Think of your Speech Title as if it were the Title of a Book;
displayed on a shelf at
Barnes & Noble.
When someone is eyeing the selection on the shelves in the section where they have an interest, yours should jump out at them!
The Title should jump out so much that the person actually takes the book from the shelf, reads the back cover, and opens it to read the front and back flaps.
After “investigating” the book (i.e., your speech) because the title grabbed their attention, they “buy” it; that is, they come to see you speak because they want to learn more!
Unless you’ve given this lots and lots of thought, pencil the title to your speech in. Remember, this must be something that will make people want to come and see you speak.
The Title of your Speech is your: newspaper headline, title on the spine of your book, and the verbiage in the ‘Subject Line’ of your most important email, all rolled up in one.
Just like the title of a new movie might get you to go online and look at the trailers, your speech title needs more consideration than many people think.
Editors know if the Headline of a newspaper article doesn’t get your attention, you probably won’t read the article. Likewise, the Subject Line of an email that doesn’t immediately grab the recipient’s attention, might be deleted without opening it.
Until Oprah quotes you on national television, a great title that draws people to your presentation wanting to know more, is your best chance at filling the auditorium.
Realistically, you may have been assigned, or asked to do this talk by your boss or other official. Still, give it the thought it deserves. It may be after completing the development of your speech that the ‘Ah Hah!’ title will come to you.
As an example, this book, and the signature speech I give by the same name, is ’No Sweat’ Public Speaking!”
This title, I hope you agree, gets more attention than: “Presentations 101” or “How to Give a Good Presentation”.
You want the title to whet the appetite of the person who sees it. Whet it enough for them to want to know more, to see if it’s something they could benefit from.
You may even find it’s easiest to write your speech first, and then come up with a title. Have several titles in mind and bounce them off friends and family before deciding on one
The same holds true for a subtitle. It explains more about the contents and goals of the speech, and is an integral and important part of the title
In this case, “How to Develop, Practice and Deliver a Presentation that will ‘Knock their Socks Off’ – with No Sweat!” reinforces the title message. It also adds enough information to entice, (hopefully) people who might have thought the presentation/book was just about overcoming nervousness.
The Title is an integral part of your Speech. Give it the same thorough thought and attention all the other parts and elements of your speech are getting. Then the Title will fill the seats in the audience!