In the last month I helped colleagues to create the story telling structure of their client presentations. The best way I found to transmit a quick idea about the structure of the storytelling was to simply re-use what is done in film making: storyboards. Storyboards are simple sheets with squares that show the key frames of a scene. So, I started sketching quickly how a client presentation could be structured and how it could roughly look like. After having done that several times for colleagues I started to see the true potential of this technic.
Prototype structure and layout
Building client presentation takes a huge amount of time. By creating a prototype or storyboard you can test out the story line without too much time. By testing it early you can also iterate on it easily and make sure your first draft of the real presentation has already a good structure. The same goes for layout. By sketching roughly the layout, you get quickly a sense of the visual rhythm you are going to create.
Get everybody on the same page
Before jumping in keynote, powerpoint, photoshop, indesign or whatever other tool you can get everyone on the same page with storyboards. You can test your storyline with your team and see where you need to improve the story. Once everyone agrees on the structure you just have to do the fine tuning. You will then loose less time with ping-pong sessions with your colleagues because this was already done with sketches that are quick to produce.
Plan content creation and delegate
Having a storyboard is finally a great help in having an overview of all the elements that need to be created for a successful presentation. This means that it's easier to delegate pieces of the content creation to other colleagues and therefor be even more productive. Because you already have the structure ready, it's much easier to get your peers support.
Here under you can find some excerpt from client story boards done for colleagues or myself. If you have done such storyboards yourself I would love to see them. Just send yours by email.