91 Awesome Headline Formulas To Make Your Presentations Instantly Attractive

Read Time: 12 minutes

Obvious fact of the day: If you have a boring headline, your audience will think your entire presentation is boring. Yes, that goes for your videos, email and every other medium you use to engage with your audience and tribe.

Which then leads to the second obvious fact of the day: The most important part of your presentation is the headline you choose. Which is why I’m so excited to give you this uber-valuable resource to use in your presentations and videos. In fact, this is something you can come back to every time you create a new presentation.

Before we get started, let me share the backstory why I created all this. It began a few months ago, when out of nowhere — something wild happened. We started to get several THOUSANDS of people signing up for our live trainings on how to ‘awesome-ize’ their presentations and videos. We were showing people how to write better scripts, tell more addictive stories, how to have automatic ‘wow-factors’ with their presentations, and a whole lot more.

After analyzing several thousand videos and presentations — I began to notice a not-very-cool pattern in our tribe. That is that in virtually every single presentation or video — the headlines people choose were not awesome and sometimes even boring. At Powtoon, we live, breathe and fight to make your presentations awesome. So when we saw how many presentations were using boring headlines — we knew it was time. It was time to release the ultimate list of awesome headline formulas.

Meaning that from now on, you’ll never have to worry about what headline to come up with for your video or presentation. So anytime you need a headline – just go back to this page and use the plug-n-play formulas below. And boom, you have an instantly attractive headline.

This List of Headline Formulas is For You, Whether You’re a Professional Copywriter or Not

If you’re a professional copywriter, you’ve probably seen tons of examples of the ‘best headlines ever written’ – but not the headline formulas. And if you’re NOT a professional copywriter, it’s extremely difficult to understand how to apply those winning headlines in YOUR presentations. So here’s the exciting news.

I’ve taken the most effective headlines ever written – and broke them down for you to use as headline formulas in your presentations, whenever you need. And I gave you specific examples with each formula. Ranging from sleeping babies to SaaS CEO’s to men’s fashion to piano players to investors to cooks to hand models to Jack Black and yes, even 82-year-old HTML coders. Oh — and even Batman. So yes, you can use ANY of these for your specific presentation, topic, and niche.

Plus, I’ve added a whole bunch of headline formulas that are brand spanking new. So get ready for a damn good time today.

For you to get the most out of this resource, here’s how to use it. Start with the 5 principles to make a headline effective:

Winning Headline Formulas: The 5 Principles of an Effective Headline

1. Address Your Specific Audience (Being vague or general = boring university)

2. Highlight the Specific Benefit or Outcome They Desire

3. Highlight the Specific Pain They Most Want to Avoid

4. Create Curiosity

5. Add Urgency

The term I chose for ‘Niche’ or ‘Audience’ is ‘Avatar’. An Avatar means the identity of your target market or tribe. So let’s say your tribe consists of university students — then anytime you see the word ‘Avatar’ below, just put in the title of your Avatar. That could be ‘University Students’ or even mention the specific university you’re addressing. Of course, this applies to ANY tribe — and it absolutely applies to YOUR tribe.

Caveat: these are not black and white formulas, so feel free to play around a little. You might want to add certain elements within some of the formulas. The main thing is being specific to your tribe and leveraging the 5 principles above.

Remember, the secret to making your headlines ridiculously attractive is by deeply understanding what your tribe WANTS. The more clarity you have on what your audience wants, the easier it’ll be for you to use these formulas with power.

Also — you can use some of these together. One of the formulas might be a great headline and another would be a perfect supporting headline for you. Mix it up!

As you’ll see below, for some of these headline formulas I gave specific examples. Now as a fun bonus — I’m here to help you get the most out of this list. So if you’d like some extra help making your headline irresistibly awesome — choose one of the formulas below, use it to craft your own headline and write it in the comment section below. If you’re curious about how to make it even more awesome — just ask, and I’ll help you make it even better.

