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14
Apr

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By Tatiana Estévez

Bullet points are lists of items or short statement points. They are not supposed to be full sentences, at least not when used in PowerPoint. The traditional style of formatting bullet points is to finish each line item with a comma or hyphen, and the last bullet to have a full stop.

My favourite things to do on Quora are:

  • Answering questions;
  • Discussing answers in comments;
  • Writing blog posts; and
  • Collapsing joke answers.

This is considered a bit old fashioned and many companies prefer the style of ‘open punctuation’ for PowerPoint slides. I wouldn’t allow the above in my documents and will take it out if someone tries to do this.

Generally there is no real rule and you can write the above either with full stops or without as long it is consistent:

Oxford Dictionaries says:

Bullet points are used to draw attention to important information within a document so that a reader can identify the key issues and facts quickly. There are no fixed rules about how to use them, but here are some guidelines.

 

 

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07
Apr

This is a guest post from Stacy Ennis. Stacy is a book and magazine editor, writer, book coach, and speaker, as well as the author of The Editor’s Eye: A Practical Guide to Transforming Your Book from Good to Great. She works with a wide range of clients, from celebrities and corporate clients to independent authors and small book presses and also ghostwrites magazine articles, web content, and books, often reaching national and international audiences.

Public speaking and writing seem opposite of one another, yet both are necessary to become a successful author. Nancy Buffington is a public speaking coach who helps authors improve their presence in front of audiences. Here is an interview with Nancy.

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Stacy: Why are public speaking skills important for authors?

Nancy: These days, you can’t afford to be a shy, retiring writer scribbling in the attic. Just to get published, you need to show that you’re willing and more than able to pull off signings, readings, radio and TV interviews. Basically, to be a successful author these days, you need to play a central part on your publicity team.

Stacy: Are there any shared qualities between being a good writer and a good speaker?

Nancy: In both cases, you’re trying to connect with an audience—but when you’re writing, you don’t actually see that audience in front of you. Speaking can make you a much better writer—you get instant feedback from a range of real, live audience members, and you have to be clear (no chance for a live audience to thumb back a few pages if they get lost). Likewise, writing well can make you a better speaker, with a clearer sense of purpose, ideas explored in depth, vivid storytelling, and a structure that really works.

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03
Apr

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by Josephine Roy

As a presentation tool PowerPoint can be used to:


organise and structure your presentation; 
create a professional and consistent format; 
provide an illustrative backdrop for the content of your presentation; 
animate your slides to give them greater visual impact. 

Step 1: Designing PowerPoint slides 

There are a number of features to consider when designing effective PowerPoint slides. The guidelines given below will ensure you create slides that will be easy for your audience to read and understand. 
Using colour 

Be consistent. Ensure that all of your slides have the same or similar background images and colour schemes. PowerPoint’s design templates can be used for this. 
Prepare slides that use a bold colour contrast, e.g. black or deep blue text on a cream background (black and white can be too glaring for the audience). 
Avoid using red or green for text or highlighting as it can be difficult to read. 

Using text 

Avoid using too much text. A useful guideline is the six-by-six rule (slides should have no more than six bullet points and each bullet point should be no more than six words long). 
Create bullet points which are clear summaries of key points. It is not necessary for bullet points to be complete sentences. 
Don’t mix up your fonts and font sizes. Too many variations in font size and type can be visually confusing. 
Ensure that your text is at least 24pt otherwise it may be difficult to read on screen. 
Choose left align for all text to make it easier to read. 
Avoid multiple columns of text on a single slide as they can be difficult to follow on screen. 
Use bold for a clear and simple form of emphasis and headings rather than UPPER CASE, italics or underlining. 
Set clear hierarchies for type size to help your audience distinguish between headings, main text and other types of text. 

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