by Adam Noar
First impressions matter.
We all know how important a first introduction is. It’s the reason why we dress up before an important job interview, brush our teeth before a first date, and make a meal look good before we serve it.
We all make instant judgments that either give us hope or lower expectations. With your PowerPoint presentation the cover slide (i.e., title slide) is the all-important first introduction. It’s a taste of things to come for the rest of your presentation.
Your PowerPoint presentation cover is also an indicator of quality. It shows your audience how much care has gone into you entire project. Feeling the pressure yet?
An exceptional presentation cover gives your audience hope that the presentation will be exceptional. Conversely, a poorly designed or low quality PowerPoint cover conveys a lack of attention to detail.
Your audience will mostly assume that if you rushed your cover, you rushed your entire presentation.
Right or wrong, that’s the line of logic being used to judge your presentation and you need to be aware of this.
Therefore, before you get up on stage to present, take the time to make sure your cover slide rocks.
If you have no idea where to begin creating a dynamic cover slide, fear not!
We have searched high and low to provide a list of some really nice PowerPoint cover slide examples for your viewing pleasure. From SlideShare to Ted Talks, here’s a top 10 list of the best PowerPoint presentation covers in the business. We also walk through each example pointing out why the cover is so captivating.
Let’s get started!
Immediately, this cover slide by Jesse Desjardins, grabs your attention for many reasons. First, notice the bold title “You Suck at PowerPoint!” which is the first thing you see on the slide. The language here is simple enough for any audience to understand. Also, note how the title of the slide speaks to the viewer in the second person by using the word “you” and the use of the slang word “suck” which makes the presentation sound more authentic. Note: The occasional slang words can be effective, but only use them in extremely rare cases and with the least offensive words possible. “Suck” is one of those safe words that nobody should get offended about.
Secondly, the color scheme is well crafted with the pop of color on top of a black and white image. The background image, of the man looking stressed out, also captures your interest. As you know, the first photos were black and white, so this style contributes to the overall vintage/retro look of the slide. Lastly, the language of the subtitle, “5 shocking design mistakes you need to avoid,” pulls you in and makes you want to learn more. No wonder this presentation has over 2 million views on SlideShare!
Start your presentation with a bang by using a dynamic cover slide like the one shown here (designed by yours truly). This presentation cover slide uses a powerful, high resolution image that hits people on an emotional level. The interesting looking characters in the image immediately grabs people’s attention. Along with this, the fonts and the characters both match the overall “Western” theme that is projected throughout the presentation. Picking the right images for your slides is extremely important when it comes to presentation design. When you’re searching for images, don’t fall into the trap of choosing the first image you see that might work. Look at many images until you find the one that fits consistently with your message and your theme. For more tips on how to choose images for your presentation, click here.
Besides the images, did you notice how the colors all go together to complete the harmonious look? The careful combination of different shades of brown and tan flow nicely throughout the slide. Lastly, the textured background adds to the unique and vintage look to the slide. Note: If you decide to a add texture to your slide, just make sure the text is legible.
This cover slide, by Slide Comet, uses a unique looking outer space background image that complements the “out of this world” theme and immediately grabs your attention. The cover slide does a nice job of incorporating the color scheme of the company logo (red, orange, and white) throughout the slide. Additionally, the contrasting text boxes really jump out and highlight the title of the presentation with a nice combination of fonts. Using several different fonts in the same PowerPoint presentation can be a bit challenging. In fact, combining fonts is one of the most difficult parts of the presentation design process. When you’re pairing multiple fonts, you want to be sure that they work well together. As mentioned in previous posts, it is generally wise to stick to only two or three fonts (as seen in the above cover slide example). However, there is no hard rule that says you can’t use more. Just keep in mind that too many fonts can distract and confuse your audience. Make your font choices carefully and consider the overarching message of your presentation. For information on how to combine fonts, click here.
The clean layout and attractive color scheme of this cover slide, by Emiland, makes it really pop. The font colors are meaningful and fit with the core of the message. Also, the text is legible with colors that contrast well with one another. Note how the designer does a nice job of emphasizing the key word “visual” by manipulating the font size and color of the word in contrast to the other words on the slide. The background image also complements the core message. Notice how a significant portion of the image is blurred, this effect naturally draws the eyes to the center of the slide where the text is placed. Lastly, the title does a nice job of instantly letting the audience know what the presentation is about. As we have mentioned before, your audience should be able to figure out what your slide is about in three seconds or less.