Introducing: The 91 Awesome Headline Formulas

  1. The World was engrossed/ obsessed by [Person’s] [Action] in/at [Place] (i.e. ‘The world was engrossed by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.’)
  2. How I Made a [Gain] With a [Simple/Crazy/Wild Idea] (i.e. ‘How I Got My Newborn to Sleep With a Cherry Red Gibson Guitar’)
  3. Are You Still [Painful/Embarrassing Things]? (i.e. ‘Are You Still Biting Your Nails?’)
  4. There Are Only/Always [Number] Types of [Avatar] You Ever Want To [Result] – Which Group Are You In? (i.e. ‘There Are Only 4 Types of Employees You Ever Want To Hire – Which Group Are Your Employees In?’)
  5. To People Who Want To [Avatar’s Action] – but Can’t Get Started (i.e. ‘To Young Mothers Who Want To Have Their Own Business While Raising Their Kids – But Can’t Get Started’)
  6. The Crimes We Commit Against Our [Avatar] (i.e. ‘The Food Crimes We Commit Against Our Body’ or ‘The Creativity Crimes We Commit Against Our Employees’)
  7. These [Number] of [Avatar] Messed With [Product], See What Happened (i.e. ‘These 5 New Piano Players Messed With Piano-Hero, See What Happened’)
  8. The Death of [Avatar’s Niche] (i.e. ‘The Death of Old School Social Media’)
  9. How One Word Can Get You [Avatar’s Worry] (i.e. ‘How One Word Can Get You Fired’)
  10. Add This One _____ To Your _____ To Get a [Wild Result] (i.e. ‘Add This One Word In Your Menu To Get Your Customers To Order It, Every Single Time’)
  11. The Greatest Reason in The World To Start [What Avatar Wants To Achieve] (i.e. ‘The Greatest Reason In The World To Start Playing Chess’)
  12. The [Avatar] in the [Your Product/Service] (i.e. ‘The WalMart Cashier in the Ferrari’)
  13. How [Your Product] Is Making [Avatar’s Niche] History (i.e. ‘How My Newest Court Case Is Making Legal History’ or ‘How GM Dynamic Keyboards are Making PC History’)
  14. How To [Crime in Avatar’s Niche], Legally (i.e. ‘How To Get Cuban Cigars, Legally’)
  15. A Startling Fact About [Avatar’s Desired Gain] (i.e. ‘A Startling Fact About Your Doctors’ Success Rate’)
  16. [Celebrity] Is a [What They’re a Celebrity For]. S/He’s Also [Your Niche]. See How [Your Niche/Product] Helped Him/She Change The World (i.e. ‘Mark Zuckerburg Founded Facebook. He’s Also a Taurus. See How His Horoscope Helped Him Change The World’ or ‘Warren Buffet Is One of the Wealthiest People Alive. He’s Also From Omaha. See How Growing Up In Omaha Helped Him Become So Successful’)
  17. How To Write a [Avatar’s Needed Action] (i.e. ‘How To Write a Resume’)
  18. The Secrets of Making [Avatar’s Target Audience] [Gain Desired Benefit] (i.e. ‘The Secrets of Making The Dentists Office Fun Again’)
  19. Advice to [Avatar] Whose [Avatar’s Challenging Person] Won’t [Avatar’s Needed Action] (i.e. ‘Advice To Single Mothers Whose Families Won’t Help Them’ or ‘Advice to CEO’s Whose Employees Won’t Listen To Them.’)
  20. How a New [Discovery/App] Made a Plain/Ugly [Avatar] [Avatar’s Desired Gain] (i.e. ‘How My New Software Made an Ugly Website Beautiful…In 24 Minutes’ or’How a New Organic Supplement Made a Headache Disappear…Fast’)
  21. How to Get/Win [Avatar’s Desired Benefit] and [Avatar’s Secondary Benefit] (i.e. ‘How To Get Your Child To Respect & Listen To You…And Still Be a Cool Parent’)
  22. How to [Avatar’s Action] without [Avatar’s #1 Worry] (i.e. ‘How to Get a Flood of New Chiropractor Clients Without Paying a Penny In Advertising’)
  23. Think [Avatar’s Niche] Is Just For _____? Meet This [Surprising Person] Who Might Disagree With You On That (i.e. ‘Think HTML Is Just For Young Coders? Meet This 82-Year-Old Grandma Who Might Just Disagree With You On That’)
  24. A New Kind of [Avatar’s Niche] Encourages [Avatar] To [Desired Result] (i.e. ‘A New Kind of Office Design Encourages Employees To Stay Longer At Work’)
  25. You Can Laugh at [Avatar’s Niche] Worries – if You Follow This Simple Plan (i.e. ‘You Can Laugh at Your Money Worries – If You Follow This Simple Plan’)
  26. [Number] Known [X] Troubles – Which do You Want to Overcome? (i.e. ’10 Known Health Troubles – Which do you Want To Overcome?’)

