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Rapid Storyboarding and a FREE Template

One of the most painful lessons I’ve learned as an elearning developer is that what I envision and what my boss or client expect are often very different. I think we’re on the same page in an initial meeting. Then I go back to my desk, close myself off to the world and build what I think is a super-awesome course. I bring it out for some feedback after dozens of hours of work, and they make some change requests about the design or functionality that, while seemingly simple, would require many hours to implement. Ouch.

I’ve gotten smarter in my old age (ok- I only have a few gray hairs, but I’m sure they were all caused by reworking elearning courses). Now I try to whip out a semi-functional mockup within a few hours and go back right away to stakeholders for feedback.

Download the Free Template

I created the template below in PowerPoint that allows you to do quick mockups.

You can download the source files and start mocking up courses in minutes with this free storyboard tool.


Rapid Storyboard

What it’s good for

I really like using this for:

  • Building quick scenarios where characters are interacting with each other or the user. And I also like having my characters as silhouettes. I can’t tell you how many times meetings about mockups get turned into hour long arguments about the character I chose for the mockup.
  • Mocking up interactions that involve buttons, whitespace, etc

Using Your Rapid Storyboard

Using the template is really easy. There are instructions on the first slide. I’ve also created a quick video showing how to use it.

Build your own template for different needs

The type of training that you build might be a different style that what this template can produce, but what I hope you take away is that mockups can be built very quickly. My suggestion to you is to build it in PowerPoint for the following reasons

  • PPT design tools are easy to use
  • Slide masters let you quickly change out backgrounds
  • Most of the stakeholders also have the PowerPoint
  • It’s already set up for presenting on a monitor or projector
  • There is no publishing time, just put it in slideshow mode

I hope you enjoyed the free template and post. I’d love to hear your feedback. What kind of storyboard templates do you use? What storyboarding templates would you like to see. Post to the comments field and let me know what you think.

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  • Marty

    Very nice concept. This does allow quick assemble of a story board for SME’s to review and to refine the course layout and content. One problem, I can’t download because my company uses websense and I can’t access the Dropbox website.

  • You can find some interesting storyboard templates in creately diagram community.