Business Presenting – How To Make A Great First Impression

In presentations, as in life, you only have one chance to make a first impression. This is why the titles of your presentations are crucial.

In this short article, let’s examine how to title your presentation to immediately attract your audience.

What’s in a presentation title?

If you look at most business presentations, strategy messages, and sales pitches, you’ll notice one thing. Deadly boring titles.

If you were giving an award for the most boring, the dullest, and the most tedious titles, you’d have to have a lot of ribbons to hand out!

Sadly, many professionals title their presentations without thinking of catchy words, emotional spark or what the audience is really seeking.

This gives rise to titles such as:

Enterprise Sales Enablement Solutions

Research Findings For Field Utilization From The ACME Study

Strategic Initiatives In Alignment to The Corporate Vision for 2020

What’s your response to these titles?

Yawn.

If presentation and conference titles were looking for extra work, they might double as a cure for insomnia. Think I’m kidding? Try reading the titles in your industry’s conference brochure and staying awake!

Well, you’re not alone in falling asleep while skimming the titles.

Here’s what your clients and prospects are thinking as they preview the titles: “I’m getting sleepy and bored before I ever sit down. Maybe I do need to skip out and grab a latte.”

And as luck would have it, they may not come back from the coffee shop in time for your talk! Instead of risking the dreaded fate of presenting to an empty auditorium, get out your red pen and do some editing.

Be ruthless. Aim for dynamic headlines to describe your talk.

Here are a few pointers for titling your talk, pitch or report:

Tip 1. No Passive Language

Use verbs! Speak in active terms.

Tip 2. No Long Words

If your title is easy and catchy, you should be able to say the name of your presentation without sounding as if you have marbles in your mouth.

Tip 3. No Corporate Jargon

You are giving a dynamic presentation, aren’t you? Signal this to your audience. Avoid using words that only belong in the corporate bylaws or annual report. Avoid sounding like you never get out of the office park.

If you aren’t sure whether your title passes this 3-point test, do not check with an office mate. He or she may not be able to spot the lack of luster in your title. Instead, check with a 6-year old. If your young friend understands, can repeat the title and can say it without effort, then you deserve a gold star!

Hint: most likely you will sit in a meeting or presentation this week. Notice how the title of the presentation or talk affects you. Now you know the rules. Play a little game to challenge your inner-editor. See how you can rename these presentations to ignite interest and spark excitement.

Once you get used to renaming other people’s presentations, it’s a whole lot easier to edit your own. Funny thing, eh?

Write powerful titles to make a great first impression and cut through the clutter. Use the right words and pictures to connect with what matters most for your audience.