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Storyboard Your Presentation with Sticky Notes

There are many ways to gather thoughts ideas and write a script for your presentation but how do you order them later in an understandable and sequential manner. The answer may be using sticky notes. In this post, I will detail how to storyboard your presentation with sticky notes. It may be noted that storyboarding is not confined to presentations. Authors, filmmakers and even comics use this technique to brainstorm and organise their stories. In fact, it was Disney that recognised the value of storyboarding and even had separate studios set up with specialised storyboard artists.

At Impact Presentations, storyboards are often created with sticky notes before starting to design presentation slides.

What do you need

Creating a storyboard requires only the simplest of equipment or stationary:

  • Notebook or notetaking device/app/software (I use Evernote)
  • Sticky Notes
  • Pens or pencils (I use a pen with four colours)
  • Markers or highlighters
  • Large pad (Minimum A4)
  • Wall or whiteboard (if this is not available or impractical use a large pad)

Get your ideas written down

The very first thing we need to do is get our thoughts and ideas out of our head. It is easy to overthink this process and dismiss ideas that may seem irrelevant to the presentation. The concept is simple, regardless of if you think it is irrelevant or not get it on paper. Software, apps or online note-taking services such as Evernote are also useful for gathering ideas.

I cannot stress this enough. How many times has a thought or idea entered our mind and at the end of the day we have forgotten what it was. Thoughts and ideas are often triggered by association ie. something we saw, smelled, heard or even triggered by another thought.

One idea per sticky note

Now that we have our thoughts and ideas out of our head an on paper it is time to transfer these notes so that they can be organised to create a story sequence. This is where the value of sticky notes come into play. The beautiful thing about sticky notes is that only a small amount of content can be placed on them. This forces us to limit our thoughts and ideas on each note.

For the storyboard to be the most effective only one idea should be placed on each note. Use large writing and/or sketches on each note so that the content can be seen at a glance. Now just randomly place your notes as you write them on a wall or whiteboard. This will now allow you to see all of your ideas at a glance. If a wall or whiteboard is not available paste notes in a large notepad.

Get them in order

Now your notes can be placed in a sequential order. This is where your thoughts and ideas come together to create a sequential, flowing story. The order for a presentation storyboard we use is:

  1. Opening/speech intro
  2. Main points (We recommend 3 main points)
  3. Conclusion (usually containing invite to action)

Now place your random notes that correspond to each main point.

Be ruthless

At this point, you may find that you have some notes left over. These are notes that are irrelevant to the key points that you want to deliver. It may also be tempting to add another key point to use up the leftover notes. It may also be tempting to add these leftover notes to your existing key points.

DON’T DO IT

It is time to be ruthless. Often a great presentation is not about what is included, it is often about what has been left out. I know that you may feel that a lot of thought has gone into the leftover notes and they shouldn’t be wasted. These leftover notes can prove to be gold so please treasure them, after all, they are your thoughts and ideas on paper. These are notes that could be used in another presentation or posted online. They could be used to supplement your presentation in a handout or by posting further notes on social media for your audience to follow. I have written a post “Beyond The Presentation with Hashtags” detailing how to use Twitter to supplement your presentation.

Go forth and deliver

The process of storyboarding can take some discipline and like all presentations will take some background work. This work will pay off as you now have a presentation with a sequential flowing storyline to deliver.

So what now?

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and wow your audience with your thought-provoking, action-taking and well-prepared presentation.

 

 

Richard Hansen

Richard Hansen

Founder of Impact Presentations

Richard is a professional MC, presentation designer and coach and founder of Impact Presentations.

He is happily married with 3 children and currently lives on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in Queensland, Australia.

Loves trekking, camping, coffee and generally hanging out with friends and trying new experiences.

Richard’s personal website can be viewed here……