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How to Storyboard a Presentation

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Storyboarding your PowerPoint presentation is a surefire way to make sure that it covers the key points and hits the mark.

Thankfully, we've got some hot presentation tips that'll help you storyboard your way to PowerPoint success. Zing!

Whether you're a business leader getting ready to deliver an important message to key stakeholders, or a startup founder angling for your next round of investment, we're here to help.

Plan your presentation with an online storyboard. Get started in seconds.

What's a storyboard?

Storyboarding's a way to visualise the structure of your presentation. It started in the film industry, where Hollywood's finest used storyboards to plan the story structure of their feature films.

A storyboard's a series of drawings accompanied by a little bit of text, where each drawing details a particular plot point. Don't worry if your art skills aren't quite up there with Picasso's – you can use simple stick figures instead.

The history of storyboarding

You might have heard of Walt Disney. He's kind of a big deal in the filmmaking world, and made a few movies that were quite popular. We dig him because he came up with the idea of storyboarding back in the 1930s.

More specifically, Disney's animator pal Webb Smith started drawing rough sketches on different bits of paper, then stuck them up on a wall to show how a storyline comes together. An army of PowerPoint-loving LinkedIn influencers is forever in his debt.

Looking for some storyboard inspiration? Check out some of our favourite storyboards.

Why you should storyboard your next presentation

Presentation design is a tricky creative process. You might call it an art. If you get it right and create a great presentation, you're far more likely to achieve your goals – whether that's selling more stuff, or helping people see your point of view.

Naturally, you also need to have some public speaking skills. But it's a lot easier to confidently deliver your business presentation when you know that your PowerPoint slides have a strong storyline and compelling argument.

Storyboarding tools

There are lots of ways to storyboard your slide presentation. Some people like to whip out a whiteboard to get their presentation ideas down. Some are all about the sticky notes. And some people stick to bullet points in a trusty notepad.

We happen to think that Boords is the best tool to nail your presentation storyboard. You can collaborate with team members if you have multiple presenters, which makes it a pretty nifty bit of presentation software. Try it free.

How to storyboard your presentation

1. Set up your storyboard

  • Go to your Boords dashboard, click New project and name it after your presentation
  • You'll be prompted to create a new storyboard – you can name that after your presentation, too
  • Click Create storyboard

2. Customize your fields

You can use custom fields to add extra presentation ideas and keep all your thoughts in one place. We recommend adding a Notes field, and using a nifty custom icon.

  • Click the settings cog to open the storyboard settings menu.
  • Use the toggle to turn off the default Sound and Action fields.
  • Add Notes and any other new fields that'll be useful for your planning.

3. Add a frame for each idea

As a general rule, you should stick to one idea per slide in your presentation. Storyboarding the entire presentation helps you see the slide deck as a whole, so you can pick out the key points and get rid of anything that doesn't need to be there.

Label each frame after an idea, adding as many frames as you need.

4. Rearrange the slides

Now that all your presentation ideas are in the storyboard, it's time to take a step back and see how the storyline flows.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Is there a key point that needs to come earlier in the presentation?
  • Are there any points that need shifting around to make sense?
  • Does the order of the frames build a logical narrative?
Get familiar with the basics of storytelling. We'll show you how to tell a masterful story by doing your research, inspiring people, knowing your audience, and editing like a boss. You'll also learn about our favorite movie franchise, Rocky. Learn more

5. Get rid of the weak parts

The best thing about storyboarding your presentation before you pop it in PowerPoint is that you can review the outline from a bit of a distance. This can help you to pick out the weak parts more easily.

  • Do you need a Contents slide?
  • Does your audience need to know about the market positioning?

Be ruthless, cutting anything that doesn't need to be there

Pro-tip: Our online presentation storyboard template is chock-full of best-practices. Try it for free.

6. Add title slides

Pop in some single slides that let people know where they are in the presentation. You might want to make them a different color so that they stand out.

As well as providing structure, these title slides help to break up the slide show and give your audience time to breathe.

7. Get feedback on your final outline

At this point, things should be looking pretty tasty. But before you dive into PowerPoint and start building the final presentation, you should take one more look at the outline and send it to people for feedback.

  • Click Share in the top right of the screen
  • Copy the presentation link
  • Send the link to your team for feedback
  • Optional: click Manage people to give team members editing access

It's a lot easier to make changes while you're still in the storyboarding phase. Once you start designing your presentation, amends take longer – costing you time and money.

8. Create the final designs in PowerPoint

Now that your storyline's sorted and you've got the makings of the greatest business presentation of all time, it's time to move on from storyboarding and design your final PowerPoint slides. Oh, and then the small matter of perfecting your public speaking.

All of us at Boords are rooting for you. Now go smash that presentation!

Learn how to structure your story with the help of Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Our rock solid guide teaches you all about the three-act story structure – setup, conflict and climax – and how to use it to nail your plot. Find your perfect story structure

Storyboard your presentation with Boords

Forget janky storyboard templates. Boords is the simple, powerful way to storyboard your presentation.

Try Boords for free. And think of us when your business makes its next million.

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