This post was written by Kendra Raguckas, eLearning Designer and Facilitator at The Latimer Group.
This week I began working on a new eLearning module for creating strong slide decks. In our work with clients, we always give the same advice: make sure your slides complement the speaker, capture the audiences’ attention, and help them retain the information provided.
One of our top suggestions is to have clear and specific presentation titles. We often see people waste the opportunity of the presentation title. Far too many people use generic presentation titles that do little to inform the audience of the main message, what is to come, or how to feel about the topic.
Most often a title slide is displayed on an overhead screen while the audience enters the room. This is the first thing your audience will see, and ignoring that fact is a mistake. The presentation title is a powerful strategic message that can help you begin telling your story before anything else even happens.
As I discussed this with the team, the concept of clickbait came up. Every day, each of us is inundated with clickbait. Whether we are on news sites, social media, or even Google, the use of clickbait is prevalent, and it does its best to capture our attention. No matter how often we fall for the bait-and-switch, many of us still click on those that intrigue us. So, how can we use the idea of clickbait, while also being careful, since there is a line between grabbing attention and lying just to reel someone in.
Highlight your goal: When preparing your message, you identified a specific goal for your presentation or meeting. Utilizing your title to illustrate that goal will inform your audience on the direction of your presentation or meeting.
Present the problem and solution: If you are presenting a problem and solution in your presentation including that in your title will prepare your audience for a tough conversation.
Focus on the value: When presenting, you always want to clearly explain the value for the audience, so they become invested in what you need them to do. Addressing the value in the title will open your audience up to listen to what you need.
No matter which direction you go in with your presentation title, don’t forget the value and opportunity it provides. Often, this will be the first thing your audience encounters before your meeting or presentation even begins. Giving them direction on what is to come and how they should feel about a topic may be your first opportunity to persuade them.