Alternatives to Bullet Points – How to make boring slides interesting

No one wants to send their audience to sleep. Let’s explore how to make boring slides interesting

This blog post will look at ten design ideas for you to consider for your next presentation to make your slides more exciting for your audience.

#1 Bullet Dividers

Bullets, but not as we know them. Have you ever considered using bullets as dividers for a list of items across the page? This is a charming way to add a list to a slide. It works well over a picture. If you are a Microsoft 365 user, check out their stock images. They are of excellent quality, meaning your slides will look great on an overhead projector and a monitor. Microsoft adds to the pictures regularly. At the time of launch, in April 2020, there were over 8000 images. But make sure your photo is relevant to your content. You’ll confuse your audience if the picture is not appropriate.

A slide using bullets to break up a line of text across the slide
Bullet divider slide

#2 Grid

With this layout, you can add several points to a slide. Use numbers on this type of slide because this will give the slide more impact. You can use this layout with a plain background or a background image, like in the example below. Ensure the image is not overpowering; otherwise, it will detract from the slide content. If you find an image you like that detracts from the content, try changing the transparency or the colour to ensure the image is not the centre of attention.

How to Make Boring Slides Interesting - try a grid style slide
Grid style slide

#3 Film Credits

You have a list of justified (or centred) items in a text box for this type of slide. This works well for a list of single words or short sentences. You can use this type of slide over an image, but make sure your picture is relevant to your list. Make sure the text can be easily read. You may need to put an outline on your text or use a text effect.

Film credits style slide
Film credits slide

#4 Lines

How to make boring slides interesting? Consider lines. They can be used to break up the content on a slide. It could be used for lists or short sentences. This slide type will let your audience know that each block should be differentiated from the others. Lines can be used either vertically or horizontally.

Verticle lines slide
Verticle line slide

#5 Quotes

If you want to use a quote in a presentation, an excellent way is to find an image of the person quoted. You can put their name in a handwriting font style and include the quote in inverted commas. Search on the person’s website and see if they have a press pack. Then you can use photographs without having to gain consent.

Quote slide
Quote slide

#6 Waterfall

We use a list where each line is further forward (or back) than the last line for this type of slide to create a waterfall-type effect. It allows us to create a more exciting slide, and you can include imagery. In this example, I used an image, cropped it to a shape, and inserted another to continue the diagonal line across the slide.

Waterfall slide
Waterfall slide

#7 Random Content

I’ve used an image as the background and random blocks of text for this slide. This is a straightforward slide to create, and you add the text by inserting shapes and writing within the shapes. Make sure you choose a colour for the shapes that complement your image. The eyedropper tool comes in handy here!

Random content slide
Random content slide

#8 To-Do List

To make your list a bit more exciting, try adding a tick box to make it look like an actual to-do list. I found an image of a notepad with a blank page and inserted the tick boxes and text boxes on top of the picture. I used a handwriting style font to look like the text was written on the notepad.

To-do list slide
To-do list slide

#9 Sidebar

For a sidebar slide, you create a different coloured rectangle on one side of the slide, be it left or right. in this example, I added a triangle and merged the shapes. I then added rectangles and included words and icons. In the main body of the slide, there is more detail on the points in the sidebar.

Sidebar slide
Sidebar slide

#10 Squares (or rectangles) 

Squares are a straightforward way to create a slide. This works very well for an even number of points but can also work well for odd numbers. Make sure you have the squares appropriately aligned; otherwise, the slide will not look polished. This can look good over an image. Please choose a colour for the squares that compliments the image, and make sure the colour of the text complements it too.

Squares Slide
Squares slide

Thank you for reading this blog. I’d love to hear your feedback on these ideas. If you’d like to know how I can help you create slides like these for your next PowerPoint presentation, check out my Services page! 

To see more tips and tricks on slide design and presenting with PowerPoint, connect with me on LinkedIn.

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