For most of us, the word “storyboard” is reminiscent of filmmaking, a creative process that helps directors work through scenes they want to shoot and stories they want to tell.
But while storyboarding may have been born on Hollywood backlots and Disney studios, it is also a useful tool for anyone trying to develop an outline that incorporates visual media. In fact, storyboarding has increasingly come to be seen as the key to successful PowerPoint presentations in the corporate and not-for-profit worlds.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the reasons why storyboarding is such a crucial aspect of presentation design, and provide some pointers on how to use storyboarding techniques to make your next quarterly report or public talk as impactful as possible.
Why Storyboarding Matters
Storyboarding is a visual approach to outlining a story, one that helps you distil your key points so you can map out the best way to communicate them.
One of the most common problems people giving PowerPoint presentations encounter is a failure to properly organize their material. Most audience members only have a 15-20 minute attention span, so if you want them to remember your main points, you need to be as economical as possible in how you present the information.
Storyboarding can also help you figure out what kind of feeling you want to capture. Many PowerPoint experts recommend using mood boards in the early stages so you can get a sense for the emotional journey you want your audience to experience.
Taking the time to sketch out the major beats before you start designing the slides themselves will help you eliminate unnecessary digressions, and stay focused on what you want your main takeaways to be.
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How to Effectively Storyboard a PowerPoint Presentation
Storyboarding should start with a very simple paper outline that answers three questions:
- What is my overarching point?
- What data do I need to make this point effectively?
- Why does this matter to my audience?
Once you have worked out the answers to these three questions, you can move on to the second step, which involves organizing your information effectively using a grid of key slides. Many presenters find it useful to think of a presentation as an essay, with a thesis, supporting points, and conclusion, or as a story, with a main character, a conflict, a set of obstacles, a climax, and an ending.
If you aren’t used to giving this kind of detailed presentation, it can be helpful to work with a presentation company that specializes in storyboarding, copywriting, and visual design. Having professional help from a PowerPoint agency will streamline the process and make sure your presentation is maximally effective.
Whether you’re introducing a new product, pitching a potential business partner, or giving a keynote speech or public lecture, viewing your presentation not as an information dump but as a dramatic narrative will help keep your audience engaged, and will help ensure your main points don’t get lost in the numbers.
Storyboarding is the best way to do this, so next time you have a big talk, get professional help from PowerPoint experts who can help you outline a winning presentation.