8 Minutes Read | Education

12 Top Visual Communication and Storytelling Courses

Mckenna Buckley

Founder and Slayer | Namaslay Marketing

Visual storytelling is a way for people to communicate their story using visuals and digital media such as video, graphics, and photography. This technique appeals to the emotions of the intended audience and it can humanize the business, giving the target market a way to relate to the business and their story.

When creating these visuals, it’s most important to think about the audience you are trying to reach:

  • What needs are you trying to fulfill?
  • What is the value you are providing to them?

Below is a list of awesome free and for-purchase courses that dive into all different aspects of visual communication and storytelling. These courses are developed by a wide array of people including artists, film directors, digital marketers and more.

We all are in the storytelling business one way or another so these courses may be worth the browse if you are even the least bit curious.

“The Art of Storytelling,” the Khan Academy

What’s the course?
The Art of Storytelling is a free course offered through Khan Academy. Through the eyes of Pixar directors and story artists, the course explains the difference between good and great storytelling. Hear what inspires these Pixar creatives and apply it to the stories that you wish to bring to life. With this course, you will learn how the amazing creatives at Pixar develop their stories.

The course is broken down into six sections:

  1. We are all storytellers
  2. Character
  3. Story structure
  4. Visual language
  5. Film grammar
  6. Storyboard your film

Who is it for?
This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn to tell a story that really resonates with the audience. If you are a writer, blogger, artist, in the film industry, or just curious about how the people at Pixar build their stories, this is the course for you.

Cost: Free

Click here to access the course.


“Business Storytelling for Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders,” Udemy

What’s the course?
This 1-hour course was created by Dwayne “D.K.” Sutton who is the author of five books including two Amazon.com bestsellers. He is a startup advisor who has helped entrepreneurs generate over $300 million in revenue.

He is also the founder of Parrish Street Press, a company that publishes books on entrepreneurship. Dwayne also owns a company called Little Bits of Wisdom, which is an ecommerce business that produces inspirational material for entrepreneurs.

Dwayne created this course to help people learn the difference between a bland and captivating story.

You will learn the five elements of a killer story among other useful tips such as how to write a persuasive “about” page that leaves people wanting more. Check out the curriculum for the course here.

Who is it for?

This course is for entrepreneurs, startup founders, and game-changers.

Cost: $10 USD for a limited time if you are a new student. Regular price: $200 USD

Click here to access the course.

“Visual Thinking: Drawing Data to Communicate Ideas,” Skillshare


What’s the course?

This class was designed by digital artist Catherine Madden. She is “on a mission to get everybody to think visually and untap their creative talents”. This is a free one-hour course offered through Skillshare. You will need to make an account with Skillshare to be able to view the course.

In this course, Catherine discusses what visual thinking is and how to organize and brainstorm your ideas for the intended audience. If you’re interested in visualizing data in a powerful way, then this may be the course for you.

Source: Catherine Madden

 

Who is it for?
This course is fitting for designers, writers, artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs eager to learn how to visually share their stories in a persuasive way.

Cost: Free

Click here to access the course.

“Storytelling for Marketing and Entrepreneurship,” Udemy

What’s the course?
This is a 2.5 hour course offered through Udemy taught by Alex Gold. This course is for marketers and entrepreneurs looking to to learn how to extend their reach uniquely and creatively. Alex has trained people all over Europe and Asia in public speaking, storytelling, and leadership. Alex is a storyteller himself and has shared his knowledge with over 3,600 students and is also a TEDx speaker.

With this course, you will learn how to make your business stand out in all the right ways and learn to enhance the customer experience through storytelling. Check out the curriculum here.

Who is it for?
This course is best suited for marketers and entrepreneurs that are seeking out ways to perfect their pitch, drive more traffic to their website, influence the emotions of potential customers, and extend the reach of their network.

Cost: $10 USD for a limited time if you are a new student. Regular price: $95 USD

Click here to access the course.

Watch Alex’s TEDx talk on how he became a storyteller before you make your choice.

“The Art of the Story: Creating Visual Narratives,” Skillshare

What’s the course?
With this class you will learn how to create a compelling and visual narrative. This class is taught through Skillshare by Debbie Millman, who is an award-winning author and artist. Debbie has over 20 years experience and is President of Sterling Brands. She has worked with companies such as P&G, Nestle, Pepsi, and Kraft.

With this course, you will learn how to find inspiration for your story, create a story that is entertaining and well-thought out while experimenting with different materials and styles of writing.

You will also get a behind-the scenes look at Debbie’s personal collection of favorite visual stories, books, art objects, and more.

Who is it for?
If you are a designer, writer, or even just a person who has a story to tell then this course is for you.

Cost: You will need a Skillshare account to view this course. The cost for a Skillshare membership is $10 USD/month.

Click here to access the course.

Listen to this Good Life Project interview with Debbie on lifestyle design before you make a choice on the course.

“Visual Storytelling: Creating More Persuasive Presentations,” Skillshare

What’s the course?
This class is taught by Susannah Shattuck, the Content Marketing Manager at Prezi. You do not need to be an artist or have any design experience to master the art of visual storytelling. In an hour, you will be able to translate your story into a eye-catching presentation using a presentation software of your choice.

