5 Point Checklist to Create Powerful Cover Slides


Does your cover slide pop or flop?

They say, it only takes 20 seconds for you to make a lasting impression on others. It takes roughly the same number of seconds to grab the attention of your audience. Your PowerPoint presentation shouldn’t be any different.

This means, if you are to make a killer impression in those first few vital seconds, then your cover slide should equally be a killer one. Because let’s face it: we do judge a presentation by its cover.

Your cover slides set the tone for the rest of your slides and hence, presentation. It’s essentially, your presentation’s packaging.

To be able to deliver a presentation that captivates your audience or in the first place, get them to look at it, you essentially need to ask yourself this main question: Does your cover slide stand out?

Here’s a simple 5-point checklist of what you should keep in mind when creating your cover slide:

Did you include an interesting presentation title?

The title has to be simple to understand but compelling enough to catch attention. 

Come up with a title that not only sums up your presentation but more importantly, captures what your audience can get out from it. Use short but catchy headlines.

Some of the ways you can do this:

  • Ask a question (e.g. Are you ready to..?)
  • Do a listing (e.g. 10 Secrets…)
  • State the benefit (e.g. How you can…)
  • Specify a command (e.g. Don’t—until—…)

Try to make your title specific. The more specific it is, the closer you can address the users’ intent and engage them. Do research beforehand on your audience: Who are they? What are their needs or issues? What interests them?  Speak to them directly in your title by using words like ‘’I’’ and ‘’you’’.

Are other words you use (like subtitles) intriguing enough?

Some would call it ‘’hypnotic writing’’. Use power keywords that evoke emotions and impact like ‘’shocking’’, ‘’best kept secret’’, ‘’suck’’, ‘’exciting’’ or ‘’killer’’. You can apply the same rules for your main title.

Here’s a free online tool that measures the emotional value of your title: //www.aminstitute.com/headline/

Another way you can write a captivating cover text is to be downright honest or take a stand. Your courage will pay off as this is what often sparks curiosity or interest among your audience. An example would be: ‘’Why I would never…..to…’’ or ‘’Why you shouldn’t trust… ’’

Did you use a powerful image?

Again, the photo you use has to be compelling. Search for images that best fit and relate to your title or topic. Use only high quality, resolution images. 2 types of images that captivate best are: humorous and shocking ones. 

Feel free to adjust certain parts of the image(s) to blur or highlight for emphasis.

Did you spice up the little details?

If there’s only one slide in your entire presentation wherein you should be excited to add all the fireworks, it should be your cover slides. Jazz up your cover slide to customize it and so as not to make it appear dull or lifeless. Just ensure though that they all blend well together and are still consistent with your slides’ overall theme.

Here are some of the things you can vary within your cover slide:

  • Fonts
  • Colors
  • Lines
  • Transparencies
  • Texture
  • Text boxes
  • Shapes

Are the images and texts the right size?

They should be clearly visible and big enough not just for the audience to read or see but because remember this is your cover slide: you have to make it bold, stand out and get your audience to focus on it.

To direct their attention, don’t be afraid to highlight texts or change the size of certain fonts where you need to.

Once you have an awesome looking cover slide, you’re off to a great start and so long as you have consistently good design and quality throughout, can more easily sustain this momentum through your entire deck.

Still stuck? Let us help do or re-do your cover slide!