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Why the Title of your Presentation Matters a Lot More Than you Realise

If you're reading this blog, it's perhaps because of the title. It's designed to make you wandering why it matters more than you realise.

The truth is that just like a blog title, if you don't put much effort or thought into your presentation title, then it can't do any work for you. And it really can work for you. Crafting a powerful title for your presentation can have a lot of benefits for you:

  • It motivates people to listen to what you're going to say - it gives them a real, you've opened a loop in their brains and now they really want to find out what you meant in the title!

  • It stimulates people's natural curiosity

  • It makes it clear that there is something to learn within the presentation, something worth listening to!

  • It creates pre-impact or pre-influence - even before you've started your presentation, you've made an impact, or you've started to have influence on the audience.


Imagine the difference between two presentations. Now which of these two presentations (below) is more interesting to you? It's in your interest to pay attention in the second presentation. The first one, sounds (I've attended many compliance sessions) like it would be a cure for insomnia.

the difference that a title makes in your presentation
A comparison of two different presentations

So now you can already see that a presentation title makes a WORLD of difference. Perhaps the second one isn't very corporate - but 'thinking corporate' is the death of human attention. No one enjoys corporate speak, so break out of it and talk directly to the attention of the audience members.


Combining a title with a subtitle is an excellent way to get more out of your presentation title. Here's some that I found online:

  • How to do a Presentation: 5 Steps to a Killer Opener - okay, the title sucks, but the subtitle is great.

  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - same title as Angela Duckworth's exceptional book on GRIT, but it makes it's point and look at all that wonderful attention-grabbing alliteration in all those Ps!

  • Life Begins at 40: Roots and Consequences of the mid-life Crisis - a great combination of title and subtitle to tell us what it's about, make us curious and tell us something about what we're going to be asked to listen out for in the presentation.


HOW and WHY makes a great title. HOW offers us practical advice. WHY offers us help in understanding something. In Marvin Rees TEDTalk 'How is your City Tackling the Climate Crisis?' it encourages us to discover what our cities are practically doing. Other titles using HOW on TED include:

  • How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking.

  • How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

  • How to discover your authentic self - at any age.

  • How does heart transplant surgery work?

  • How to stop banks investing in fossil fuel

They all evoke the idea that there is an answer to HOW to do something.

This title makes us want to understand HOW instruments benefit our brain.

Why Titles make us interest, curious, we want to know WHY.

Here's a few examples of WHY titles from the internet:

  • Why Africa Needs Community Led Conservation

  • Why We Love Repetition in Music

  • Why Democracy Matters

  • Why We Laugh

  • We Privacy Matters

A fascinating short WHY title made me instantly want to watch it.


If you want to come up with an exceptional title for your presentation, you need to be like any author. You need to write down a lot of options, a LOT and write and re-write them until you find the one. Don't get stuck on an early idea - unless it's truly exceptional. You'll know when you have the right one because it will make you feel the same way the audience should.

If I can help you prepare for an upcoming presentation, why not get in touch?


Mark Westbrook

Public Speaking Coach Scotland


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