Many video companies provide storyboards – the visuals to go with video scripts
– but some managers like to do this for themselves
– especially when working up a brief for a video production company.
Here are 7 tips to make storyboarding easier for the non-video professional.
1 – Match the images to the words
If your script says “Jack & Jill went up the hill”
then storyboard to show a picture of Jack, a picture of Jill, and a picture of Hill.
This is storyboarding at its simplest, and often most effective level
– matching the images to the words.
2 – Look for invisibles – then use graphics
As a manager, you know lots of the good things your company does are invisible.
Your performance, your technology, your processes, your charts and data are all invisible
These are much more effectively represented by using animated graphics, eg:
> graphic representations of a process flow
> 2d animation to show a machine or device that otherwise looks like a “black box”.
> 3d animation to show buildings – before they’re built.
3 – Think big – then think practical
At first pass, storyboard as if you had an unlimited video budget.
Include a cast of thousands, or a rocket to the moon, or whatever it takes to visualise your script ideas.
Once done, go through the storyboard again and think how you can create the same effect as a cast of thousands, or rocket to the moon.
A few simple animated graphic icons could represent a cast of thousands.
A low cost library footage clip might show an earth-to-satellite relay
– and this would effectively substitute for a “moon rocket”.
So think big – at first.
Then use a bit of creativity & imagination to think of a lower cost alternative.
4 – Work quickly
Storyboarding work is best done quickly – at first
– as working quickly forces you to get your ideas out fast, and not worry about the details.
This is an effective approach, as creativity tends to flow like a gushing river once started.
So start with a Quick Version – or first pass
– then spend the rest of the morning ironing out the details
– just like you might edit a word doc.
5 – Use captions
Key messages need to be emphasised
– otherwise they can get lost in a welter of words.
So pick the keywords from your script sentences and include them as captions.
6 – Use brief captions
The biggest mistake is to captionise whole sentences.
It’s better that “Jack and Jill went up the Hill” is captioned as
This way, you highlight your key messages, without obliging the audience to do any serious reading
– or take their minds off the other onscreen visuals.
7 – Use a 2 column table
To storyboard any script, start off by making a 2 column table.
Put each script sentence, or phrase – or “meaning cluster”
– in its own box on the left hand column.
Then write in your storyboard ideas in the adjacent right hand box.
This way, every sentence gets a picture
– and the whole can be clearly seen, so you don’t lose track.
Work quickly, think big, and use graphics or captions about sums it up.
You might also find this Infographic useful.
See the results of a good marketing storyboard here.
Or take a look at what a well-storyboarded training video looks like.
I hope these 7 effective storyboarding tips for managers helps you express your ideas more easily.