Here is a good short video reviewing the art of the storyboard as it's used in story development and production in the motion picture industry. Storyboarding as we know it may have been pioneered by film makers and animators, but we can use many of the same concepts in the development of other forms of storytelling including keynote presentations or short-form presentations such as those made popular at TED. The storyboard process allows you to flesh out themes and look for patterns as you apply your creativity toward presenting your content. Watch below or here on Google.
Below I highlight directly some of the key ideas as I heard them from the video above. I hope this helps.
Storyboarding is a great way to begin to visualize the story of your content. (In animation) storyboards are used to develop the story. A great storyboard artist is a great communicator (not necessarily a great illustrator/animator). Walt Disney developed the use of storyboards in the 1920s. Storyboards allow film makers to see a blueprint of the movie before going into production. You tack them (your sketches/ideas in visual form) up on the wall so you can see the entire sequence, flow, continuity, etc. Storyboards are an effective, inexpensive way to develop the story. You can "board it up" on the wall and see if it works. Because ideas can be changed easily and quickly, storyboarding works. The key is to put down in your storyboards the minimum amount of information that gives a dynamic and quick read of the content (and the emotions) of the sequence.
A good storyboard artist is a good storyteller. The drawings do not have to be pretty, but they must have the meaning and the feelings behind the idea. A good storyboard artist is a good pitchman. Walt Disney, they say, was an amazing pitchman/storyboard artist. Walt's great ability was his passion and vision behind the pitch. The storyboard pitch is one of the great performance arts developed in the 20th century at Disney (yet no one ever gets to see it). The use of storyboards is one of the reasons Walt Disney's early films were so remarkable; the practice was soon copied.
Walt Disney: "At our studio we don't write our stories, we draw them."
With storyboarding you tell the story in the simple form (storyboard reels) before entering the more complex form. The storyboard lets the whole team in on what's going on with the production. The storyboard is "an expensive writing tool, but an inexpensive production tool." The storyboard can cut out a lot of unnecessary work. Storyboards allow you to see what is not working (and toss the bits out that don't work).
Kevin Costner: "If I can make things work on paper, then I can make them work on the set."
Applying the concepts
How can you visualize your presentation like a comic? No, not literally perhaps — but something like the sequential flow of a comic or rough sketches in storyboard form. You can do this on a whiteboard, but one of the best analog ways is with sticky notes (Post its) on a wall on in a notebook (a technique Bert Decker, Nancy Duarte, and others have talked about before as well).
• From Word to Image: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process
by Marcie Begleiter
• Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation by Francis Glebas
• Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know by Jennifer Van Sijll