Why start with a storyboard?

Storyboards are an effective way to help you focus on your key message.


What is a storyboard?

A storyboard is a quick way to organise your thoughts and structure your talk, essay, email or any form of communication. See this guide (What are storyboards) aimed at school teachers, this introduction (Video essays and digital storytelling), or this blog (Storyboarding research) by Patrick Dunleavy, a Professor at LSE.

Storyboards can take many formats. They can be visual, and set out each scene sort of like a cartoon, or they can simply be an answer to set of questions. The most basic storyboard that I use is to answer these five question:

  1. What do you want to achieve? What is the purpose of your communication? What is your key message?
  2. Who is your audience? What is their interest in this topic? What is their level of knowledge? 
  3. How will you start? How will you grab your audience's attention?
  4. How will you finish? Do I want my audience to do something?
  5. What are the key steps to get from the start to the finish?

Google "storyboard" and you will find a lot of advice and storyboard templates.

Why use a storyboard?

A storyboard is useful to keep you focused on your key message. It helps to visualise the key steps needed to get from the start to the finish. It's help to manage your time and focuses you on the parts of your talk/video/essay that need the most attention.

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