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Love at First Slide: How You Can Grab Attention With Title Slides

How much love do you put into your title slide?


Many presentation authors treat the title slide as an afterthought, pouring all their time and energy into the rest of the deck. However, the first slide of your presentation is just as important as the rest.



The humble title slide is your first touchpoint with your audience. And like most first impressions, it can make or break your presentation. If your title slide is plain and vague, chances are you’ll lose connection with your audience at the very first moment — YIKES.





We’re usually chit-chatting and introducing the deck on the titles slide anyway - so while our audience is staring at it, we might as well make the most of it!

After all, we’re bringing our audience along a journey, so we can use the title slide for a few things - but most importantly, we can use it to tell them where they’re headed next.

However, there’s more to the title slide than simply providing your audience with proper context.


So let’s breakdown this headliner and discuss what makes it so important.


Three Steps to Making a Great Title Slide:

  1. Grab attention with a show-stopping title

  2. Set the tone with emotionally-charged visuals

  3. Take advantage of dead air



Grab attention with a show-stopping title


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Think of your title slide as the opening scene of the movie that is your presentation. Since meetings have a huge potential to become boring, you need to captivate your audience enough to pay attention for the entire duration of your deck.

The first part is to start off with a great title.


Think about starting off with the typical “Q2 Report” headline. Aside from being boring and lackluster, it provides your audience with no further insight as to what is to come

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As a best practice, consider having a primary title and a smaller subtitle. You can utilize this space to add a thought-provoking statement or an interesting insight to bring in more action to your title slide.


Write your title slide headline the way you would write a blog post headline. Blog post headlines are written to capture attention. The same goes for your presentation’s title.

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There are various ways to go about when an attention-grabbing title. Here are some headline examples that you can use:

Straightforward headline

❌ Q2 Social Media Report ✔️ Q2 Report: Learning How to Master Facebook Ad Spending.


Action-oriented headline

❌ Campaign Strategy ✔️ Plotting a Course for the Future of Athletic Wear


Statement headline

❌ Behavioral Research on Crows ✔️ Crows Are Definitely Smarter Than You


Set the tone with emotionally-charged visuals


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As the first touchpoint with your audience, your title slide needs to be noticeably different from the rest of your slides. This means utilizing visual cues to add drama and emotion into your title slide. Doing so not only piques the interest of your audience but it also helps add further context as to what your presentation will be about.

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Like the examples above, the background illustrations add flair and context to the title slide by using relevant imagery. There are also other visual cues such as typefaces that you can utilize to add to the experience.



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Utilize font psychology to exhibit emotion through various typefaces. While thick and bold fonts are more striking, you may also utilize a thin yet big typeface to exude a more sophisticated feel. Just be sure to maintain consistent font usage throughout the rest of your deck.



Take advantage of dead air


The final element that most authors don’t consider is leveraging the early parts of a presentation when your audience is staring at your title slide while you’re giving a little preamble.


This “dead air” can be used as an opportunity to showcase some credentials.



Awards, endorsements, “as seen in” press headlines and other elements that boost your credibility from the very first moment can be an awesome addition.


Moreover, you don’t actually need to read the quote or the awards - you can just let your audience read it for themselves while you’re teeing up the deck.



Putting it in action

First impressions are everything - and title slides are no exception.


The reception of your audience to the information you are presenting highly depends on what they encounter at the very first slide. Your title slide needs to be bold enough to command attention and concise enough to set the tone for your presentation.


When it comes to title slides, you either go big or go home.



BONUS TIP:

Your title slide can also be used as the blueprint for your last slide. Simply duplicate the title slide and swap out the copy and photos and you’ve got yourself a matching Thank You slide or a Contact Us slide at very little effort.

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