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Let’s face it: we’ve all had to sit through a tiresome, humdrum presentation full of walls of text and cluttered visual aids. But maybe you’ve also hosted a presentation and had that not-so-great feeling halfway through that “nobody’s listening!” — or everyone looks bored.
Of course, there are many factors to consider when it comes to creating a killer corporate presentation. But one fundamental but no-less essential element to remember is the power of bullet points. Bullet points are integral in identifying key points, capturing the audience’s attention, and drawing their eye to messages you need them to remember.
Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to using bullet points in your next corporate PowerPoint presentation.
Don’t Overdo It
You won’t see companies specializing in PowerPoint design overdoing it with bullet points, and there’s a reason for this. If every single slide has screeds of bullet points, the important bullets will be lost among them. See bullet points as a ‘boy who cried wolf’ type situation. Only feature them on slides when necessary and when you feel they can grab attention and heighten your point.
Another important rule of thumb is to use between three and seven bullet points in your lists. It doesn’t make sense to use two bullet points, as a pair of items don’t make a list. And more than seven points starts to add clutter and confusion.
Ditch the Boring Black Dots
Those ‘small black dots’ are fine and perform a perfunctory role. But for a truly elevated presentation that captures your brand and sets a professional tone, why not opt for something more creative?
Check marks, small icons, and colored dots in company colors are all solid options. Just make sure you keep your bullet style within the parameters of your brand guidelines.
Keep Bullets Concise and Parallel
As with other text elements in your presentation, keep the text following your bullets short. A big-picture overview that gets down to the core of your point allows the presenter to use the bullet as a guide or basis to expand further. It also means that the audience is paying attention to the speaker and not getting distracted by reading walls of text.
Further, less text equals more white space on your slides, which is visually more appealing and less overwhelming for your audience.
Each bullet should also use the same type of word (noun, verb, article, adjective, and so forth) so that your bulleted list has a sense of parallelism. For example, the subheadings in this article use imperative verbs (“don’t,” “ditch,” “keep,” and “animate”). Keeping bullets in parallel structure means they’re much easier to read and scan.
Animate Your Bullets
Instead of having them appear on screen simultaneously, consider implementing an animation style where bullets slide onto the screen as the presenter gets to them.
This keeps your audience on track and engaged with each bullet. But it can also help to create a level of anticipation.
You’d be remiss to assume that something as everyday and widely used as the bullet point plays no part in your PowerPoint presentation. In fact, it can play a crucial role in highlighting powerful information while keeping your PowerPoint on brand, on time and with a professional tone.
You might be unsure how to create a PowerPoint presentation with an elite edge. Or perhaps you’d like help with storyboarding, motion graphics and animation. If so, try connecting with a professional design team. A beautiful and engaging PowerPoint can really make your business standout from the crowd.