, as well as the content. Check out our presentation tips to keep your presentation fun and watertight.