Presentation Tips 12

Making a Stunning PPT Cover Design (in 5 Minutes)

powerpoint title slide
So you want to learn how to make a gorgeous PPT cover design?
You know, a PowerPoint title slide that will help you…
Get your point across
Look professional
… and impress your audience
If that’s what you’ve been looking for, then you’re in the right pace.

In today’s post, you are going to learn how to design a beautiful cover for all your presentations.
Lecture for students? Check.
Sales meeting with prospects? Check.
Business strategy for your boss? Check.
And the good news is, you’ll learn how to make it in a fraction of the time it usually takes to others, using a simple 3-step process.
(At the end of the post, I’ll even give you access to the example slides of this tutorial, along with another surprise I’m sure you’ll love).

Mindset: your presentation is the product, your cover slide the packaging

Packaging is what’s used to wrap, promote and differentiate a product. In this case, your presentation.

presentation packaging

Of course, if your product sucks, then the packaging won’t help.
But it’s what’s going to attract people in the first place.

The foundations: a great PPT cover slide has 3 elements

  1. The background (your visual, or the color background you’ll be using)
  2. The lay-out (where and how do you position the different elements in the slide)
  3. The text (what is it all about)
Today, I’m going to walk you through each of these elements so you can design a solid cover slide fast.

Step 1: Find a visual representing the point you are trying to make

If you want to design a cover slide that’ll catch the attention of your audience, then you need to start with asking you this question:
What’s your presentation topic?
Answer the question using this formula:
My presentation is about [ X ]. So the topic is [ Y]
Here are a few examples:
My presentation is about [ our yearly financial report ]. So the topic is [ finance ].
My presentation is about [ power supply dynamics ]. So the topic is [ power supply / engineering ].
My presentation is about [ our client’s social media strategy ]. So the topic is [ social / marketing ].
See where I’m going?
If your presentation covers a very specific subject, try to broaden the topic a little bit so it’ll be easier for you to find relevant visuals.
Now, you’re going to look for a relevant visual that closely relates to your presentation topic.
Here’s my go to list for beautiful, free-to-use visual resources:
Pexels (my favorite’s, lots of visuals)
Gratisography (crisp, fun)
Death to the stock photo  (a bit of everything)
Startup stock photos (genuine-looking)
Unsplash (nature related)
Little visuals (like Unsplash)
Pic jumbo (urban-related mostly)
More resources right here


Type your keyword in the search bar.


Browse the results and pick a visual you like.


Search keywords that relate to your topic (e.g. finance -> “money”, “charts”, social media -> “phone”, “people”)
Make sure to get visuals with good pixel resolution.
To save time in the future, create a folder on your desktop. Anytime you stumble upon a great visual, just add it to your folder (get more tips just like this one right here).

Step 2: Integrate a text “bar” (and why)

You’ve found a visual that fits with your presentation purpose.
Unless your visual is very “plain” (read, there’s lot of free, unused space), I advise NOT TO place the text content on the picture directly.
Look, here’s the reason why:

cover slide bad example

See what the problem is here?
It’s HARD to read.
And your job as a presenter is to make it easy for your audience to understand what it’s all about. You have to make your reader – or listener – feel comfortable.
In some cases, you can of course directly put the text on the presentation cover slide.
For instance:
plain cover slide
There’s enough “free” space for you to place the text in a way that it’s easy to read.
Here’s another example:

See how I am creating consistency between the world-class text color and the two blue bars on top and bottom of the cover slide?
Here are various locations you can consider on your cover slide to integrate that text bar:

cover slide text bar locations

If you prefer something more creative, you can select other rectangles shapes such as these ones:

Let’s take a look at a few examples of effective “text bar” placements:

cover slide 1

cover slide 2

cover slide 3

(Don’t worry, we’ll get to the text in step 3).


Customize your text bar playing with both color and transparency. Adding transparency allows people to see the whole visual behind. But use it with care, and don’t forget that your first priority is to get readers to feel comfortable when looking at your slides.
Contrast is the king. Dark shape = light/flashy colors for the text. Light shape = dark colors for the text.

Step 3: Add the text 

I recommend that you create on text box per line / keyword. You’ll be able to customize font size and style easier.
Either align the text (to the left or the right), or center it for maximum coherence.
Here ere are various techniques you can use to create contrast and maximize impact:
1) Increase the font size of a part of your text

2) Emphasize on specific words using another color (you can pick a color of your background visual to create consistency)

3) Change the typography of one part of your text:

Since the presentation would be about how to pitch an idea, idea is the keyword I want to emphasize on. I’ll change the typography and use a more creative font to create memorability.
For free and creative font options, check out:
4) You can also add shadows in order to create more contrast with the slide background.

Case study: How I made this post’s presentation cover slide


Step 1: Find a visual representing the point I’m trying to make

Finding the right image is the key step of your presentation title design process.
Here, I wanted to illustrate what a great cover slide can look like. So I started to think: “Well, what do I mean by great… How can I show what a great cover slide means?”
And then I came up with words that are tied to the emotion I want to convey:
BOOM! I got it.
The keyword “stellar” that just translated perfectly what I wanted to communicate.  So then, I headed over to Pexels  and typed “stellar”. But no free resource came up, so I tried “sky” instead (you can head over to Thesaurus to find synonyms):

Got my visual. Time to move on to step 2.

Step 2: Integrate a text “bar” (or not)

Many visuals are full of colors, shapes, and elements that draw the attention of the eye.
In theses cases, use a text bar.
If the visual is “clean”, then it’s fine to integrate the text on top of it directly.
For instance:

Either way, if you’re not sure – just make a try and ask a friend or colleague to tell you if it’s easy to read or not. If he’s unsure, then that it means it’s not good enough.
Remember that you have to minimize the comprehension time of your audience, your text must be crystal clear.

Step 3: Add the text 

I used a font called Forte.
For the word “cover slide”, I customized the text style with shadows (select the text -> click right > “format text effects…”) and play with the options until you get something that satisfies you.

Let’s recap:

Step 1: Find a visual representing the point you are trying to make

Step 2: Integrate a text “bar” if the visual is “complex”

Step 3: Add the text. Done.

Bonus: You can download the presentation cover slide examples right here.
I hope you liked and learnt !

How to design a gorgeous, world-class presentation without having to spend your whole weekend on it…

Would you rather spend hours designing, editing and tweaking your next high-stake presentation or would you rather get the work done 10x better, and 20x faster?
If you prefer the second option, then I’ve got great news for you:
Pre-built, designer-made, editable templates can help you do just that.
Invest a few dollars. Save dozen of hours. Look amazing.
Check out my favorite presentation template packages here

Click below to check out this template:

PowerPoint version
Keynote version


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