Communicate to Win: 018 – Which Story Would You Rather to Read?

Consider these headlines. Which story would you rather read? Stock Market Results or Stock Market Up 2% on Lower Oil. With the first, you only have a simple statement. But, with the second, you have a statement that tells you something. I suspect you would rather read the second article since it speaks to you, delivers a message and communicates the key point. I can’t over-emphasize the importance of employing talking headers, not just titles in your PowerPoint presentations to draw in your audience and leave them wanting more.

Here is an added bonus! Following this rule will help you decide if you need the slide or not in your presentation. If you cannot write a simple talking point that describes the key concept of the slide, then the slide probably doesn’t belong in the mix.

Let’s look at some examples to help with the thought process behind using talking headers as a leading component within your presentations. I’m sure many of these headers look familiar; all are common topics in business…

  • A topical header reads the Retail Sector, but a more compelling slide would have a talking header of Retailers See Slow Holiday Season.
  • Company Sales Trend becomes Company Sales Doubled.
  • Productivity by Region draws in your audience in as Midwest Region Ranks First in Productivity.
  • New Technology Solution really speaks to listeners as Fastest Smartphone to Date Released.

Using talking headers brings your information to life. All good newspaper editors know this! Once you have captured your listeners’ attention, they can then relate to your message and support your next big idea.

Keep in mind: talking headers also guide the person reviewing your slide handouts days after your actual presentation. By using talking headers, someone can flip through your handouts and easily understand the key point for each slide, even without you there to present the information. Sounds like a win-win to me!

I’ve given you a variety of tips for creating text slides that help deliver your message more efficiently. Next in the Communicate to Win series, I’ll move into looking at tips for engaging your audience with the second slide type—exhibit slides.

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