An argument with myself.
In a recent blog on storytelling, I made a derisive reference to bullet points. I suggested they were something “story-killers” recommended to speed delivery of information.
To be fair, I began to think that bullet points may have a place in marketing communications. Just may. This developed into an argument with myself. It went something like this.
Myself: I have long viewed bullet points as useless little dots in front of statements in a list. Just look at it. A teensy little dot –
Now what does that add to a message?
Me: It may signify that it’s part of an important list.
Myself: Such as…?
Me: Well, I see bullet points used a lot in resumes.
Myself: Oh sure:
. Graduated with honors from seven Ivy League colleges
. Swam across Pacific Ocean
. Awarded the Congressional…
Me: (Interrupting)… Okay, seriously… name an important list that doesn’t use bullet points.
Myself: Ten Commandments.
Me: Doesn’t count. They were written in stone.
Me: They’re ancient. Stone fonts didn’t include bullet points.
Myself: Nice try. Anything else?
Me: Yeh, we use bullet points in our website.
Myself: Hmmmm. Hey, nobody’s perfect.
Myself: What do you mean “sorta”? Are you now willing to admit
that bullet points have a purpose?
Me: Bullet points work to indicate a series of brief statements that should be taken a little more seriously than one-line paragraphs.
Myself: That’s a bit lame. How do we get out of this before our readers tell us to “get a life”? If they’re still reading this?
Me: Let’s turn it over to them.
Myself: Hey readers, if you’re still with us. How do you feel about bullet points?