6 tips for storyboarding your entire presentation in under 10 minutes

Written by 
Mariano Battan
June 12, 2014

I was recently challenged with the task of creating a presentation with MURAL on very short notice. Luckily for me, I was able to whip up a draft of a storyboard for my presentation to showcase an app that lets you do just that.

After this experience, I realized that I’d done a pretty good job (not my first time) and I wanted to share my secrets for success with you. So I present you with...

6 tips for creating a presentation storyboard


1) Focus on highlights, structure it later.

I knew I wanted to focus on three points, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to introduce them. I first drafted these main ideas separately, because those key points would make up the bulk of the presentation. Mine were about the movement we are part of, the biggest news and the asks I wanted to get out of the audience.

2) Draw!

Even if you are not an amazing artist, there nothing more personal than a hand drawn sketch. Sunni Brown is the leader of a Doodle Revolution and Dan Roam has been explaining hard content on the backs of napkins for a while. They have a lot of followers; they must be doing something right.

(If you are scared, don’t be! We can all draw. If you are still scared, you can always look for a picture online that demonstrates the point you are trying to make… you’ll probably need more time for this though.)


3) Draft doodles are perfect 90% of the times you are presenting.

Following up on the last point, storyboards are designed to visualize your story FAST. So don’t spend a lot of time polishing the details. Instead, shoot for a rough prototype and start iterating to a higher definition from there.


4) The first 10 seconds are key.

I had my wife be the first test audience... it wasn’t until the 3rd of 4th frame that I contributed something that she was interested in. I moved that to the front. Think about your story in chunks that ask for permission from your audience to keep talking.

5) Add some non-linear storytelling

People are used to maps. Google Maps offers 3 alternative paths to a destination and it’s probably one of the most used apps around.

You can tap on people’s visual understanding when having to express three related ideas. Maybe you are going  horizontal, but for a point where you have three related scenes you can branch it out and have people see that they are related before you go deeper into each of them.

JJ Abrams did it for Lost (check out his studio), so you can also do it in your own story.

6) End with a call to action

Infomercials are still around because they work. They are story driven, cater to a problem, and most of the time do it with a crappy solution… BUT, the format is great.

The second most important part after the 10 initial seconds is the call to action. BUY NOW will probably not make it, but visit a site, download an app, share this with your bowling buddies… whatever. Your story needs to move people into action, so let them know how to.


7) The storyboard is not your presentation.

The more polished slides are not the presentation. They support your show and your message. You are your presentation. So practice. A lot. Ideally with a small audience, but solo or with your dog are also recommended.


8) Follow your style.

I’m a very “last minute” type of guy. It fills me up with energy. That’s why I love cloud based software: so I don’t have to “send the presentation” up front and can make last minute changes after listening to my muse. I had MURAL running on an LTE iPad so I took advantage of the ride to make some last minute changes to stress a point. Given that I had already practiced enough, it was no problem to tweak the presentation and then rock it live.

9) Get someone to record you.

It will be a great way to see where you were performing better. Protip: film from the side so that you can get some audience reactions as well.

10) Have a drink and celebrate after your show.

Couldn’t stop at 9 points. Besides, beer is good for creativity, anyway.

Interested in MURAL for iPad? Let us know and we'll get you inside our Beta.

Can't decide?

We've got you covered with our icebreaker generator.

Generate icebreaker

...Click button to generate icebreaker

What day in your life would you like to relive?
Describe yourself in three words.
What was your dream job as a kid?
If you could be a character in any movie, what character and what movie would it be?
What three items would you bring with you on a deserted island?
What would you title your biography?
A genie grants you one wish; what do you wish for?
What is the best concert or festival you have ever been to?
If you could make an office rule that everyone had to follow for a day, what would it be?
If you invented an ice cream flavor, what ingredients would it have, and what would it be called?
What was your last Netflix (or other streaming platform) binge?
Which two companies would you like to be sponsored by?
What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
If you could add a holiday to the calendar, what would it be and when?
If you could organize a team retreat, where would it be?
Who has influenced your work ethic the most?
If you could swap roles with anyone for one day, who would it be?
If you were a genre of music, what would it be?
What movie has the best soundtrack?
What is your go-to karaoke song?
If you could name a band, what would it be called?
Which band would you join? And what would your role be?
Which artist or musician would you like to meet?
What song brings back childhood memories?
Would you rather spend a weekend in a tropical paradise or a snow haven?
Would you rather sail or 'van life' your way around the world?
Would you rather speak 10 languages or play 10 instruments?
Would you rather only read the end of every book or always forget the story’s ending?
Would you rather have slow internet or always forget your passwords?
Would you rather have every traffic light turn green or always have the best parking spot?
Would you rather be a whale or a lion?
Would you rather get free plane tickets or free accommodations for the rest of your life?
Would you rather be able to control time or fly?
Would you rather always be two hours early or 20 minutes late?
Why do we create art?
Where do you find inspiration?
If you could invite anyone in the world, historical or contemporary, who would be the three guests at your dinner table?
Who is your favorite travel buddy or group?
What is your favorite scene from a movie?
When was the last time you tried something for the first time?
When do you feel the most courageous?
What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
What’s your favorite holiday celebration?
What three things would you do if you were invisible?
What piece of advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
What subject do you wish was taught in every school?
What is your superpower?
What is your favorite travel hack?
What is your proudest achievement?
What is your favorite travel story?
What is your favorite season?
What is your DJ name?
What is the most underrated city you have ever visited?
What is the best piece of feedback you have ever received?
What is the best prank you’ve experienced or planned?
What travel experience, city, or country impacted you the most?
What are the top three items on your bucket list?
What are the three values you treasure the most in a friendship?
Tell us your favorite joke.
Tell us a weird fact you happen to know for no reason.
If your pet could talk, what would they say?
If your life was captured in the “expectation vs. reality” meme, what would the two pictures be?
If you could take one prop from any movie set, what would it be?
If you had to sleep on a beach anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If you could organize a team retreat, where would it be?
If you could live in a different country for a year, which country would you choose?
Do you over or under-decorate for the holidays?
Name five things that make you happy
Do you consider yourself a lemon or a lime? Why?
If you could know the answer to any question, what would that question be?

About the author

About the authors

Mariano Battan

Mariano Battan

I co-founded Mural, where we are making creative teams become better design thinkers through our collaboration software. We started Mural because of a game we were designing. Ask me about that.

Related Blog Posts

No items found.