Article Category: Flashback Friday

Slide Title Guidelines: Use Assertions, Not Topics (Flashback Friday #29)

On Fridays, we dip into the Six Minutes article archive in search of one of the most memorable articles. We’ll dust it off, shine a light on it, and consider it from a new perspective.

Today’s Flashback Article

This week, we’re reaching back to November 2012 to learn why you should be using assertions instead of topics for your slide titles.

The vast majority of slide presentations feature boring and information-poor slide titles like “Background”, “Results”, “Research Findings”, or “Sales”. These topic-based titles add very little meaning to your presentation, and leave your audience searching for answers. Assertion-based titles (e.g. “Sales projected to triple by 2022” or “New policies reduce employee injuries”) are information-rich, and convey instant meaning to your audience, providing the context for the evidence contained in the body of the slide.

I’ve been recommending slide assertions in my presentation design courses for ten years; I’m happy to report that my students have a high success rate putting it into practice in their presentations. They report that it is (1) easy to do, and (2) it gains them compliments from their audiences. Win-win!

Read the full article (which has many other practical tips for slide titles), and share your experience with utilizing these simple ideas:


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