One Presentation Design Tip Everyone Can Master

March 17, 2015

presentation design tip

Let’s be honest with ourselves. We live in a world with a short attention span, yet most presenters feel compelled to showcase everything they know about a certain topic when standing in front of a room. It’s commendable but highly ineffective. Audiences immediately become disengaged and you become forgettable.

If you are looking for one simple tip that will make a radical difference, then it’s time to change your paradigm and eliminate all use of bullet points moving forward. It always amazes me when clients come to Ethos3 asking for 10 bullet heavy slides because they have a short presentation, when slide count has nothing to do with the length of their presentation. Don’t be afraid to make your 10 slides become 30 or even 50 slides long by converting your bullet points into separate slides.

I’ll show you an example:


presentation slides 1

This slide is comprised of one header and 4 bullet points. It’s boring. It’s plain. It’s definitely not memorable.

If we take the advice above, what would it look like if we removed the header, streamlined the bullets, and converted them into 3 separate slides? You would get this:


presentation slides 2

presentation slides 3presentation slides 4

Notice how the message stays the same, but the content is now far more visually engaging? When you embrace the concept of creating a slide for each bullet, you are setting yourself up to have a far more compelling talk, full of beautiful and memorable imagery.

Still not convinced?

Bullets are like bullets. They will kill your presentation. When audiences are exposed to visual information, retention will increase by 42%, and the human mind processes information 60,000x faster than text based information. With all that said, if you want to win the hearts and minds of your audience, you need to learn to be succinct with how you showcase your visuals. You can start right now by eliminating your bullet points.

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About The Author

Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki. If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University.

One Comment »

  1. avatar

    Thank you for the information provided. I feel it helped me earn the trust and respect of employees but equally as important the trust of potential donors to assist our growing nonprofit.

    Thank you again.

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