Replace bullet points with icons.

January 29, 2016

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Getting visual

You definitely don’t need to be a designer to get more visual with your presentations and help the audience remember more. Here is a step by step guide on how we would convert a typical bullet point into a much more visually appealing piece of content.

Let’s use the following examples that have been stolen from an old PowerPoint deck sent to us a while ago:

  • High quality of life attracting professionals from around the world
  • Internationally recognised standards
  • Average 17% increase over recent years

Here is how we would change each of them into something much more visually appealing.


Step 1 – Trimming the fat

First of all lets look at the key words from each that we could represent as visuals instead of words. We have highlighted these in bold below for each point.

  • High quality of life attracting professionals from around the world
  • Internationally recognised standards
  • Average 17% increase over recent years

We have highlighted these words because they are the key points. We can find visuals for them quite easily, and the rest of the sentence doesn’t actually need to be on the screen at all.

Don’t forget that there is another element to your presentation aside form the visuals………….Guessed it yet? 

It’s YOU!

You will be the one presenting this, and it’s you that can fill in the gaps and actually say the words that we haven’t highlighted above. 

Step 2 – Finding the visuals

As you may know we are huge advocates of using Prezi rather than PowerPoint, and one of the great features we love about it is called Symbols & Shapes. This is a big library of custom icons, all in different styles and colours, and available right there in the software for all users to take advantage of.

Prezi Icons 

Step 3 – Putting them together

We’re going to stick with Prezi for building the visuals but the process is essentially the same in any software.

Again you don’t need to be a designer to do this!

First of all try to avoid just placing icons next to each other. Try to give them an interesting layout, and of course if one icon or message is more important than the other then give it more emphasis by simply making it larger.

Below is a first attempt at converting the bullet point ‘High quality of life attracting professionals from around the world’. You can see we have already removed most of the wording.

Prezi Icons first attempt


So as you can see it isn’t really rocket science. Anyone can make their presentations more visual and turn those hideous bullet points into something more memorable and engaging. All you really need is a little time to strip out the words not needed, find some icons, and then play around with your layout.

Always use colleagues at work to see if they understand what your designs are actually trying to say. If they look at your blankly then you know that a little more experimentation is needed.

The more you play around with this process the easier it becomes. This kind of practice isn’t just for designers! Everyones brains are wired to think visually so have a go at it and you will be surprised at what you are capable of coming up with.

Need presentation design support?

If you do require the help of an expert then contact us on [email protected] and one of our presentation designers will get straight back to you. 

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