« What Was That All About? | Main | Back to the Basics »

Bullet Points or No Bullet Points?

Posted on October 31, 2006

By Scott Schwertly

There was a comment from my last post that questioned the approach of using visuals with minimal text verses bullet points when giving a presentation. Thus, I wanted to take this opportunity to explain my reasoning for this style.

“Less is more.” These are the infamous words of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a famous architect and advocate of simplicity. Presenters are like architects. We craft blueprints and then share our masterpieces with those in the audience. Every word, every slide, every handout needs to be closely inspected to match the laws of simplicity. If the content and design preparation are done right, the delivery will be memorable. It's a delicate balance of art and science where "less is truly more."

Whether you are a facilitator, trainer, or keynote speaker - people are coming to hear you speak, and not read the words behind you or in front of them in a handout. Here is an example of how slides should be done if you choose to use presentation software:

The Wrong Way

On this slide you see the main header "Jack loves his Dog." This header is followed by three points: 1. Jack has a dog. 2. His dog's name is Petey. 3. Petey is a pug.

The Right Way

On this slide you actually get to see "Petey" - the dog Jack loves. Do you see and feel the difference? Notice how the main point (Petey the pug) is given special focus. It becomes memorable and not buried amongst other points.

Slides should accent the speaker rather than control the speaker.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Bullet Points or No Bullet Points?:


The comments to this entry are closed.

Previous Gurus

January 2009

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31