Dodging bullets

I’ve never seen anybody excited to see a PowerPoint presentation but I have seen many people excited about creating them. What’s wrong with the latter group? I don’t know, but the bullet point fetish is more common than you’d expect.

I’m a designer, and I’ve seen it all when it comes to bulleted lists.

I’ve seen:

  • Lists of unrelated bullet points

  • Lists of related bullet points but the relation was clear only to the author

  • Numbered lists that should have been bulleted lists

  • Bulleted lists that should have been numbered lists

  • Lists with half a dozen levels of indentation

  • Multicor bullets

  • Multi-paragraphs bullets

  • 5pt text multi-paragraphs bullets because they wouldn’t fit on the slide otherwise

  • Bullets bleeding out of the slide frame

  • Bullets so concise even their author couldn't make sense of them

  • Lists spanning multiple columns, pages, or slides

  • Lists so long you forgot what the list was about by the time you got to the end of it

How can I still be alive after having endured all this?

Check out The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint which explains how bulleted lists (and presentations in general) make you dumb and confuse your audience. Share it with you know who, let’s make this a better world.