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Building storyboards

From: Public Speaking Fundamentals

Video: Building storyboards

I'll confess: I'm a terrible artist. My drawings look like chicken scratches. However, I usually start every speech or presentation by drawing a rough storyboard. Storyboards help me organize the flow of my presentation, and they also help me recall key details without memorizing a script. Let me explain how storyboards can work for you. In the exercise files, we've provided an example of a blank storyboard. A storyboard contains a place for you to put a picture as well as a place for you to write your words.

Building storyboards

I'll confess: I'm a terrible artist. My drawings look like chicken scratches. However, I usually start every speech or presentation by drawing a rough storyboard. Storyboards help me organize the flow of my presentation, and they also help me recall key details without memorizing a script. Let me explain how storyboards can work for you. In the exercise files, we've provided an example of a blank storyboard. A storyboard contains a place for you to put a picture as well as a place for you to write your words.

In the picture area, you may choose to draw or insert a representation of what the audience may see as you're speaking. In the area where you can write words, you can choose to scribble a short synopsis of what you'll be discussing, or you may choose to write your entire script. Let's start with how to build a general storyboard. Like many people, I tend to think visually. If I see a photo, drawing, or graph, I can usually recall an entire story to tell about that image. Instead of writing a detailed script to accompany a photo, I might instead draw a picture of a guy in a top hat and write "Tell the story about how you dress casually for a formal event and how it made you feel." I mentioned in another video that I often use super sticky notes to gather ideas.

On one occasion, I had only a few hours to develop a short speech. I quickly grabbed some of my super stickies out of a notebook and arranged them in a quick storyboard order. Each sticky note represented a short anecdote that I could tell the audience. It was easier to think of my speech as six small stories than it was for me to sit down and write the text for a complete speech. Now that's a very quick example of a general storyboard for a simple speech. Other storyboards, by their very nature, need to be highly complex.

For example I was hired to produce a recall video for a technical product. An audience of technicians needed to accomplish highly detailed and very specific steps in order to remove and replace a component. For this storyboard, every step of the process needed to be carefully worded, and the accompanying visual image had to reflect what the technician would see and feel during the replacement process. Depending on the complexity of your presentation, your storyboard may be very simple, loose, and general, or it may be very detailed and precise.

In general, I like to start with a loose storyboard to provide a sense of flow and structure. As the presentation develops, I might discover that I need to provide richer details. Too many people do not storyboard, and it shows. Use the storyboard approach to visualize the flow as well as important details of your presentation.

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Public Speaking Fundamentals

24 video lessons · 21643 viewers

Laura Bergells
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