The Scientific Reason Why Bullets Are Bad for Presentations
  • Contest Factory
  • September 18, 2015

You’ve probably heard this advice before: Don’t use bullet points in your presentations. But do you know why presentation design experts are so adamantly opposed to the bullet point format?

Here’s the simple, but perhaps surprising, explanation to why bullet points are bad for presentations: Bullet points make information more difficult to remember, especially when the bullet point lists are accompanied with auditory information. This is not a conjecture; it is backed by credible research.

The Value of Visualizations

In 2014, the International Journal of Business Communication published the results from The Use of Visualization in the Communication of Business Strategies, a study designed to gather empirical evidence regarding whether the use of visualization is superior to text in the communication of business strategies. The results of that experiment confirmed that lists of text are ineffective for presentations. Slides with visuals are undeniably more effective than slides with text.

Specifically, the study concluded:

Subjects who were exposed to a graphic representation of the strategy paid significantly more attention to, agreed more with, and better recalled the strategy than did subjects who saw a (textually identical) bulleted list version.

In other words, when your slides are comprised of lists of text, your audience will struggle to pay attention to your slides….

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Credit: By  / Slideshare

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