You’ve put in the effort, crafting each slide of your PowerPoint presentation, but somehow, it’s not resonating as you intended. The challenge? It’s often not just the content, but how it’s introduced.
Imagine your key messages failing to engage, your audience’s focus drifting. This scenario is all too familiar and can be disheartening.
The solution lies in the power of action titles. In our article, we delve into how these compelling titles can transform your slides, making them not just informative, but impactful. You’ll discover how to create titles that capture attention, ensure clarity, and effectively guide your audience through your presentation. Prepare to elevate your slides from overlooked to outstanding.
What are Action Titles?
An action title is a slide title that’s worded to reflect the key takeaway or ‘so what’ of the slide. Creating attractive titles is one of the most critical components of generating effective slides. These titles serve as guideposts and give them a basis for understanding the information. The most significant part of the slide is the action title, which is formulated as a brief, basic statement. It should ideally be the key takeaway or so ‘what’ of the slide, and if done correctly, helps the viewer to get the primary message of the slide by merely reading the title. It is referred to as an ‘action’ title because it aggressively informs the viewer of the main takeaway. Conventional slide titles, on the other hand, merely summarise the content of a slide.
The Importance of Action Titles
- Action Titles build Expectations: Action titles are one of the best ways to create and build the expectations of your audience. To ensure that the audience understands the content completely, keep the titles clear, concise, and short. Using unclear or abstract language can lead to audience disappointment.
- Showcase Clear Communication: Using action titles also allows you to showcase your communication skills and understand what the slide is about and why it’s important. Strong written and verbal communication are highly regarded business skills and an important building block of your professional success.
- Enhance Retention: Action titles that are memorable and relevant can help the audience remember the information presented. Well-written titles can stick in the audience’s mind.
- Cohesive storyline: They help to tie the entire presentation together in a cohesive story. They serve a roadmap for your presentation, assisting both you and your audience in following the core logic and arguments. In the end, understand any suggestions or recommendations for further action that you might make.
Best practices for writing action titles
Following are a few key principles that you can use and write good action titles:
Be specific, not generic: Inconsistent or generic action titles can dilute your message and fail to clearly communicate the main points. Make sure your so-whats are actually insightful. Don’t use obvious truths in your action titles. Your titles should be direct and measurable, with no room for ambiguity. Instead of generic terms, embrace specificity. Whether it’s “zoom” instead of a “move” or it’s a “sprint” instead of a “run” being specific adds a layer of intrigue that entices readers.
Keep it short or concise: They should be short and to the point. They should ideally fit within one or two lines, with a maximum of 15 words. Don’t use a title that is more than two lines long and strive for conciseness without sacrificing clarity or impact.
Too wordy: The new marketing plan executed by the company has increased sales by 15% in 2023 as compared to the previous year
Concise: Sales have increased by 15% in 2023
Use an active voice, not a passive voice: Avoid passive statements or verbs in favor of words that invoke a sense of action.
Passive: The structure of the holding company is determined by the Logistics Group.
Active: The Logistics Group determines the structure of the holding company.
Prioritize simplicity: The primary goal of a title is to effectively communicate. Focus on creating titles that accurately convey your message with precision.
Complex: Through cost reduction, an earnings improvement potential of 7 million USD can be generated.
Simple: Cost reduction leads to an improvement in earnings of 7 million USD.
Examine your insights: Write something insightful or nuanced. Similarly, make time-bound action titles where possible.
Action Titles for Presentations Slides
The best practice when creating perfect titles is to write them as the first step to creating an engaging and creative Action Title PowerPoint presentation for your audience. Let’s discuss some guidelines to help you create the best:
Determine Core Message: Clearly define the main message of your slide or section before crafting an action title. Determine the key takeaway for your audience, ensuring it is the focal point that they should remember.
Create or Formulate the Title: Based on the core message, create an action title as if doing a voice-over. Write this down as the action title.
Refine the Title: Refinement is crucial. Ensure the title is clear and understandable as a stand-alone sentence. Use active language that conveys insight. Refer to examples and best practices for guidance on creating effective action titles.
Trim Content for Focus: This step enhances the effectiveness of your presentation. Review the slide’s content and assess whether it directly supports the core message. Remove any irrelevant information and streamline the content to reinforce the main idea.
When starting a new presentation, prioritize crafting action titles as the first step. This ensures cohesion and clarity from the beginning, preventing unnecessary work on slides that may not be used.
Pick a Storyline Framework: Choose an overarching framework for your presentation’s storyline, such as SCQA or Past → Present → Future. This provides a structured narrative for your entire deck.
Divide A4 Page: Divide each A4 page into four sections, representing individual slides, and create concise action titles of fewer than 15 words for each slide. These titles encapsulate the essence of each slide, contributing to a clear and cohesive storyline.
Outline Supporting Data: Plan the type of supporting data needed for each slide, whether it’s graphs, tables, or bullet points. This initial outline provides a starting point for prioritizing data and analyses during the project.
Create a Draft Presentation and review the Entire Storyline: Build a draft presentation in PowerPoint with blank slides, featuring only titles and descriptions of supporting data. Adjust slide titles based on best practices as you organize the content. Zoom out and read through the entire presentation by focusing only on the slide titles. Ensure the storyline makes sense, and identify any slides that feel redundant or off.
Mastering the art of crafting captivating action titles can elevate your PowerPoint presentations to new heights. These titles are more than just headings; they are catalysts for engagement, clarity, and motivation. By implementing action titles, you can transform your presentations, taking them from standard to stand out, and ensuring they leave a lasting, impactful impression on your audience.