Have you ever thought about how you could leverage the presentation slide title box at the top of each slide? (If you use it, of course. You may prefer to start with a blank master slide, which is what I do – although I often use titles that I add to the blank slide myself.)
It’s the first thing your audience sees on each slide – and probably the first thing you type onto the slide as you create it. But it’s often generic, redundant or plain dull (for example, “2019 Sales Budget”).
Here are two ways to leverage your title box
1. Action title. Turn your bland description into an action sentence: something you want the audience to understand or do. For example, “Need to increase our 2019 budget” or “How will this work?”. Using an action sentence clearly directs your audience to follow along with your premise as your slide unfolds.
2. As you create your presentation, find the headlines first. Then turn your titles into a narrative: use them to tell the audience a ‘story’ as you lead them through the presentation. In other words – if you eliminated everything else in the body of each slide, could the titles form a narrative and stand alone as a condensed, mini version of your talk? This ensures a logical structure and flow to your presentation, and is usually more interesting for the audience.
For example, if you were in medical research, you might start with a slide stating the current research: “Where are now”. Then move to “Many questions”; “Many challenges”; then a case study: “Mandy’s story”. And finish with “Where to now?”.
Remember that we’re wired to engage with a story; and even if you’re not telling a very exciting one – like a budget update – every extra element you can leverage visually is to your advantage!
Final thought. When you put extra focus into creating your slides, and make them more interesting and accessible to your audience, you’ll get more engagement and understanding.