Communicate Visually by Disguising Bullet Lists

To date in our Communicating Visually with PowerPoint Design Series, we have discussed exchanging lengthy text and bulleted list PowerPoint slides for ones with more visually interesting, emotionally connecting, and easy-to-understand graphics and infographics. Sometimes, however, a list is the best way to communicate your idea, and other times, you’ve just hit the wall and run out of time or creativity. So what do you do with the text then?

Principle #2d: Communicate Visually by Disguising Bullet Lists

Thankfully, Connie Malamed of “The eLearning Coach” shares some wonderful text layouts, which will disguise a bullet list for those times when the list is unavoidable. On her website, Malamed details 6 Alternatives To Bullet Lists1.

The simplest text examples Malamed relates are:

  1. Organizing text into boxes
  2. Placing the content into a table
  3. Diagramming

Other solutions Malamed offers include incorporating icons and graphics (see all options here); however, since we are taking the focus off graphics for the moment, we will share the 3 text-oriented options here:

Option 1:  Text Boxes

ppt_text_boxesOption 2:  Tables

ppt_tablesOption 3:  Diagrams

ppt_diagramEach of Malamed’s suggestions above is simple and works well on its own, or with the addition of icons or background graphics.

Now that we have introduced several ideas for dressing up your PowerPoint slides and enhancing your presentations, we will focus on how to keep from overloading your audience. Stay tuned!


  1. Malamed, Connie. (n.d.). IP Research & Communities. Retrieved January 13, 2015,