This cover slide, by Slides That Rock, is another example that blends attractive fonts with a contrasting color scheme (orange and white). The designer carefully selected a background image that goes with the theme without taking away from the text or the key message. The colors of the image allow for contrast from the title. Lastly, the designer does a nice job of manipulating the font size to focus in on the central word “slides” letting the audience know exactly what the focus of the presentation is about.
This colorful, cartoon-like theme, by Ethos3, immediately draws your attention. The “once upon a time” phrase is particularly common in children’s fairy tales. Everyone can quickly identify with this phrase from childhood storybooks and who doesn’t like a good story? The visuals and characters are also intriguing and make you want to learn more about the presentation.
Notice how the black and grey color scheme of this cover slide, by Empowered Presentations, perfectly matches the topic (smoking). These colors clearly evoke feelings of death and darkness which is what the designer was going for. As you may have already heard, different colors evoke different general feelings in many people. This can be important when selecting colors for your presentation slides since you will want to avoid colors that will negatively impact the message you are delivering. For example, black can evoke feelings darkness and death while red can promote feelings of passion, excitement, and aggression. For more on how to select colors for your presentations click here.
The designer uses a minimalistic style and sticks with only 2 types of fonts. Also, note how the presentation designer manipulated the font size to emphasize the key word “smoke.” Lastly, the designer choice to use only a few key words coupled with a small image allows for plenty white space (which lets the slide breathe).
This cover slide does a nice job of capturing your interest by including some interesting looking silhouettes. Do you recognize the characters Pixar’s collection of movies? The silhouettes on this cover slide, by Make a Powerful Point, immediately grab your attention as they outline the images of popular movie characters. The nice thing about silhouettes is that they are fairly easy to create directly in PowerPoint. Yes, you can create the perfect silhouette for your presentation by simply using careful combination of shapes and lines. Now don’t get me wrong, the standard drawing toolbars in PowerPoint or Keynote are SOMETIMES no match for the stunning professional stock imagery that professional graphic designers can put together using advanced image creation tools (like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop). However, you can often create your own good looking images from scratch using only PowerPoint or Keynote. For more information on how to create your own custom PowerPoint images (such as silhouettes), click here.
This cover slide stands out for many reasons. First, the catchy title “PowerPoint Porn” lures you in and makes you want to know what the presentation is all about. Second, the background image includes an intriguing black and white image of a seductive woman that is smoking a cigarette while staring right at you. This interesting looking image makes the audience want to turn to the next slide.
Additionally, the designer does a nice job of combining fonts that go well together and uses some semi-transparent text boxes to make the text standout.There are several different ways to insert text on top of images. One of the simplest ways to do that is by inserting a transparent shape and adding some text over it. If the overlay is opaque enough, you can have just about any image underneath and the text will still be legible. This method overlaying text can be a lifesaver when the underlying image has a lot of background noise (like the one in the above cover slide). For more information on how to overlay text on images, click here.
This cover slide does a good job of showing an eye-catching (and somewhat amusing looking) image of Seth Godin (who truly does hate bad PowerPoint presentations by the way!). This cover slide, by Slide Comet, also does a great job of combining fonts and choosing font colors that match the colors of the image (e.g., glasses in yellow). On top of that, the designer does a nice job of manipulating the size of the text to show hierarchy. Lastly, the background image is subtle does not clash with the main image at the forefront.
We all get stuck on creating presentation covers sometimes. You’ll stare at the PowerPoint canvas, hoping for inspiration to strike — and for that cover slide idea to be amazing.
But, that’s not actually the best way to think of ideas.
The best way to come up with an exciting new cover slide for your PowerPoint presentation is by getting inspiration from others. We hope that some of the cover slides shown in this post have provided a bit of inspiration for you.
Remember, the PowerPoint cover you design is a reflection of your whole presentation. Therefore you must create this slide carefully. You’ve probably spent a lot of time working on your presentation. So, why give someone the opportunity to dismiss it in the first three seconds? You deserve better and so does your audience.
Here’s my question for you?
Where do you find inspiration for your presentation covers? Sound of in the comments below. I read each and every one
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