Many marketers struggle to convey their great video ideas to their video team. Their video team may also feel that their brief and storyboards aren’t inspiring and it’s not clear what they are trying to achieve. The result is often a video that falls short of expectations, or even worse, requires expensive and time-consuming re-shoots.

This is an outcome that can easily be avoided with a well-focused storyboard. A good storyboard enables creatives to work together and bring a great idea to life.

Working with a video production team

Whether you’re working with an in-house team or an outside video production company, one of the most important steps in creating a great video is developing a storyboard. A storyboard is essentially a roadmap for your video project, and it will help your video team understand your vision and bring your idea to life.

A good storyboard aligns itself with the project brief

As the name would suggest, a good storyboard should be about telling a good story. In order to do that, you’ll need to think about the following elements within the project brief:

  • Your video’s overall concept or message
  • The tone or style of your video
  • The location or settings for your video
  • The characters or people who will be in your video
  • The plot or sequence of events in your video

These are all important world-building information so that your team understands the grand vision and can make the video planning and production a constructive experience.

What your concept and story should have to develop a good storyboard

Every good story should have:

  • A clear beginning, middle, and end
  • Interesting characters that are easy to relate to
  • A well-developed plot or storyline
  • Emotional impact or a “hook” that draws viewers in and keeps them engaged throughout your video

Of course, while these elements are critical for any good story, they should also be adapted to fit the specific format and purpose of your video project. For example, a corporate training video will have different requirements than a marketing spot or an educational explainer video.


You will also want to avoid these common bad storytelling habits:

  • Trying to shoehorn in too much information
  • Using a lot of jargon or technical lingo that your audience may not understand
  • Being overly complex or vague in your storytelling
  • Focusing on the wrong things, such as flashy visuals, transitions and sound effects when the focus should be on your message

Scene by scene

Once you’ve considered all of these elements, you’re ready to start developing your storyboard:

  1. Start by sketching out your basic idea on paper, with simple stick figures and text boxes to convey the main elements of your video. It does not have to be polished. The key idea here is to show where the talents or objects should be positioned on the screen.
  2. Identify the scenes or shots that you’ll need in order to tell your story effectively. Then establish the key plot points for your video, and map out the sequence of events that will lead up to them. At each scene, what will the audience be anticipating? Do they have sufficient reason to keep watching? Are we keeping things concise, simple and memorable?
  3. Indicate the dialogues and emotions that the corresponding scenes need to demonstrate. These will be important for conveying the tone, mood and pace that you want for your video. If you are not a technical person, you can also talk about what you want the audience to feel and think. These would give your crew something to interpret, direct while on set, and base their production plan on.
  4. Other technical concerns: Pay attention to lighting, setting, and other visual details such as camera angles and transitions. Consider what type of music or other audio elements will be necessary to set the right tone for your video.

Sit on it

    Once you’ve developed a basic storyboard, you can share it with your team and get their feedback. This will help you fine-tune your ideas and ensure that everyone is on the same page before production begins. A well-developed storyboard will make your video planning process much smoother and will ultimately result in a better final product.

    Once you are done with the storyboard, you don’t have to fire it off to your production team right away. Often, sitting on an idea and coming back to it to make slight changes each time can lead to a better outcome.

    It is not uncommon for a storyboard to go through several drafts before it is finalized. If you wish to get a professional eye on your concept or storyboard or would like help in your upcoming projects, get in touch with us today.