When thinking about creating a slide deck, many presenters jump directly in to design. With high goals of flashy designs that will wow their audiences, they open their presentation software of choice only to stare at the blank screen unsure of what to do next. The pressure of a blank page leads to creativity block and as quickly as the excitement came on, it disappears.

Have you ever felt like this? If so, it may be time to throw out the blank canvas and, instead, begin with the creation of your content via a storyboard.

For the purpose of this article, a storyboard is a tool used by presenters to lay out what words will be on the screen during different parts of the presentation. There are no design elements in a storyboard which allows you to collect your content and organize your thoughts before beginning the design process.

Unsure of how to create an amazing storyboard? Don’t worry. We put together a list of 3 elements that make up an excellent starting draft.

Main Ideas
Creating a great storyboard starts by including in large, bold text the main idea you wish you communicate on each slide. By starting with your main idea, you ensure your point is made without cluttering the slide with a lot of words. These main ideas should be 1 or 2 sentences maximum and easy for your audience to read at a glance and understand.

Supporting Content
The next step in an effective storyboard is to include the supporting content for each slide. This content could be facts and figures, bullet points, or anything else that you feel brings the main idea to life. Keep in mind that when including supporting content, you should limit the amount of text on the screen. Without design elements, it can leave you feeling like you have more space, but don’t risk cluttering your screen- instead, let your words and messaging stick.

Design Cues
As you are working through your content, you may think of different visual ideas to illustrate the words you are using. These often come out during the storyboard phase as you give yourself the space to dream and imagine what it could look like without the restrictions of execution. When these ideas pop in your head, be sure to make a note on the storyboard. Chances are you will be designing on a different day than you created the storyboard, so making written notes will allow you to remember the great idea you had during brainstorming.

Designing a presentation from a blank slate can be difficult. By starting with a storyboard, you allow yourself the freedom to lay out your ideas and create a powerful flow – without the added pressure of crafting visuals at the same time. Once you have nailed your content, you can move on to design with ease allowing PowerPoint or Keynote to do a lot of the heavy lifting as you plug in your words to their templates and design tools.

Unsure how to start your next presentation? Contact the team at Ethos3 today to find out how we can make your next presentation a raging success.

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