Visual Ways To Structure Your Presentation You Never Knew About

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I’ve long been fascinated by Sticky Notes and it’s usefulness when presenters use it to structure their presentations; an approach recommended in Slide:ology and Presentation Zen as a better alternative to the usual way of outlining:

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 5.27.42 pm

What I dislike about the Sticky-Note approach is that it’s rather time-consuming. You have to move to-and-from your computer to plaster sticky notes on open spaces of a wall ( what if you’re working at a coffee shop? ) After it’s done, you’ll have to digitize the flow into your computer. Big hassle.

As such, I set out to find alternatives with these criteria:

  • Must be native on the computer
  • Should provide similar functions as sticky notes in the context of structuring.

These are what I found.

Amazon StoryBuilder

Amazon StoryBuilder

Perhaps the best native application alternative to sticky notes ( only lacks the function to attach imagery ), the Amazon StoryBuilder. The application is initially intended as a Story-Boarding tool for films and the like. But using it this way it works perfectly to help you structure your presentations as well.



Trello sports a similar format to Amazon’s StoryBuilder but it can be used for many other purposes. The interface allows you to re-order points and group similar ones in categories. Some use it for Project Management, some use it for Expense-Tracking, I use it for Presentations.

The Bridge Structure ( Excel )

There was one last issue. What if I happened to be at an area without Internet Access? That was when I came up with the Bridge Structure. A speech coach friend of mine , Eric Feng, says a presentation is like taking your audiences on a journey from Point A to Point B.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 5.26.20 pm

Using this analogy, I created a simple excel template that mimics the format of a typical presentation. There’s a Start , Main Points in the body embodied by it’s supporting content and closes with an End. 

You can Download This Template Here.

This way, you’d be able to work anywhere on your computer ( although it’s good to sometimes detach yourself from technology ).

I hope you’ll find these resources incredibly useful.

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  • Louise

    Thank you for such a great idea. The best ideas are often simple and this is wonderful. The Excel template will definitely be useful.

  • Christopher Browning

    Those are some neat tools! Especially like the thought of using excel. Have you ever tried using Evernote to manage your storyboard?