Alternatives to using Bullet Points in Your Presentation

Bullet points are often used in presentations as a means for organizing content and creating structure.  The problem is that as great as bullet points are for organizing, they are not the best presentation tool.  Learners and audience members need originality to maintain and sustain focus and too many bullet points can be repetitive and mind-numbing.  Here are a few alternatives for using bullet points in your presentation, and hopefully minimizing the chance your audience will doze off.

  1. Highlight

If you are stuck with a template that uses bullets, you can enhance the slides by highlighting the most important parts of your content.  Use a bold version of your font for the heading and make sure you highlight no more than a couple of words.  Otherwise, it can become difficult to read all of the highlighted material.  You can also remove the bullets, keep your text intact, and highlight the keyword(s) in each point.

  1. Text Boxes

A simple alternative to a list is to place each item in a text box that is neatly arranged.  You can place each point in bold font so it is more pronounced.  This can easily be accomplished with basic graphic tools in PowerPoint.

  1. Icons

Use the same format as the text boxes but add icons in front of the words.  This adds an appealing effect to the slide that will make it more interesting to the audience.  Furthermore, the icons can work as a mnemonic device to help learners retain the information.

  1. Use People to Speak Your List

Another great alternative to bullet points is to use people cutouts.  It will look as if the people are simple speaking about important key points, and no one will notice this is a list.  You can even use these people as characters in different scenarios throughout the presentation.

  1. Draw a Diagram

There is also the diagram approach.  Place the topic or category in a circle in the center of the slide.  Then place spokes around the shape as arrows or pointers and put all of your bulleted items at the end of each spoke.  There are a variety of graphic organizers that can be used to present your information.

  1. Use a Table

A quick and easy way to divide your text into clear sections is to use a simple table.  You can shade the rows or columns to make it easier to separate the text and use contrasting lines to create visual effects.  You can also use icons for your headline in each row. By incorporating some of these techniques into your presentation, your audience is more likely to remain engaged throughout the entire presentation.  These are some great ideas for creating great, interesting content without using bullets.