The Power of a Great Title

If your speech title isn’t just right, you probably won’t have much of an audience, so stop worrying about how to write a speech! You have much bigger problems to solve first.

Your speech title is the first impression the audience has of both you and your speech. It’s the only part of your speech that audiences know in advance. For a conference or large-scale event, sometimes people know the title months in advance!

Your speech title is your press agent, your Marketing Department, and your FRIEND!

This isn’t just any friend. This friend is there to look out for you, make sure your reputation precedes you, speak highly of you, secure the right audience and to set that audience’s expectations before you speak. So put some effort into it, and your title will reward you tenfold!

If your title is dull and gray like clouds, it’ll project that same image right onto you, and you’re already off to a poor start before you open your mouth.

Think about it: would you attend a speech called How to Stack a Dishwasher?

I’d probably skip that one myself. But how about one of these alternative titles for the same speech?

  1. Life in the Top Rack
  2. Could We Dispense with all the Soap?
  3. Always With a Pinch of Salt
  4. The Flatware Conspiracy
  5. Scouring: The Overnight Program

Yup, I wouldn’t miss any of those. You get the idea? I mean, that last one is utterly meaningless, but I’d still attend the speech out of sheer curiosity!

My point is that a great title can add a lot to a speech, and set the tone properly for your presentation.

If you’ve ever attended or presented at a conference, you’ll know that delegates have a LOT of presentations to choose from, not to mention the socializing they actually came for.

To be brutal about it, unless your reputation really does precede you, or your name is Steve Jobs, Hillary Clinton or Richard Branson, audiences will probably short-list you on the strength of your intriguing title, or who’s on right after you!

Yes, people will sometimes sit through anything to be sure of a good seat for what follows. But don’t count on it!

So when planning how to write a speech, and especially choosing a title, let’s aim our sights just a LITTLE higher, shall we?


About David

Dave Curley holds the Advanced Toastmaster (Silver) award from Toastmasters International, an outstanding environment in which to learn not only how to write a speech but how to deliver one with confidence. Dave now speaks regularly as essential part of his business as an identity management and IT security consultant. He operates globally but always has a return ticket to Glasgow, Scotland.

Posted on September 10, 2007, in how to write a speech, public speaking, speech writing, title. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great post! I don’t know many people who look forward to sitting through a speech. This certainly is great advice if you want to capture your audience even before you utter a sound.

  2. Great help, i agree with having a catchign title, to help keep the audiance interested, and open to listening.

  3. Really liked your article!

    The many times I have consulted with speaker before evaluating them & asked what their Speech Title will be and sometimes more than you think… Speakers starting out especially, have said to me – “Oh, I don’t really have one?” or “I haven’t really thought of a title!?” CRAZY situation!

    Simply put, your article draws the importance BACK to a memorable & effective title to really set the speech with a brilliant start!

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