  27. How I Improved My [X] in One [Time] (i.e. ‘How I Improved My Cooking Skills For My Family In One Afternoon’)
  28. Use/Do [Avatar’s Niche]? You Need This [Numbered Content] of [Avatar’s Resources] (i.e. ‘Exercise Much? You Need This List of 10 Post Workout Recipes’)
  29. New Free [Resource] Tells You [Number] Secrets of Better [Benefit] (i.e. ‘New Free Webinar Shows You The 12 Secrets of Better Family Vacations’)
  30. The Secret to Being [Avatar’s Desired Outcome] (i.e. ‘The Secret To Being a Woman That Every Man Wants’)
  31. To [Avatar] Who Want to Quit [What Avatar Wants to Avoid] While [X] (i.e. ‘To Loving Fathers Who Want To Quit Their Cubicle-Job While Their Kids Are Still Young’)
  32. Imagine [Avatar’s Big Desire] for/in [Short Amount of Time] (i.e. ‘Imagine Being Able To Protect Yourself Like Batman, In Just 62 Days’)

  33. We Analyzed [Big Number] The Most Successful [Avatar’s Niche] of All Time & Discovered This Secret to [Avatar’s Desired Result] (i.e. ‘We Analyzed 174 of The Most Successful High Schools In American History to Discover The Secret to Successful Education’)
  34. Thousands Now [X] Who Never Thought They Could (i.e. ‘Thousands of Senior Citizens Now Create iPhone Apps – Who Never Thought They Could’)
  35. [Avatar’s Desired Action] for [Short Amount of Time] Will [Achieve Desired Result]. Here’s How (i.e. ‘Being Lazy for 45 Minutes a Day Will Make You More Productive. Here’s How’)
  36. Get the Kind of [X] You Want (i.e. ‘Get the Kind of S.A.T Score You Want’)
  37. Why [Your Product Consumers] Live Better (i.e. ‘Why Beer Drinkers Live Better’)
  38. “Dear [Your Name Here]: You Saved My Life” (i.e. ‘Dear Uber Driver: You Saved My Life’)

  39. [Avatar]! Want Quick [X]? (i.e. ‘English Teachers! Want Extra Income on the Side?’)
  40. You May Be [Doing X] More [Avatar’s Enemy] Than You Should (i.e. ‘You May Be Working Harder Than You Should’)
  41. Get Rid of That [Avatar’s Enemy]! (i.e. ‘Get Rid of That Crack In Your iPhone’)
  42. How You can Get a Quick [X] of [Desired Outcome] – By [Using Your Product] (i.e. ‘How You Can Get a Quick, Lasting Burst of Energy In Your Day – By Snacking on This Vegetable’)
  43. Become a [Desired Benefit] [Avatar Title] With [Your Product/Resource] (i.e. ‘Look Like James Bond With These 5 Style Hacks’)
  44. How To Get More [Desired Benefit] From The [X] You [Already Take This Action] (i.e. ‘How To Get More Money From The Job You Already Have’)
  45. See How [Avatar]’s Life/Career Changed When They Started [Using Your Product] (i.e. ‘See How One Stylist’s Career Changed When They Started Using Johnson & Johnson’s New Conditioner)
  46. Wow! [Celebrity Name] [Doing Surprising Action] In [Surprising Location/Publication] (i.e. ‘Wow! Jack Black Does Bikram Yoga On Set Before Any Shoot’)
  47. See [Your Product] In Action (i.e. ‘See #Slides In Action’)
  48. How I [Achieved Result] in [Short Amount of Time] (i.e. ‘How I Got a 6-Pack In 32 Days’)
  49. You Can [Achieve Desired Result] Easily – Just Like [Person] (i.e. ‘You Can Learn Spanish Easily – Just Like David’)
  50. Get Rid of [Avatar’s] Worries for Good (i.e. ‘Get Rid of Blood Pressure Worries For Good’)
  51. Keep Your [X] safe This [Current/Upcoming Season]! (i.e. ‘Keep Your School Safe This Summer Vacation’)

