Deep Dive: Create Unique Title Slides with SmartArt

About this lesson

Learn the strategy to building unique PowerPoint Title Slides with design ideas and SmartArt. Impressive starting title slides are the key to successful presentations, so learn how to stand out from the crowd with our two techniques.

Learn why design ideas are not consistent and how to leverage keywords in design ideas.

And take complete control over the title slide design by leveraging SmartArt.



  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:21 Getting Started
  • 01:40 Words Matter
  • 02:20 Using Design Ideas Roulette
  • 04:00 PowerPoint Picking Up Key Words
  • 05:51 Title Slide from SmartArt
  • 08:00 Using Layout Variations
  • 09:08 Using SmartArt Style Enhancements
  • 10:00 Using SmartArt Embedded Photos
  • 12:18 Wrap-Up


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility All Versions of PowerPoint from 2013 to Office 365; Windows & Mac

Level Other

Course Completed Complete

PDF Files There are not any files associated with this lesson.



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<Music> Your title slide is your first impression. Get it wrong, and you can sink your slideshow.

Looks sharp, and you’re on your way to success. Hi, this is Les McCarter from Power Up Training, where I share my decades of experience on PowerPoint with you for free.

In Office 365 for Mac and for windows. Microsoft offers

You two choices, the decades

Our starting point of design templates, which we’ve all seen, and the more recent tool to add pizzazz for better or for worse. But I call design ideas roulette as it’s not repeatable and not dependable, but as you can see over here, there are some distinctive examples that might work. However, we here at PowerUp training believe in taking full control to build a unique and relevant title slide through the use of SmartArt. I am using both techniques here, and we’re going to show you through this presentation, how to create guaranteed distinctive title slides, to jumpstart `ll your future slide presentation. So let’s go power up on creating unique PowerPoint title slides.

Let’s begin with a fresh blank presentation. I’ll click on file and blank presentation, and I’m going to enter in some placeholder texts. My title is my big idea and my imaginary subtitle reformulating, the tango workflow let’s stop right there.

Our target goal is to create unique and compelling title slides. I don’t want to get too sidetracked, but the word matter. Imagine your title on the screen and your audience staring at the slide without any feedback from you. What does my big idea even mean? It’s not descriptive for your real project in the real world. Make sure to use titles that stand on their own and set the stage without the need for explanation. Okay. Enough of words do matter. Let’s format. This we’re going to use two different design strategies. The first one I call design idea roulette. It’s where we let PowerPoint providers with artificial semi-intelligent graphic design ideas.

Warning. I don’t like this because it leaves our results to chance, but sometimes I do get lucky with a nice design. Let’s see it with a foundation. Title slides started. We’re going to go to the design ribbon menu tab and select design ideas.

From there. PowerPoint offers up a variety of designs that it thinks might be useful. Take a look. And in the latest Office 365 version, some suggestions actually have some animations thrown in with the design watch. As I make it go into slideshow mode, but be careful by being seduced by colors and action graphics always make sure that it fits your needs in this printable slide. The light bulb actually does seem appropriate to the title of my big idea. Let’s see what happens if I swap the title and subtitle around, I’ll create a new, fresh presentation by going to file and blank presentation, and then add in our title and subtitle in the opposite order. And so what do PowerPoint design ideas offer up another light bulb? Nah, it is a whole new set of designs, and as I browse. There are some pretty ones, but does pretty cut it in the business presentation world?

That’s going to be up to you to decide whether they work or don’t work. Let’s just try one out once again, note that some of the designs do have animated titles from this collection. There is no apparent tie-in with my actual title. I’m still stuck on how the light bulb popped up on the first time around was that by chance, part of our roulette, let’s test this out with a new blank presentation. So like our first time, this is a completely empty presentation slide. I’ll put in the exact same titles and subtitles and see what PowerPoint design idea roulette offers up. Yeah, there’s the light bulbs, but starting in position three from the top, there are new ideas. Oh my, what if I’d like one of the other ideas, but I can no longer find it. So just like a casino, that’s your tough luck!

But that light bulb let’s try something different.

I’m going to change the word idea to something completely different, like train and, oh, my PowerPoint is looking for keywords and trying to find the matching image. Let’s see what looks like and apply the first choice and sure enough, there’s your train idea? Let me fly through some other keyword experiments. We’ll change the word from plane. I’ll spell it correctly. Oops, there we go. A plane up in the corner or what about car? And there another car, whether it be like that car or not, it’s our choice. And lastly, let’s try paperclip, PowerPoint struggles a bit with the actual paperclip, but does put us in the office world.

