Storyboard Your Presentations For Maximum Impact And Quicker Design

Good illustrations and photos can greatly improve the impact of your presentations, but hunting down the appropriate images can turn into a massive time sink. Get more effective results by storyboarding your presentation first and only then seeking out the images you need.

Picture by Mike Sansone

Speaking at the excellent Bar Camp Geelong event over the weekend, teacher, occasional folk musician and presenter Mark O'Meara argued that planning out the kinds of images you need in a storyboard and then searching works much more effectively than trying to become "inspired" by pictures:

I actually storyboard out presentations first. There are so many pictures on the Internet that if you just go shopping for pictures, you'll lose your focus. It feels old-fashioned and analogue, but it absolutely pays for itself to have a plan to work for. I get my students to do presentations, and the good ones are the ones who didn't run out of time, because they didn't spend all their time trying to be inspired by images.

Taking the concept further, O'Meara argued that overall planning works much better if you don't start off in your favourite presentation software package:

Before you turn on the computer, there's a design stage that doesn't involve using the computer. The design stage is an analogue process. It doesn't have to be done on paper, but you need to start thinking before you fire up your software. And paper is just hyper-efficient when it comes to getting ideas down.

Definitely something to bear in mind the next time you're putting together a presentation. Check out Mark's full presentation deck below.

Presentations that don't suck


    Thanks for the mention, Angus. On the off chance that people are interested, the whole presentation - 30 minutes in total - is now up.

    I would strongly encourage people who are interesting in making really good presentations to read Presentation Zen, by Garr Ryenolds. It's a terrific book and chock-full of gems.

      Thanks Mark, have added the link to the main body of the post as well.

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