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Communication: Getting those bullet points right Add to ...

Increasingly we're using bullet points to get our messages across, whether it's in direct mail or e-mails to the boss. On MarketingSherpa, content director Anne Holland says that we tend to view the first bulleted point in a list as the most important and the last as the least important, but the eye doesn't see it that way. It sees the top two, and then often skips down to the last bullet, before trotting off merrily to some other place on the page, the middle bullets remaining ignored. So organize your bulleted lists like this:

• Most important point

• Second most important point

• Less important point

• Less important point

• Third most important point.

People also aren't reading every word, as in prose. They scan:

Word word word word blah

Word word word blah blah

Word blah blah blah blah

Word word blah blah blah

She advises you to put your best words where "word" is located in that list.

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