Do you create your presentations by writing a series of slides containing bullet points?
Lots of people do.
And yet, do you like to watch presentations where the presenter talks through lots of bullet points? Do you think your audience is different from you?
There are lots of problems with bullet points in presentations. They:
- are distracting
- increase cognitive load
- look and feel robotic
- bore the hell out of everyone
- make you predictable
Bullet points also look like they are your speaking notes, and probably should be your speaking notes and not on the screen.
Here’s a quick fix for any presentations you have made that contain lots of bullet points. Spread. Them. Out.
If you have a slide with 5 bullet points on it, create 5 new slides and put the text from each bullet point onto its own slide and delete the original bullet point slide.
Next put a relevant, high resolution image or graphic onto each of your new slides. If you think the image or graphic works on its own then delete the text from the slide; otherwise reduce the number of words to the fewest possible.
I know this means you now have more slides in your presentation deck but pixels are free. Your audience is not going to complain. They’re saved from having to look at the same slide for ten minutes. And taking away all the text means they will actually listen to what you are saying.
Give it a try.