Course Lessons:

  • Define visual storytelling
  • Show why it’s essential for a compelling presentation
  • Demonstrate core principles through four real-world examples
  • Provide frameworks for transforming your own key messages into visual metaphors

Who is it for?
According to Susannah, this class is perfect for entrepreneurs, professionals, marketers, content strategists, and everyone who needs to hook, persuade, and resonate with an audience.

Cost: You will need a Skillshare account to view this course. The cost for a Skillshare membership is $10 USD/month.

Click here to access the course.

Susannah shares her presentation design tips in the below video.

“Marketer’s Crash Course in Visual Content Creation,” Hubspot

What’s the course?
This crash course is for all of you aspiring designers out there. This course was built with marketers in mind.

If you can't win your prospects' attention, you can't convert them into customers.Click To Tweet

Visual content is in high demand especially with our inability to pay attention for long periods of time.

What you’ll get with the course:

  • Checklist: 10 commandments of DIY design
  • 23+ easy and free tools for creating amazing visuals on a budget (without photoshop)
  • 60+ customizable PowerPoint templates for creating social media images
  • Free design templates you can use to create visual content

Who is it for?
Marketers, writers, social media managers, and designers out there should check this out if you are looking for creative ways to grab a prospect’s attention.

Cost: Free

Click here to access the course.

“Content Storytelling Rules for the Digital Marketer,” Online Marketing Institute

What’s the course?

Online Marketing Institute (OMI) offers courses predominantly for digital marketers and business professionals. There are a few paid plan options to choose from depending on your needs. You’ll get numerous digital marketing certifications upon completion of their courses including storytelling, content marketing, and social media marketing.

With this course, you will learn storytelling fundamentals as well as how to engage with your target audience.
If you are looking to take your digital marketing career to the next level and gain more credibility in the industry, then this is something you should look into.

Who is it for?
This course is for all the digital marketers out there.  

Cost: They offer a free trial if you aren’t sure if you want to make the commitment to a subscription right away. The basic plan is $27 USD/month.

Click here to access the course.

“Learn to Storyboard: The First Steps of Visual Storytelling,” Skillshare

What’s the course?
Designed by a Story Artist at Walt Disney Studios, this course teaches you all about storyboarding. Leo Matsuda, the Brazil-born creator of this course, attended Cal Art, interned at Pixar, and then applied his talent in “The Simpsons Movie”.

Leo is now at Walt Disney Animation Studios where he storyboarded “Wreck-it Ralph”. Most recently, he was a part of a team who crafted the story behind the Academy Award winning film Big Hero 6.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Storyboarding and the fundamental tools needed to approach it.
  • How to come up with your story idea.
  • Where to find inspiration for your story and how to research your subject further.
  • Develop the blueprint of your story.

Who is it for?
This is an intro-level class for visual storytelling and is open to anyone of any skill level.

Cost: You will need a Skillshare account to view this course. The cost for a Skillshare membership is $10 USD/month.

Click here to access the course.

“The Craft Behind Cinematic Storytelling,” on Udemy

What’s the course?
This course was designed by Kamal Sucharan Burri, a filmmaker and instructor. Currently pursuing a Ph.D in Storytelling Dynamics, Kamal aims to teach people how to streamline a set of ideas into a purposeful and entertaining story.

Who is it for?
This course is for students studying film, TV production, media and mass communication, aspiring writers, studio interns, bloggers, entrepreneurs, corporate managers seeking to tell brand stories.

This course is probably not for those who are looking for technical aspects of cinematic storytelling like operating the camera, learning editing software etc. Check out the curriculum for the course here.

Cost: $10 USD for a limited time if you are a new student. Regular price: $60 USD

Click here to access the course.

“Free Content Marketing Certification,” by Hubspot

What’s the course?
Learn the power of storytelling with Hubspot’s Free Content Marketing Certification. This course gives you the information you need to convert leads into new customers successfully and creatively. You will learn how to establish value on everything within your content library as well as learn to promote your content effectively.

HubSpot certification

Source: HubSpot

Who is it for?
Marketers looking to expand their knowledge and expertise, marketing leaders who want to strengthen their team’s abilities, entrepreneurs who are looking to extend their reach and nurture customers more efficiently, and students interested in digital marketing roles.

Cost: Free

Click here to access the course.

“Introduction to Data Visualization: From Data to Design,” Skillshare

What’s the course?
This is a 90-minute class with information designer Nicholas Felton which is an introduction to data visualization. Nicholas was one of the lead designers on Facebook’s timeline and is also the cofounder of Daytum.com. His work is a part of the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) permanent collection and he has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal, and WIRED Magazine.

Listen to Nicholas talk about transforming data into stories below.

With this class, you’ll learn how to do things like build a data set, and use data to tell stories. Nicholas uses a mix of demonstration, slides, and real-world examples to teach the course.

It centers on a project called “condensing the news,” where you’ll be able to:

  • Follow your curiosity, studying a newspaper section’s words or images
  • Build your data set from connections you discover
  • Design the data into a single, revealing graphic

Who is it for?
Anyone who wants to understand, communicate, and persuade using data. So it can be for visual thinkers, content strategists, marketers, and designers. 

Cost: You will need a Skillshare account to view this course. The cost for a Skillshare membership is $10 USD/month.

Click here to access the course.

Knowledge is Power

Make your story come to life with the skills you learned from one or maybe even some of the courses above, and start gravitating towards using visuals to tell stories in a unique and beautiful way. We would love to hear which course excites you the most, feel free to reach out to us here!

Happy storytelling!

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