Tag Archives: storyboard

Fire Eagle continues apace...

Storyboard for Ugly PowerPoint

If you have never put together a storyboard, think of it like a comic book, but without all the cool art. It gets your story idea into a format that you can send to other people for review without spending a ton of time on production. This comes in handy when you’ve been given some content by a subject matter expert (or SME) and you start to conceptualize how your presentation is going to be structured. Before you commit too much time to the end result, you want to make sure everyone agrees with how you’ve structured it and what you plan to do with the graphics. Your storyboard becomes your blueprint for the finished project.

Following my Project Milestones, I have met with my SME’s and stakeholders and have created a draft storyboard with a script based on the PowerPoint presentation and some ideas about the graphics. I now give my SME’s a chance to make any changes to it and to respond to some of my notes. At this point, I’ve learned quite a bit from my SME’s about how reclosers work, but I don’t want my phrasing to sound awkward. I have urged my SME’s to specifically look for these types of errors because I’m pretty sure that if something doesn’t sound right to the learners, the presentation won’t have as much credibility with them. This training is designed for experienced line mechanics from the field and I can almost see the eye rolling if they hear terminology that doesn’t sound authentic.

To create my storyboard, I copied the notes directly into a Word document and then re-arranged each part into a section that made sense to me. For example, I came up with sections like, How Reclosers Work, What Types of Reclosers You’ll Find, and How Reclosers Work. I filled in each section with notes that covered each of those topics. I copied thumbnails of the original PowerPoint into the graphics column and added notes about animations or interactions that would help illustrate a particular topic.

As I send a link to my reviewers, I think it’s pretty important to give them a realistic deadline for them to get back with me with their feedback. In the past, I have always appreciated it when a project manager follows up with an email after our meeting. I could turn that email into a To-Do or a calendar entry, depending what kind of system I was using. A follow up reminder email can be helpful as we get closer to the deadline. I need to be careful not to sound too “naggy” but I know that some folks do appreciate a reminder.

Right now, I’m just using a standard Word document to create my storyboard. It’s just a table divided up into three columns and I can paste in a thumbnail graphic or just make some notes about what I want it to look like. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done plus it’s easy to distribute to teams. I noticed a cool tool you can use online for storyboarding called Storyboard That. You can put together comic book style storyboards and share them online. Your free account gives you the chance to create three per week. Plus, you can email a PowerPoint of your storyboard to yourself. Pretty cool! It may not be suitable for this project, but you never know when something from your “bag of tricks” will come in handy. This one’s definitely going into my bookmarks.

So, the next step is to dive in and begin developing my graphics for this course while I’m waiting for the feedback. It’s going to be a challenge working with photos that have been stretched out of proportion or copied from unknown sources. Nothing is set in stone at this point, but I’m pretty confident that I have the basics down and can start visualizing what this will look like.

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