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Breaking up Your Bullet Points in PowerPoint

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Here's a quote for you: 

"Most of the clients for whom I work WANT bullets in PowerPoint and, in fact, the delivery of the type of information they supply is bullet-summary stuff…So the real challenge I’ve faced with clients is to take standard bullet slides and make them interesting, informative, attractive and conceptual.”

As professionals whose job it is to build content-heavy PowerPoint presentations, we all face the challenge of making standard-looking lists of bullets more interesting and informative, without spending hours and hours in design mode.

And let’s face it, the standard advice out there on bullets just isn’t good enough.

“Just use 6 bullets,” “Just add a picture, it’s worth a 1,000 words,” or “Don’t use bullets at all, ever!”

These people obviously aren’t building the the types of presentations that we are!

So the question becomes, how do you take a standard list of bullet points and make them interesting, informative, attractive and conceptual?

Well a great trick for breaking up your bullet driven content is to move it into individual shapes, and use those shapes to build more interesting layouts for your presentation.

Sounds time consuming, right? Well with the right PowerPoint strategies and techniques, it’s not!

Tricks for breaking up your bullet points video tutorial

Check out this video tutorial for specific PowerPoint strategies you can use today:

Key takeaways for breaking up your bullets in PowerPoint

Takeaway #1: Box up your text

Turn your boring lists of bullets into a graphic by separating out each list item and placing it inside a rectangle. This will make your text look more ‘visual’ while keeping the structure and content intact.

Takeaway #2: Break out the numbers

Turn each number into a stand-alone rectangle to take your graphic a step further and/or create more variety in your deck.

Takeaway #3: Break out part of the content

Pull out a piece of your content and use it to create a shape/graphic, such as a timeline, to better illustrate your point.

Bonus Happy Hour tip

When possible, use icons or small images instead of bullet points. Your structure and content won’t need to change but the overall look will be less generic and more visual.

Examples of bulleted layouts you can use

PowerPoint Slide Layout - Four Boxes Timeline
PowerPoint Slide Layout - Four Boxes V2
PowerPoint Slide Layout - Four Boxes
PowerPoint Slide Layout - Meeting Agenda
PowerPoint Slide Layout - PowerPoint iPad Features
PowerPoint Slide Layout - Two Meeting Agendas

Is there anything we missed? If you have other things related to default formatting that you want to add to the conversation, let us know in the comments down below.

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Updated on December 14, 2017

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