How to create a storytelling mood board

With mood boards, you don’t just capture words. You capture images, feelings, textures, and sounds that can all be used to give better presentations.


Emily Branch




Emily Branch

7 minutes

A mood board tells a visual story and brings your message to life. It’s a business communication tool to create engaging presentations and align your teams. Through mood boards, you don’t just capture words. You capture images, feelings, textures, and sounds. With that imagery, you can build more detailed presentations, communicate richer ideas, and complete business tasks.

Explore how to use mood boards in your business communication to boost the effectiveness of business presentations.

Key takeaways:

  • Mood boards align your teams to help tell a consistent business story.
  • Use either physical boards or digital boards to build a collage of ideas.
  • Mood boards include visuals, text, and textures.

What is a mood board?

Mood boards use a collage of visuals, text, and textures to communicate. Mood boards align teams and creators with a unified vision and direction. They also help businesses tell stories. It’s been found that people are 22 times more likely to remember your presentation if you share facts through a story.

Businesses create both physical and digital boards. The benefit of physical boards is that you can add 3D elements for texture and depth. However, a digital mood board is easier to edit and share and has the capability to hold multimedia elements, like video.

Digital mood board example
Image source

Why should you create a mood board?

Coca-Cola’s 2020 ad campaign shows the power of storytelling in branding. It used the good and bad of COVID-19 to celebrate those on the front lines. Through its storytelling campaign, it communicated a message of hope and unity.

This ad shows the power of storytelling rather than simply conveying information. It’s also an example of why you communicate externally and internally every time. Use storytelling to make a more significant impact. A great story begins with a vision you build through a mood board.

Some of the most common types of mood boards are for:

  • Marketing
  • Design
  • Branding and advertising
  • Music and film
  • Storyboard
  • Decorating
  • Event planning

You can use mood boards flexibly in your business to align your personal branding and ensure everyone is on the same page before your teams invest too much time into a project. Mood boards also give business presentations direction before you address your employees, stakeholders, or business partners.

What should a mood board include?

Words only tell half a story. Communication is more effective when you involve more senses. That’s why mood boards in business communication go beyond written ideas. Start with images of people, places, colors, and objects. Then, add text and font to the video, which can be easily done using an easy to use video editor. Incorporate textures through tangible mood board addition.

All these elements work together to communicate concepts and feelings.

For example, this brand video by Vidico takes a complex concept and makes it easy to follow. The creators used storytelling to show the idea in action, unified the message with consistent visuals and text, and focused on a core message.

Through visual storytelling, they designed a video anyone can understand and respond to. Creating clear communications like this starts with a visual storyboard, like a mood board.

How to create a mood board in 5 steps

Follow these five steps to create a mood board for business communication.

Step 1: Gather research

A mood board begins with research:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What are their main challenges?
  • How will your message relate best to the audience?

How you communicate with business stakeholders will differ from a presentation for employees. Understanding your audience and what they are most interested in will guide the direction of your mood board.

Use images and text to communicate your research and audience. That way, those using the mood board have a comprehensive idea of who you’re targeting with your message.

Step 2: Capture your vision

Your vision is the mental picture you have for your presentation. It encompasses what you want to tell your audience and how you want to convey the message.

Find images, keywords, colors, and fonts that reflect this vision. Remember that colors have underlying meanings. (Red means passion, yellow is for happiness, green represents growth, etc.)

Branding using green
Image source

For example, a business discussing sales and financials will use professional fonts and clear graphics, like blues and line drawings. However, if the marketing team presents their idea for a marketing campaign, they might use more colors, diverse images, and creative fonts that reflect the products and unique audience.

Step 3: Nail down your direction

Where do you want to go with your presentation? A presentation that merely relays facts won’t be as memorable or engaging as a presentation with direction. A direction has a starting point and an endpoint.

For example, a presentation about company goals for 2023 might start with where the company ended in 2022 and then move to where you want to see yourself at the end of 2023.

The direction includes your mission, values, company culture, and specific action plans. Use visuals and defining keywords on your mood board to show these ideas rather than explain them.

Some examples of visuals that might help explain growth might be charts, images of nature, and pictures of new equipment your business wants to purchase in the new year. Each image shows a different side of business growth.

Step 4: Create your core message

What’s the main idea you want those seeing the presentation to take away?

Summarize the core message of the mood board in one or two words. Then draw lines outward to add related words and ideas to build from in your presentation. Also, use images in the center of the board to emphasize the main idea.

The main message keeps all presentations and related business tasks focused on one core goal.

For instance, the core message of the mood board might be building a better customer experience. Then use words related to customer experience to guide your mood board. Some examples of related terms might be fast service, knowledgeable agents, and quality products.

Step 5: Tell your story

Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to communicate within a business. A mood board aids storytelling, giving messages more emotion and deeper meaning.

Use your mood board to guide your storytelling by diving into the natural flow of your ideas:

  1. Exposition: Who you are and who your audience is
  2. Conflict: What problem you’re solving
  3. Rising action: How you solve the problem
  4. Climax: What competition or challenges you’ll face along the way
  5. Resolution: How you address those challenges
  6. Falling action: Your future projections

For example, a product pitch begins with a customer problem. This problem feels hopeless. Then, along comes your product, giving hope to customers. Next, the story progresses through how the product eliminates all those customer challenges and creates a better future. Finally, the story ends with where you project the product will go over the next few years.

That storytelling format will be far more engaging and follows a natural flow of ideas than presenting disconnected charts and numbers. Use images, colors, and video to build tension and evoke an emotional response during each step of the presentation.

Turn your mood board into a presentation

Use a mood board to capture the vision and direction of your business presentations. Then, once you have your ideas on paper, turn those visuals into an engaging presentation with Prezent—our user-friendly business presentation platform.

Prezent’s AI-powered software offers structured business storylines to help your message shine and incorporates your company’s branding and style into more than 35,000 pre-designed slide templates. As you build your presentation, you can devote more energy to your story knowing that all of your slides will be on brand 100% of the time.

Contact us to learn how Prezent will save you time (and money) while supercharging your presentation slides.

More blog articles

How to improve healthcare communication systems


6 tips to personalize your presentation to boost productivity


Does your presentation need a little help?