Well, this is fascinating technology. It is the roll of a dice and not always repeatable. Maybe it’s worth taking a chance with, but I prefer being in full control. So let’s go to Method Two: the title slides are SmartArt as before we’ll start with blank presentation and I will now add a new title for our tango project with an update for three departments.

But this time let’s start with a design template, which is much more common in the title layout. I will add the title of the tango project and then a subtitle for the three departments that we’re going to be reporting about on their progress as we stand. Now, this is pretty much standard PowerPoint from the past decade, but we’re going to try something different. So let me create a new blank empty slide and see what we can do with smart heart object has magic. I’ll insert a text box, but both our title and subtitle in the text. Placeholder. Next, I will highlight the text, go to the home ribbon tab menu and find the “convert to SmartArt” action icon. If you’ve never used SmartArt and want to learn more, check out our SmartArt playlist link up above in YouTube.

SmartArt gives you the flexibility to format and display text in a variety of graphical views.

Unlike the design ideas we saw earlier, you have complete control here. I’m serving different SmartArt layouts. And when I find something that looks interesting, I can just click. This is not quite compelling, but I need to work with it once created. There’s a text entry pane on the left side, and I can use it as an outline with the three departments as sub bullets. Watch how the SmartArt dynamically changes as I edit the text. Now let’s make it bigger and more compelling. Now, individual editing, other texts needed here. I just click and both resize and reposition with my mouse for instant results. Let’s go to full screen and see it in a slide show and preview what we’ve done so far. Not bad, but we can enhance it even more. So I’m going to duplicate this slide, select the SmartArt object on the slide.

Then click on SmartArt design menu and we can browse other layout style to see if we can improve on our title. Slide. Look, not all layouts will work and some require some additional text formatting, which we’ll do in just a moment. But this time around, I’m going to choose vertical curved list and fix it by moving the title outside the graphic itself into its own text box. And we’ll make each department its own top layer in the outline and see how the graphics changes for us for the title. Let me insert a text box and paste in tango project update and then bump up the font size. Plus make it bold, add a drop shadow, and even go into the font to turn on small caps. One of my favorites.

And of course let’s check it out in full slideshow view. This is shaping up to be great, but we can go even further.

As SmartArt has both color and style enhancements that we can explore with this smart object selected I’m then going to go to SmartArt design menu. And from there I can choose change colors where I can now explore the various predone layout and seeing them on the screen. As I hover my mouse over the different choices, let me go ahead and choose one of the colorful choices because we’re constrained to our color palette. The choices look great. Now let’s go to the gallery and choose some other enhancements. These two will let us preview the different layouts they can be subtle, so you have to look carefully and they have a whole role of 3d, which goes from subtle to wild. Let’s choose one. That’s a little more corporate. And of course let’s preview it on the big screen. This is looking sharp, but I think we can do one more variation to look fantastic.

Let’s go ahead and duplicate this Slide so we can compare and contrast. And I’m going to create a new layout with over 200 layouts to choose from. You have lots to experiment with, but I want to focus on a special type. That’s called the photo layout and there’s going to be able to incorporate pictures inside of our SmartArt object. If you look careful at this layout called the vertical picture accent list, you’ll see there’s little picture on the side of each of the bullet point. Once I click on them, I can choose stock image and starts to search for a photo to insert into my smart object.

For HR group. I’m going to go ahead and search for people. I’m gonna find an image that might look appropriate. Oh my look at all these happy people let’s click on that. We’ll choose insert. Next.

I’m going to go to finance and we’ll search for a picture to meet this group for the finance department. I’m going to search for money and there’s not a whole lot of choices there. So instead let’s look for numbers and see if we can find something. This should work for our example here. Finally, for our back office operations groups, let’s take a look under operations and oh my gosh, no, it’s not that kind of operations. So instead I’m going to search for network and drop that in. So with our customization, we did get three photos that highlights the different departments. But if you look carefully, the color schemes don’t seem to match each other or the slide itself. We can take care of that by selecting the object. And once again, going back up to SmartArt design, choosing change color, then going down to recolor pictures in the SmartArt graphics.

And now they look consistent. Although if we take a look at them, they’re a little dull, but they do match each of the bullet point. Let me go in there and try something new. I’m going to like the object. One more time. We’ll to SmartArt design, we’ll choose colors. And now when we take a look at the different colors, we’re going to see that the photos follow the different color schemes, including if I were to choose something colorful like this. And now we have a unified look for the whole slide. Let’s take a look one last time. At this point, I can guarantee you have a very unique look for your title. Slide.

Your head should now be racy with new ideas. If you want to learn more about taking complete control, a SmartArt then do look for our YouTube SmartArt playlist to become a master. Do like and share this video. And please, please do consider subscribing as that encourages me to make more free videos for you to see our complete free PowerPoint training school, visit us at

And until next time go power up. [music].