How can I (illustrator-storyteller) help you? (Sales training)

Greetings e-learning champs!

I would like to know if I, as an illustrator/storyteller, can help e-learning designers. I've created a lot of content around customer centric B2B sales - fun narrative PowerPoint presentations, collections of cartoons etc. (Generic sales training almost always has the same core points)

My question to you is: what, if anything, would you need from me?
(I'm someone who can create illustrations and stories on complex/dry topics)

For example:

  1. How important would it be to be able to edit the visuals yourself?
  2. How important would it be to you to be able to commission custom content in case the collection I've provided is not enough?
  3. Would you need just cartoons or do you need them in a story structure? As an animation? Etc

Please be brutally honest - I don't want to waste my time on something that won't work so better I hear it now than after I've put a lot of effort in creating something no-one wants!

Sadly I can't share the training materials I've created, but here's a recent "narrative infocomic" on the topic of service design that gives you an idea of my style. (Attached is the more "neutral" PPT version of it)

If you are busy, simply take my very short survey (less thinking for you):

Thank you for your help! :)

4 Replies
Christine Hounsham

Hi Virpi

I had a look at your website which looks very impressive.  Whilst I will keep you in mind if I need a custom illustration, thought I would provide this feedback in the interim.

For me one of the hardest graphics to find online is good quality backgrounds - ie like your Style C but wihtout needing all of the people, figures.  For example try to find a set of office interior background graphics in the Style C and you will be hard pressed.  There are plenty of flat design, one layer of element backgrounds (ie a desk, chair, computer against a wall with window) however these don't represent a modern open plan office environment (which is what most of our clients would have).

The add-on elements of people (like in your Style F and G) are more common and easy to find online, however, to make these look more professional I would want to be able to layer these onto background sets (ie re the office example a set inc: open plan office, managers office, meeting room and collegiate space would be ideal).  Being able to layered them onto the background is important (instead of including them in the background) so that we can animate the people with the course content.

Finally, yes it would be great to be able to customise (ie change colours etc) to match course branding, and so that you can make the elearning look more individual.

Hope this is of use.

Regards Christine

Virpi Oinonen

Hi Christine - very useful feedback, thank you! :)

Is all e-learning about concrete processes (health and safety being of course the most obvious example)? Or is there a need for visuals that describe more abstract ideas..?

The reason why I'm asking is because so far (in my freelance career) I've focused on abstract themes. I work for example a lot with communications people or senior management who want to communicate their new strategy (abstraction!). I use a lot of visual metaphors - otherwise the visuals would consist of drawings of people talking.


Christine Hounsham

Hi Virpi

I also work freelance with most of my work being:

- my bread and butter is compliance training and new Ict software modules (which I tend to use photos more than graphics)

- behavioural change / awareness building, still often around quite concrete topics (ie record keeping) but where I get to use gameification techniques more (and more likely to go searching for backgrounds);

- some information visualisations, which I think / hope will be a growing part of my business in the future (and where I would be most likely to commission simple graphics)

cheers Christine  

Virpi Oinonen

I see. Four questions (one for Christine, three for anyone interested in this topic):

1) Christine: What do you mean by information visualisations?

2) Would it be of use to you to have access to a whole "world" of visuals in the same illustration style? Where you could go to get that office background or character? And if something doesn't exist you could commission new content? (Doesn't work for software screenshots etc obviously).

3) Are scenarios or stories of use at all? (In sales training for example the same scenarios come up again and again - I've turned some of those scenarios into stories that have a bit of humour in them - sales is scary for many people so humour softens it a bit). So I've semi-accidentally created a whole world with the same characters appearing (one curmudgeon, one enthusiast etc)

A bit of background on why I'm pestering e-learning people with these questions:

I do a lot of work around sales training and to be honest the core themes are pretty much the same across the board. So I was thinking rather than me redrawing the same topics again and again and again and again I could provide the basic setup and scenarios (sell the visuals and stories as a package). The trainers could then edit the copy, change a colour, rearrange the visuals if they wish. Only if they need more editing or custom visuals would they contact me/my colleague for new content.

So you would get a consistent, fun looking world and characters PLUS the storylines for typical sales scenarios - I use a lot of humour which seems to go down well with some  sales trainers (I guess sales training can be a bit more fun than your average compliance or healthy and safety training..?) Which leads me to the fourth and final question:

4) Is there any real sales training that is done via e-learning..?
(I've talked to the sales trainers I've worked with and they are not very keen to work with e-learning professionals. "Too much work to explain" they say).