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How to Improve a Long Checklist Slide in PowerPoint

Makeover Long Checklist Slides

Makeover Long Checklist SlidesChecklists are an integral part of most business presentations. But, unfortunately most checklist slides are confusing and overwhelming. In this article, I will show you a few simple ways you can improve your checklist slides in PowerPoint.

Recently, I came across a typical checklist slide that showed the various items to be included in a Bridal Emergency kit. The slide was attractive. Take a look…

Long Checklist Example Slide

There was a beautiful image of a bride at the background. The words were positioned beautifully on the slide to enhance readability. At the first glance, almost everything about the slide looked perfect.

However, if you were in the audience – you’d find it tough to remember the contents of this slide. So here are some easy ways to make the slide more clear and memorable.

Step 1:  Clean up the background:

The checklist was about ‘Bridal Emergency Kit’. The picture didn’t suggest anything about a kit to prepare the bride. So, I removed the background and the slide looked as follows:

Working With Long Checklist

This allowed me to take a fresh look at the list (now that there are no distractions).

Step 2: Reorganize the list for clarity:

I could see that the list could easily be categorized into two group of items. So, I did a bit of reorganization of the items, and here is the result:

Organize Long List

Suddenly, the list seemed more intuitive and easy to grasp.

Step 3: Add a relevant visual cue:

Now, that there is more clarity in the categories, I decided to add a visual cue to make the categories a bit more memorable. Instead of the generic bride image, we can add more relevant visuals.

Checklist Slides with Visuals
The pictures of a Makeup kit and a Sewing kit are far more appropriate visuals for a ‘Bridal Emergency Kit’ than the picture of a happy bride running across a meadow. Isn’t it?

If you want a fancier version of the slide, you can try a variation like this:

Variation of Visual Checklist Slide

The only thing you may need to be careful in creating such fancier versions is – the readability of the text should not be compromised. For example, the text about ‘Makeup kit’ and ‘Sewing Kit’ are not very easy to read.

However, since the headings are short words in big bold font, the readers may be able to pick them up reasonably quickly.

Now, compare the ‘Before – After’ versions of the same checklist slide:

Before After Checklist Slide Makeover

Here are two simple lessons from the PowerPoint Checklist Slide Makeover exercise:

  1. Where possible, reorganize your lists to improve clarity for the audience
  2. Use visuals to aid memory of the audience than to merely decorate your slides

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