Why you should avoid bullet points

The beauty of not using bullet points is that it forces the presenter to “have a conversation” with the audience rather than a recitation or worse yet a reading of bullet points! The primary reason people use a bunch of bullet points on a single slide is that the bullet points act as reminders or crutches. They are security blankets. Without the bullet points, you have to know the topic and speak to it naturally. I always ask people this: “When was the last time you spoke to your friends in a social setting and both of you were reading off a deck of index cards?”

Long time ago I was at a seminar where this moron (presenter) actually got on the podium and read his bullet points from notes to the audience for one hour without ever looking up once. Actually it was worse than that. He started the presentation by syaing that he didn’t really know aything about the topic! The presentation was so bad that it was almost funny. If there had been a trap door underneath him, the lever would have been pulled 5 minutes into his recitation. Finally one fellow from the audience stood up and asked why he had to pay $1000 to listen to someone read his notes.

The moral of this story: If you do not know your topic well enough to speak from your heart, don’t speak. No need to tell your audience you don’t know anything about your topic. They will know soon enough!


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