Business writing should be clear and concise because you don’t have a lot of time to communicate your message before people stop reading. Bullet points are a great way to organize information in a way that is quick and scannable by your readers. They can (and should!) be used in emails, memos, presentation decks, and blog posts.
Here are a few tricks to make the most of your bullet points:
- List the most important information first
The information you communicate—unless it is a list of steps—should be organized from most important to least important.
- Use a strong, unifying sentence or headline to introduce your bullet points
Your bullet points should all be on the same topic. If not, you may need to separate your bullet points into different lists (e.g. client advantages and partner advantages).
- Keep your bullet points short and scannable
If your individual bullet points exceed 3 lines, it might be better to format your information as paragraphs instead. Bullet points are for information that can be communicated quickly and effectively.
- Use uniform structure throughout
If your first bullet point is a full sentence with a period, all your bullet points should be the same. Ensure you also are using the same spacing, font, and sizing for each bullet point.
- Limit the number of bullet points in a single group to 3-5
Listing 10+ bullet points in a row can be too much for a reader to scan. If you provide additional information (like I have) between each point, your list can be much longer. Use numbers for your bullet points if you have more than 5 points to communicate.
Bullet points take the time and stress out of figuring out how to structure your ideas effectively. They are also great tools for catching your readers’ attention. Use them wisely and you’ll be a communications extraordinaire in no time.