How to get started using Storyboards for *everything*
15 May, 2020

All that to say, the storyboard is an effective organizational layout tool for saying what you mean in a way that truly moves audiences.

It forces you to ask the questions: why is this scene right here?

To make one, think of any upcoming presentation, talk, meeting, or even major report or video script.

Make a spreadsheet or doc with a table with the following headers:

  • Scene # (1, 2, 3, etc)
  • Purpose of Scene/Scene Beat
  • Description of Scene
  • Script (for videos, reports) or talking points (for presentations, speeches, meetings)

Now, outline your last scene. This is the one where you define your purpose for the whole banana. It’s your ask, the payoff, the revelation, the action item, the commitment.

Then, outline your first scene. The first scene should begin where you believe your audience will be when this whole thing starts. In this moment you undo a hundred traumatic Toastmaster’s speeches by knowing your audience more than trying to broadcast something. Who are they? Why are they there? What do they want? What state are they in?

Then bridge the two in as few scenes as possible.

(P.S. The technique works for sales emails, meetings, conversations, slide decks, and so on. BUT a “delivered” storyboard—like a movie, monologue, explainer video—is never the ideal for an “engaged” one. In a live meeting, when you can look others face-to-face, when you can get their input, you bring the storyboard as a launching point but try to involve others in helping creating the story as rapidly as possible. Nobody likes to hear the tale about them when they could participate. How to adapt is some future subject… )

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ISAIAH MCPEAK

Family tech, neuroscience, communication, product management, growth

A synthesizer of neuroscience, classical rhetoric, philosophy, 5,000+ hours at whiteboards, high stakes presentations, Fortune 10 consulting, and startup growth.

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