  52. Free to [Avatar]. [Action] for [Major Media/Publications/Company] You Want. (i.e. ‘Free to Members of our Gym. Be Featured In Any Fitness Magazine You Want’)
  53. The [Avatar’s Tool] of the [Avatar’s Desired Title] (i.e. ‘The Only Watch of YPO Presidents’)
  54. For [Avatars] Who Don’t Have [Resource] for [X] (i.e. ‘For Bloggers Who Don’t Have Time for SEO’)

  55. How To Avoid [X] Hazards (i.e. ‘How To Avoid Employee Lawsuits’)
  56. Break Out/Stop of [Bad Habit]! (i.e. ‘Stop Overeating’)
  57. Free Yourself From [X] With [Number] of these [Avatar’s Niche] Secrets (i.e. ‘Free Yourself From Anger With 4 of these Meditation Techniques’)
  58. What Sort of [Avatar] [Takes Action With Your Product]? (i.e. ‘What Sort of Driver Reads Road & Track’)
  59. Will You Help me [X]? (i.e. ‘Will You Help Me Rebuild Our Community?’)
  60. Don’t Even Think About [X] Without Reading This Report! (i.e. ‘Don’t Even Think About Suicide Without First Reading This Letter’)
  61. Why [Avatar] [Achieves Exciting Result] (i.e. ‘Why Grammar School Teachers Live Longer’)
  62. The Secret of Having [X] (i.e. ‘The Secret of Having a Business That Runs Without You’)
  63. How To [Benefit] by just [Doing Simple Actions] (i.e. ‘How To Swim Like an Olympian By Just Doing This One Stretch Before Going In The Pool’)
  64. How To [Desired Outcome] Without [X] for [Minimal Output] (i.e. ‘How To Write Perfect Headlines Without Breaking Your Teeth In Just 90 Seconds’)
  65. [Number] Steps to [Outcome] (i.e. ‘4 Steps to a Passionate Marriage’)
  66. How To [Action] a [Desired Outcome] and [Extra Benefit] (i.e. How To Win at Poker & Make Extra Money on The Side’)
  67. Who is [Getting Desired Outcome] and How (i.e. ‘Who Always Feels Like They’re In Zen At Work…and How’)
  68. How The Experts [Actions] (i.e. ‘How The Experts Do Sit-Ups’)
  69. Want to Be a [Avatar Title]? (i.e. ‘Want To Be a Hand Model?’)
  70. How To [Action] a Good [Outcome] (i.e. ‘How To Cook a Great Dinner In Just 15 Minutes’)
  71. But What if You Could [Desired Benefit]? (i.e. ‘But What if You Could Get Dry Cleaning at Home?’)
  72. Meet The [Avatar] Who [Achieved The Impossible] (i.e. ‘Meet The Homeless Man Who Became an Expert Investor’)
  73. How To [Achieve Desired Result], Hour-by-Hour (i.e. ‘How To Meditate Like a Buddhist Monk, Minute-By-Minute’)
  74. Is Your [Location] [ ‘X’] Poor? (i.e. ‘Is Your Neighborhood Park-Benches Poor?’)
  75. Why Some [Avatars] Almost Always [Achieve Desired Outcome] in [Location]? (i.e. ‘Why These Salons Almost Always Make More Money In Detroit’)
  76. How Much is Your [Thing You Wish Was Gone] Costing Your [X]? (i.e. ‘How Much Is Your Extra Fat Costing Your Grocery Budget Every Month?’)
  77. [Number] New Ways to a [X’s] Heart – in This fascinating Presentation/Report/Book/Review (i.e. ’10 New Ways To a Man’s Heart – In This Fascinating Presentation’)
  78. How To Give Your [Avatar] Extra [Desired Benefit] – 3 [Surprising Word] Ways (i.e. ‘How To Give Your Grandaughter Extra Savings For College – 3 Simple Ways’)
  79. Little [Problem] That Keep [Avatars] [Pain] (i.e. ‘Little WordPress Bugs That Keep Your Blog From Being Found’)
  80. This is a [Avatar] – [Action] To Her Death (i.e. ‘This is a CEO – Working To Their Death’)
  81. Take This One Minute Test!
  82. Here Is a Quick way to [Remove Pain] (i.e. ‘Here is a Quick Way to Relieve Stress’)
  83. “I lost my [Pain] – and [Got Benefit] too!” (i.e. ‘I got rid of all my debt – and made $42,000 too!’)
  84. The Truth About Getting [Benefit] (i.e. ‘The Truth About Owning Your Own Restaurant’)

