Creating your visual aids

Too much text? Don’t let your bullet points shoot you in the foot.


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You’ve maybe come across the term ‘Death by PowerPoint’?

bullet points 2

Or the alternative:

 

bullet points

Now you know where the term came from. Can you imagine sitting through more and more of just such slides? I’m sure you’ve all been there and you knew how you felt then. Is that how you want your audience to feel when you finally come to the end of your presentation?

If you must use bullet points, keep it simple. Try to stick to 3 words per bullet and 3 bullet-points per slide.

bullet points good

Your slides are supposed to be a visual AID to your presentation.

They’re not supposed to BE your presentation.

If they were, why would you need to bother presenting it? Couldn’t you just send everyone a printout to read and sit back with your feet up?

The point is, a good PowerPoint presentation will be useless as a handout. Equally a good handout will make a lousy presentation.

By all means give them handouts with more detailed information, but save them till the end when you’ve finished saying your bit. Then they can take all the time in the world to read and inwardly digest. Remember most people aren’t very good at multi-tasking. Reading and listening at the same time?  Forget it!

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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