….my focus is on something less deadly in the literal sense, but more deadly to chances of good visual communication: bullet points in your PowerPoint presentation. Using bullets can seem like a simple way to walk the audience through your argument, but it isn’t, and the approach actually impedes understanding. We’ve written before (here and here) to join a rising chorus criticizing presenters’ reliance on bullet points. Despite this, walk into most courtrooms, mock trial presentation rooms, or CLEs and you’ll see presenters who keep using bullets like they’ve got an unlimited magazine. One reason for this might be that the message hasn’t fully gotten out yet. Another reason, though, might be that bullets are simply easy for the speaker (both at the preparation and presentation stages) and the lure of having one’s own speaking notes on the screen can lead presenters to put their own needs ahead of their audience’s.
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:
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