    What [Avatar] Owns His Own [Your Product]? (i.e. ‘What Kind of Guy Wears Old Navy Jeans?’)
  85. The Most [Pain] Mistake of Your Life (i.e. ‘The Most Expensive Mistake of Your Life’)
  86. [Number] ways to [X] Your [Thing Avatar is Avoiding] (i.e. ’21 Ways to Kill Your Procrastination’)
  87. Need More [Desired Outcome]? (i.e. ‘Need More Passion In Your Marriage?’)
  88. What Your [X] Doesn’t Want You to Know (i.e. ‘What Your Bank Doesn’t Want You to Know’)
  89. [X] scandal reveals that more than [Number] of [Avatar’s] [What’s Valuable to Avatar] was [Bad Consequence] (i.e. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that more than 50 million people’s personal information was compromised for “research”‘)
  90. [Gain] Hiding In Your [Avatar’s Location] (i.e. ‘5 Optimization Secrets Hiding In Your YouTube Analytics’)
  91. A Little Mistake That Cost a [Title of Avatar] [Painful Loss] a [Time] (i.e. ‘A Little Mistake That Cost a SaaS CEO $50,000 a Month’)

BONUS HEADLINE: FINALLY! Here’s How To Get [Benefit A] & [Benefit B]…without [Pain] (i.e. ‘FINALLY! Here’s How To Get More Omega 3 & Calcium…Without Buying Expensive Supplements!’)

Awesomesauce… Now Tell Me, Which Of These Headline Formulas Is Your Favorite?

Use this page as a resource anytime you need some ridiculously attractive headline formulas for your presentations. This goes for your email subject lines, videos, blog posts, and even proposals. So let me know, which of these 91 headline formulas is your favorite? Which do you plan on using…this week?

The fun thing is that you can be as creative as you want with these bad boys — and they work every time. As long as you use the 5 principles above, your audience is going to fall in love with you all over again. My favorite part is how creative I can be with any one of these. It’s not difficult because it boils down to following the process I laid out for you. So go ahead and WOW your audience with these puppies. Using these headline formulas with Powtoon is almost too powerful — so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Use these headlines with a Powtoon template and your audience will be calling you a creative genius.

Bonus Round: Use These 11 Rocking Resources To Find Even More Explosive Headline Formulas

Here are a few resources to use along with this page to find winning headline formulas anytime you need:

1. UpWorthy (Yes, it’s their headlines which took them viral, so pay close attention to them)

2. Swiped (Love Mike, he’s doing what no one else is doing. Check his site out for genius swipe files of winning headlines)

3. Buffer (Here’s a great post they did on headline formulas)

4. CopyBlogger (Here’s their great post on headline formulas)

5. Unbounce + CopyHacker’s Joanna Weibe (This is advanced and awesome. Some ‘meta-strategies’ on headline formulas)

6. KISSmetrics (Love their ‘SHINE’ principle for headlines)

7. Digital Marketer (Russ Henneberry dedicated an entire post to headline formulas for social media. And yes, notice his killer headline for it!)

8. Greatist – (An ultimate health and wellness website with a plethora of genius headlines to learn from)

9. OkDork – (Noah Kagan founded AppSumo & SumoMe. He’s awesome. Here’s what was learned after analyzing 1 Million Headlines)

10. Buffer Wins Again (Courtney Seiter from Buffer explains 8 winning headline formulas and the psychology why they work)

11. QuickSprout (We love Neil Patel and so will you after reading his post on the ‘perfect headline formula’)

As our final and fun bonus – I’m here to help you get the most out of this list. So if you’d like some extra help making your headline irresistible — choose one of the formulas above, use it to craft your own headline, and write it in the comment section below. If you’re curious about how to make it even more awesome — just ask, and I’ll help you make it even better.

You’re awesome!


P.S.  Then again, sometimes a headline can just be two words. This was voted the best ad of the 20th century. With a simple Headline: ‘Think Small’.

91 Awesome Headline Formulas - www.powtoon.com
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Ari Sherbill

VP Business Development @Powtoon. Ari's known as the "High Energy Guy" who currently advises Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood Studios and over 5,000 executives and business owners every month how to increase their leads, engagement and sales with Powtoon. He's spoken on stage with MGM, the Sands Hotel, 3M and Oracle. NASA referred to his strategies as "fresh and intriguing". Learn how to grow your sales and impact by following me on twitter: @AriSherbill
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