The back of a roll of wallpaper

“As a trafficker in climaxes and thrills and characterization and wonderful dialogue and suspense and confrontations, I had outlined the Dresden story many times.

The best outline I ever made, or anyway the prettiest one, was on the back of a roll of wallpaper.

I used my daughter’s crayons, a different color for each main character. One end of the wallpaper was the beginning of the story, and the other end was the end, and then there was all that middle part, which was the middle.” ― Slaughterhouse Five,  Kurt Vonnegut

Although, most of the time I don’t have a roll of wallpaper at hand, it’s certainly a good practice — if not an absolute must — to start building your presentation with another tool than PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi. All of these great programs are to be categorized as visualization software. They are perfectly suited for creating, animating and flipping through your slides, but they offer (too) limited functions for problem analysis, mindmapping, and storyboarding.

Wikipedia defines a storyboard as “a graphic organizer in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence,” and — take this from me — you don’t have to be a professional graphic artist to transform your ideas into a storyboard for your speech of presentation.

There are some great (free) software tools available for building mindmaps and storyboards (e.g. the ones mentioned in the lists below). And if you don’t want your creativity hampered by the capabilities of your laptop or tablet: a whiteboard, a flip chart or a large piece of paper, a set of index cards or post-it notes, and a few crayons or colored markers will also do the job. Or just start drawing on a roll of wallpaper or the back of a napkin


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1 thought on “The back of a roll of wallpaper

  1. Pingback: Creating personas for audience-centric story design | B2B STORYTELLING

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