Steven Heller, after attending a recent conference, on the ineffectiveness of using lists in conference presentations:
Making lists, checking them twice, etc., is a fine self-enabling tool (there’s even a book of creative personal lists from the Smithsonian archives), but sharing them with the public could be a tad (or excessively) narcissistic. This became vividly clear to me recently at a design conference I attended where 4 out of 10 speakers presented personal lists of varying lengths and degrees of insightfulness.
Lists are not in and of themselves disingenuous. Indeed, the four speakers who shared theirs were as ingenuous as could be, and presented some great work as well. I was convinced they truly believed that the best way to impart useful information (what in the speechifying business is called “the takeaway”) was through bullet points as motivational calls to action. For some in the audience it works. But the frequency of such lists at lectures and conferences has tainted their efficacy. Why does every insight have to be a bullet point or numbered item? 1. Why? 2. Why? 3. Why?
The real issue:
[T]he format of the list became more significant than the thoughts themselves.
Maybe happiness is no bullet lists at all.