When are bullet points a good choice?

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This 15-page report goes into more detail about the ideas in this slideshow, including when to avoid bullet points and when to use them, with certain restrictions.

The report also discusses ideas for planning the most engaging content that will lead your audience to take action at the end of your presentations.

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When are bullet points a good choice?

  1. 1. PowerPoint Queen Presents:
  2. 2. When are bullet points a good choice? • • • • By Susan Joy Schleef http://PresentationsWithResults.comhttps://www.Facebook.com/PowerPointQueenRules
  3. 3. Most presentation advisors now recommend slides with> more pictures & < less text
  4. 4. And many recommend avoiding bullet points • • • •
  5. 5. •••••••
  6. 6. Bullet points bear the brunt of jokes – as well as more serious critiques of PowerPoint presentations
  7. 7. But the problem is NOT putting a bullet point in front of a block of text
  8. 8. The problem is too much text for your audience to read while they’re trying to listen to you!
  9. 9. So are there times when bullet points are a good choice?
  10. 10. bullet • ‣ bullet ∘ bullet • ‣ ∘ triangular whitebullet bullet bullet According to Wikipedia.org,bullet • is a typographical symbol ‣ triangular bullet ∘ white bullet or•glyph used to‣ introduce ∘“A bullet triangularbullet white bullet bullet • ‣ ∘ items in a list.” triangular whitebullet bullet bulletbullet • ‣ triangular bullet ∘ white bullet
  11. 11. In traditional terms, this was referred to as a bulleted list.In common usage today, that list has come to be known as bullet points.
  12. 12. ••• In other words,••• bullet points are• perfect for lists••
  13. 13. Let me see who’sbeen naughty and who’s been nice
  14. 14. Well, maybenot that list!
  15. 15. •••• If bullet points are•• perfect for lists . . .•••
  16. 16. then how did we go from lists . . . • Ampersand & • Apostrophe ‘ • Asterisk * • Backslash • Bullet • • Caret ^ • Dagger † • Hyphen - • Pilcrow ¶ • Section § • Tilde ~
  17. 17. then how did we go from lists to this? • Ampersand & • Apostrophe ‘ The Social Media Manager Role • Asterisk * • Developed to help corporations market with social media • Backslash • Bullet • A Social Media Manager • Creates and shares content on • Caret ^ many social sites • Dagger † • Or finds and shares suitable • Hyphen - content created by others • Pilcrow ¶ • While interacting with the company’s friends and followers • Section § • Tilde ~
  18. 18. then how did we go from lists to this? • Ampersand & • Apostrophe ‘ The Social Media Manager Role • Asterisk * • Developed to help corporations market with social media • Backslash • Bullet • A Social Media Manager • Creates and shares content on • Caret ^ many social sites • Dagger † • Or finds and shares suitable • Hyphen - content created by others • Pilcrow ¶ • While interacting with the company’s friends and followers • Section § • Tilde ~
  19. 19. According to http://oxforddictionaries.com, “Bullet points are used to drawattention to important information . . . so that a reader can identify the key issues and facts quickly.”
  20. 20. In marketing, public relations, and copywriting, bullet points are often used• to draw attention to important items•by making them look different than•the surrounding blocks of text
  21. 21. I propose there are 3 situations when bullet point lists, or bulleted lists, are acceptable or even recommended on slides • • •
  22. 22. #1 Lists are much easier to read inweb-based, unnarrated slideshows than in live presentations •
  23. 23. Unnarrated slideshows, viewed on a computer screen or a mobile device, are more like writtendocuments than like presentations
  24. 24. Most people don’t mind readingmore text when they control how quickly to advance the slides AND they’re not trying to read and listen at the same time!
  25. 25. But even in an unnarrated, viewer-controlled slideshow,don’t overwhelm your viewers with too much reading
  26. 26. But even in an unnarrated, viewer-controlled slideshow,don’t overwhelm your viewers with too much reading I don’t have time to read that much!
  27. 27. • Keep the font size fairly large• Keep the writing at a 6th to 8th grade reading level• Make sure the text is engagingand appealing – something they WANT to read
  28. 28. #2For a live, large-room presentation, stick to one idea per slide Don’t distract your audiencefrom listening to you, the speaker, by giving them too much to read on the screen • •
  29. 29. If you absolutely must show a list on screen during a live presentation,keep it short and easy to read from the back of the room
  30. 30. And definitely – DON’T READ THE LIST OUT LOUD!Show the slide and just give your audience a moment to read it before you continue speaking
  31. 31. And definitely – DON’TREAD THE LIST OUT LOUD! The #1 complaint from most audience surveys is that the presenter reads directly from their slides!
  32. 32. If the list is long or contains critical information the audience will want to remember,make the list available in a handout so they’re not trying to copy the whole list in their notes instead of listening to you
  33. 33. One great way to do this is to give them an easy URL (display it large on a slide) where they can download thehandout – perhaps requiring them to enter their name and email
  34. 34. #3The 3rd scenario is sometimes referred to as “boardroompresentations”, as opposed to “ballroom presentations” • • •
  35. 35. “Boardroom presentations” refers to … presentations given to a smallaudience at a business meeting in a small room
  36. 36. In those more informal and more intimate situations, a presentation can become theimpetus for a group discussion ofthe ideas presented on the slides
  37. 37. The slides may be accompanied by a live, spoken presentation, or they may be distributed as a reading deck or briefing deck to be read before, during, or after the meeting
  38. 38. At times, the slides may even substitute for a spokenpresentation – when they are sent to someone who is unable to attend the meeting
  39. 39. These “boardroom presentations” can utilize more written text, but must present clear and concise information in a way that is persuasive and targeted to business decision-making
  40. 40. Bullet points may be a good way toquickly summarize key points in a “boardroom presentation”
  41. 41. Bullet points can work in a“boardroom presentation” because:
  42. 42. Bullet points can work in a“boardroom presentation” because:1. Everyone can easily see and readthe slides (before, during, or after)2. The audience has time to read theslides (before, during, or after) withouttrying to listen at the same time3. The audience is highly motivatedand looking for information to helpthem make a business decision
  43. 43. Bullet points can work in a“boardroom presentation” because:1. Everyone can easily see and readthe slides (before, during, or after)2. The audience has time to read theslides (before, during, or after) withouttrying to listen at the same time3. The audience is highly motivatedand looking for information to helpthem make a business decision
  44. 44. Bullet points can work in a“boardroom presentation” because:1. Everyone can easily see and readthe slides (before, during, or after)2. The audience has time to read theslides (before, during, or after) withouttrying to listen at the same time3. The audience is highly motivatedand looking for information to helpthem make a business decision
  45. 45. But “boardroom presentation” is a unique style that requires careful preparation of your persuasivemessage, with stories and pictures, as well as attention to developingthe logic and evidence to support your business proposal
  46. 46. The audience for a “boardroompresentation” will have little patience for a boring, rambling, or lackluster presentation! Don’t waste their time!
  47. 47. •••••••••••To summarizemy points . . .
  48. 48. Here are 2 more tips fromhttp://oxforddictionaries.com:“Bullet points tend to havemore impact if their text is relatively short.”
  49. 49. “… try to use them sparingly:too many bullet-pointed sectionsin the same document will mean that their impact is lost.”

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