iconic powerpoint design tip

by Paul C. Tumey

Iconic PowerPoint is a breakthrough new technique to make slides look light-years better. It’s simple enough that anyone can do it, and the few tools you need are in PowerPoint.

The basic concept is simple: manually replace the bullet symbols with icons. Master Iconic PowerPoint and your slides will pop!

This approach is so useful I’ll be writing a lot about it in this blog. This article will present some before and after examples. My next blog post will give you a step-by-step tutorial on how you can easily create icons that look great on your slides.

Here’s a typical bullet point slide. It’s actually a little cleaner than the typical slide, with concise wording and a few design touches. However, it still lacks oomph. It’s not up to today’s standards.

powerpoint bullets

Here’s the exact same content with Iconic PowerPoint applied. The little blue dots have been replaced by much bolder and more compelling icons. What do you think? Is this better?

making bullet powerpoint slides visual

The Importance of Visual Consistency

Note the icons are visually consistent. This is important. They are all the same size and shape. They are all white symbols in blue circles. This provides professional polish. Here is what the slide would look like if I used the icons in their original form, untouched except for resizing.

seattle powerpoint

As you can see, this is not as effective as the earlier version. In my next blog post, I will provide a tutorial on how to easily make these visually consistent icons. It’s not as hard as you might think, and all the tools you need are in PowerPoint.

Bonus Iconic PowerPoint Idea

Before we go, here’s one more idea for you. Once you trade icons for bullets (that sounds a little like hammering swords into plowshares, doesn’t it?) you could then consider a new layout that has more visual pizzazz. Something like this:

powerpoint designer icons

Iconic PowerPoint explained in this 3-minute Video

Here’s a three-minute video version of this blog post that explains the concept:


Paul C. Tumey is the founder and director of Presentation Tree.