We’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, but first impressions are still hard to shake off. It’s in our nature to form hasty opinions. Whether we’re faced with new people or experiences, the first few seconds always matters. This is especially true in the world of business, considering how everything there moves at such a fast pace. If you really want your presentations to count, you have to do more than prepare yourself for audience scrutiny. You also need to prepare one of the first things your audience will see—your presentation’s title slide.
Here are three things to remember for a perfect presentation title slide:
1. Come up with a memorable title
Like with books and movies, the title of your presentation is extremely important. It will help your audience gauge what your presentation is about, allowing them to decide whether or not it’s worth their time. In a just a few words, the title should be able to embody the main theme and message of your presentation. It should also be unique and memorable. As Sims Wyeth writes,
You can afford to jazz up your titles a bit. A good title sets the audience abuzz as it anticipates being entertained or intrigued. And the speaker can come back to the title throughout the talk if it serves as a theme. People may not leave humming the melody, but they might leave remembering the theme–which is a feather in the cap for any speaker.
Here are a few suggestions by Wyeth:
- “The Budget Surplus and the Bush Administration: or Gone With the Wind.”
- “Creating Customer Loyalty: From Here to Eternity.”
- “Comparative Online Dating Outcomes: or The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.”
While these title might seem a bit cheeky, they can a bit of fun and creativity to your presentation. Instead of going with something that’s straightforward, try to think of an analogy or metaphor that can best describe your main message. As always, tailor your content to the expectations of the audience. Choose your title wisely, and make sure it blends well with the crowd you’re addressing.
2. Include an evocative image
A descriptive and memorable title isn’t enough. To make sure your title slide stands out, you will also need evocative imagery. As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” A single image or illustration is enough, as long as it echoes the theme of your presentation. Together with your title, the picture should be able to create an instant connection with the audience.
Take this example from the SlideGenius portfolio:
Notice how the picture can already tell a bit of a story. Always go for visuals that will instantly make a connection with your audience, especially for the title slide.
3. Add your logo
While it may seem like a small detail, your logo should also be part of your title slide. As we’ve mentioned in the past, the logo is the perfect visual representation of your company story. You can choose to integrate the logo as part of your slide design, like in this slide:
You can also use it in place of listing down your name and company position, cutting down the amount of text in your title slide.
Whatever you decide, keep in mind that your brand should always be perfectly integrated in your presentation deck.
If books are judged by the cover, presentations are judged by the title slide. Presentation expert Scott Schwertly writes, “Approach your title slide like a handshake: it should be firm, straightforward, and give your audience an idea of the kind of character they are dealing with.” Don’t neglect the title slide when you prepare to make a positive first impression.
- Even Great Presentations Don’t Always Get This One Detail Right – Inc.
- 5 Rules for Title Slides – Ethos5