Pick a Project Title that Makes a Positive First Impression

One of the first items you can use to develop essential information-sharing and commitment-building processes is your project’s title. To accomplish a successful project, a group of focused and motivated people must effectively and efficiently work together to produce an agreed-upon set of desired results.

From the beginning of the project, these people must have all the information they need to perform their assigned tasks, as well as the motivation and commitment to overcome any challenges they may encounter as they proceed with their project work.

Although one important use of the project title is to serve as an identifier for project information and materials, if written well, the title can also serve to

  • Announce your project’s existence

  • Reveal what the project is about

  • Stimulate curiosity and interest in the project

  • Evoke positive feelings about the project

Of course, for the title to accomplish these goals, the following must happen:

  • People must read the title.

  • The title must include information about the project’s intended results.

  • People must be able to relate to it.

  • People must remember it.

You can help ensure that your title meets all these requirements by adhering to the following guidelines when writing it:

  • Know your audience — their interests, knowledge, and communication preferences.

  • Keep it to one sentence.

  • Make it reader-friendly by printing it in a sufficiently large font in a color that contrasts effectively with its background.

  • Make it a mini-abstract of your project by stating the main intended results.

  • Include the most important words first.

  • Triple-check that all information is accurate.

  • Remove unnecessary words (like a and the) and any redundant information.

  • Minimize your use of technical jargon and acronyms.

If you aren’t feeling especially creative, consider asking the marketing or graphics department for some ideas or soliciting the assistance of team members and others you might know.

Whether or not you acknowledge it, your project title will affect people’s knowledge and feelings about your project. You can choose to write a title that will influence people in ways that you want, or you can write it with no consideration for how it will affect your project’s potential audience. Just know that not considering how it will affect others doesn’t mean it won’t affect them.

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