Most finished slides show a list of bullet points as the final design, they are the finished product.

Instead, consider them the starting point. Ignore that guilty feeling of writing bullets, ignore the worry about a poor slide. Write all out, re-write it, write it again, and again. Take a step back:

  • Is this actually what I want to say? If not go back to step 0
  • Do I pad too much, can I cut fluff, buzzwords?
  • Do I write too little, can a layman understand what I mean?
  • Do I say something 2x? If so, delete one
  • Is one point a sub point of another one?
  • Are all points equally important?
  • Do I combine 2 important points into one?
  • Do I make 2 completely different points, if so split the slide
  • What is the basic structure of my story: a contrast, a ranking, a cause-effect, a trend, a missing puzzle piece, best of both worlds, an overlap?

After this process you should have a razor sharp list of "what should go in", plus a good understanding of the structure, the "verb" of the slide. Now create a composition solely based on that info. 

When you insert a new slide in my presentation app SlideMagic, you are presented with a number of slide templates which are not put in randomly, I thought about every single one of them pretty hard. These are the usual "visual verbs" I encounter. Try using them as the basis for your next slide design.

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