When you’re focused on creating a meaningful and persuasive presentation, it’s easy to miss the cover. But giving a little more love to the first page of your presentation can go a long way toward capturing your audience’s attention early on and setting the tone for the rest of your presentation. An impressive presentation cover can intrigue your audience to want to know more and increase engagement with the information you are presenting. On the other hand, a lackluster slide – or even the lack of one – can dampen the audience’s enthusiasm for your presentation, and perhaps even your own. You’ve worked so hard on your presentation, why waste precious space on the first slide of your deck? In this post, we’ll cover the basics of creating an attention-grabbing, informative presentation cover. Let’s dive in.
What goes on the cover of a presentation?
A good presentation cover accomplishes three simple things: introduce the topic with a simple title. It introduces you (and your organization, if applicable). Sets the tone of your presentation.
We probably don’t need to tell you this, but your presentation cover should focus on one title. And ideally, a title that is straightforward, descriptive, and straightforward. If you find it difficult to keep your title short, add a subtitle (in smaller print) to clarify what you will be talking about.
Next, identify the person (or group) who will make the presentation. In some cases, this will be as simple as including your own name, and in others, you’ll want to include your company name, logo, department, or other identifying information. As a general guideline, you will need less identifying information if you are giving an internal presentation. If your audience is primarily people outside of your company (or if there are plans to distribute your presentation externally), you will usually want to include more information to clearly identify your company.
A successful cover sets the “tone” of your presentation, but what does that really mean? The colors, images, fonts and the placement of different elements on your cover create a specific visual style that the rest of your presentation should follow. A well-designed page conveys a sense of professionalism and preparation that a simple slide of monochrome text simply cannot. Even if you are not a design expert, you should pay attention to the aesthetics of your cover. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find free, professional-looking presentation templates without the need for a graphic design degree. Whatever you choose, it is important to remain relevant to your presentation (and, if applicable, to your business brand). We’ll explore some cover art examples below so you can see how the different elements converge to set the tone for a variety of different presentations.
Presentation cover examples
Below we have compiled a series of presentation covers that are successful in different areas. Remember: there is no one perfect format for a presentation cover, but hopefully, you will get some inspiration from this list.
Set an emotional tone
The right cover page can set an emotional and visual tone. This presentation cover for a non-profit organization conveys a mission-driven approach to protecting nature, with a well-curated and relevant image and a call to action directly in the caption. (Photo by Andy Kogl in Unsplash)
Focus on a photo
You don’t need to overcomplicate the cover layout, especially if you have a large photo to use as a full background image. A simple stock photo here provides a clean background for this remote work presentation. Just make sure the title text is legible over whatever background photo you decide to use. (Photo by Corinne kutz in Unsplash)
Leading with your brand
Even if you are the keynote speaker of a presentation, it might make more sense to highlight your team or brand on your cover, rather than including your own personal information (you can always include your own contact information at the end of your presentation for follow-up questions ). Context (if you’re speaking at a particular event or annual meeting) can be important to stand out on your cover as well.
There’s a big difference between a cover slide that you didn’t think much of and a slide that makes good use of white space and relies on solid text. Sometimes the best way to bring an audience to your presentation is to create a space for a little mystery. If you’re giving a more informal presentation or a speech that doesn’t need to follow a particular format, consider going the minimal route and starting with a simple cover slide that asks your audience a question (one that you of course plan to have answered) .
Set a purpose
Many presentations include an agenda slide directly after the cover slide, but that doesn’t mean you can use your cover slide to establish a clear purpose in advance. Consider using your caption to explain a more robust (but still simple!) Description of what you will cover.
Presentation cover templates
Instead of creating your presentation cover from scratch, using a template can take much of the work out of the process. Check out these websites for templates you can use for your presentation or for inspiration to create your own designs.
Canva, a tried and true favorite of many marketing teams, offers a wide selection of modern drag-and-drop presentation templates with truly unique covers. If you’re looking for a cover that looks like you hired a graphic designer to create it just for you, Canva is a good place to start your search. Canva offers both free and paid options.
Beautiful.ai has an intuitive and highly customizable presentation generator that allows you to import your own visuals directly from your computer or a Dropbox folder. Like Canva, they offer a number of free and paid template options (with great covers). Its biggest differentiating feature is its (frankly, very good) adaptive artificial intelligence technology, which intuits how you are trying to lay out a slide and automatically makes changes to suit the direction of your project.
For a completely free option with a cover starter template that suits a wide range of different projects in different formats, check out EDIT. Their online tool is specifically designed to create covers in a simple and easy to use interface.
Another highly customizable template source is Visme, which gives users the ability to select an initial template from their (expansive) library and customize elements in a simple web editor.
VectorStock® has a massive selection of PowerPoint presentation cover templates to buy if you’re looking for something that’s ready to go and go without the need for customization (beyond adding your own name and title, of course).
First impressions are important
For better or for worse, the public will judge a presentation by its cover. Therefore, it is essential that you give your cover the care and attention it deserves. Ultimately, a cover page is not simply a placeholder, it is a vital component that can generate interest in your presentation. The best part is that with the tools available online, you don’t have to be an artist to create an impressive presentation cover. The featured image in this post was created with a Canva model.