The art of slide design: first and last slide

Design your first and last slide wisely!

At pretty much all events, whether it’s a rock concert, a circus performance, or an opera production, the beginning and the end remain particularly well in the audience’s memory. PowerPoint presentations are no different.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]It is all the more surprising that many presenters give no thought at all to how they will begin their presentation and how they will end it. They often stumble uninspired into their slide presentation and end up stealing out just the same. Two important moments of a presentation are criminally neglected:

the first impression and the last impression. [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Typical mistakes in slide design

I have seen countless presentations in my life. Nine out of ten start with a slide that reads: “Welcome”. Such presentations then just as often end with the slide “Thank you for your attention”. Also very popular is the phrase “Any questions?” to set up the last slide. Aside from the fact that it’s never really smart to implement everything exactly like the masses, these phrases also have other disadvantages for slide design. At the beginning of your presentation, you should personally greet your audience. So either the “Welcome” slide is used to save the personal greetings because that’s already on the slide, or you communicate everything twice. Once on the slide and again in a moment as a spoken word. In that case, you run a great risk of boring your audience right at the beginning. Because nothing is as dull as a speaker who practically reads off his slides

This also applies to the last slide. Of course, you should ask your audience yourself if there are any questions and thank them personally for their attention. A film will hardly be able to do this satisfactorily for you. So, as a matter of principle, make sure that you do not create slides whose content you simply repeat during the presentation.

How to get in and out successfully

But how should you now use the first and last slides of your presentation wisely? The first slide should prepare the audience for the presentation and

– convey to them what the subject of the lecture is,

– make clear what the audience can expect,

– arouse interest in the presentation, build tension.

You should consider whether to put the location, date, time, and name of the speaker on the first slide of your presentation. Normally, these data are already known to all present. In any case, the title of the presentation(title slide) belongs on the first slide. Feel free to spend some time finding a really good title. The title should ideally pique the interest of your audience. Sometimes, in fact, a topic shows little exciting aspects that could get your viewers excited. A status report is not usually a psychological thriller. In that case, you could make the topic more interesting with a question or, for example, a provocative statement. Use the first slide to grab the audience’s attention.

How to use the last slide? Always keep in mind when designing your slides: the last slide is the last chance for you to make an impact with your audience. So, on the last slide, you can once again highlight the most important points of your presentation. You can formulate a final assessment or outline the next steps to be taken now. The last slide can also be used to make a request to the audience. This is also called “call-to-action”. For example, the last slide can contain the message: “Visit us at the fair, Hall B, Booth 309A!” or “Call us at phone number…”. So you can really step on the gas again with the last slide and should not miss this chance.

Portrait of Trainer Matthias Garten - Expert for Presentations and PowerPointDipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten is the expert for multimedia presentations. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Day. In addition to PowerPoint training and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 15,000 presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.