Do Most of your Slides Contain Bullet-point lists?

The Cure for Bad PowerPoint, Remedy #2

If you've received and read our last couple newsletters, you know we've been discussing ways to improve PowerPoint presentations, so the audience doesn't consider them "toxic." (Here's a link to the first remedy we shared.)


This is question number two from our Toxic PowerPoint Self Test (and here is a link to the whole test if you want to see it again.)

  1. Do most of your slides contain bullet-point lists?
    When you add a slide to your presentation, if you most often choose the "Title and Text" layout, you are probably creating a presentation that has an overwhelming amount of bullet-point lists. These lists get very monotonous to the audience.

It's fine to use the bullet-point layout when you're getting your thoughts organized and your presentation pulled together in a draft form. However, once you've established your content and the flow of your presentation, it's time to transform those dull bullet-point slides into a more visual format. Here are some ideas:

  1. On each slide, ask yourself if your audience needs to see all that text
  2. Choose slides where you can add a picture or diagram to support your point and add some art!
  3. If you need text on the slide, use an alternative layout or have the text appear over a picture. Here are some samples to inspire your creativity:


Finally, a good rule of thumb: make sure at least 50 percent of the slides in your presentation have pictures, diagrams or graphics of some kind. And avoid those bullet-point lists as much as you can.

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