Career Tips

Grow Your Career: Develop Your Visual Narrative Skills

How engaging was the last presentation YOU gave? Was your Powerpoint presentation just a little less exciting than what you wish it could have been? Was the last email you sent filed into the recipient’s “I’ll look later but never actually read box.” Imagine what you could do if you could convey your complex message in a more concise, creative, and captivating way?

The ability to share a visually engaging narrative, and to manage large projects and deadlines, are consistently desired skills in our competitive, rapidly changing, knowledge-based, internet-driven economy!

Be honest here. How well are you developing these competencies? What if you could retool yourself with the ability to break down large concepts into smaller more actionable parts and to quickly impress your message upon the minds of your intended audience?


Unless you have been living in an underground bunker, you already know that comic book-related media and merchandise have become serious business in the last decade. You probably also know that Michigan State University houses the largest collection of comic books in the world. You may even be aware that every year MSU develops an event for scholars, creators, and fans,  known as the MSU COMICS FORUM.

But did you know that Michigan State will soon offer a minor in Comics? That’s right! No matter what a student’s major, or artistic ability, s/he will soon be able to add a minor to learn how to manage large projects and to create narrative visuals that can captivate an audience! These skills aren’t child’s play; they are a competitive advantage that any person, in any occupation, can use to communicate ideas that turn into action.

Comic book properties may start to lose their luster, and geeks may one day be “uncool” again. Yet your ability to tell a story, and to do that in a VISUALLY engaging way is never going to go out of style, especially in an era when it is all about the click through and short attention spans.

To learn more about how comics could help you at any stage of your career, and in any profession,  listen to the podcast below by comic creator/MSU’s Comic’s professor extraordinaire Ryan Claytor.


Want to learn how to better tackle a big project? Ever wanted to publish and promote your own intellectual property? Get started by viewing this webinar by Ryan Claytor.


This post was written by Dave Isbell, the Assistant Director of Alumni Professional Enrichment in the MSU Alumni Association. He is the primary person responsible for this blog and the corresponding twitter account. His primary role in the MSUAA is to develop resources and manage projects that professionally enrich the lives of Michigan State University alumni. Dave is not able to accept individual appointments, but in developing programs and projects he does draw from his training as a Licensed (Clinical) Social Worker and his background as a professional Career Coach since 1999. Admittedly, he doesn’t have very well developed visual narrative skills; but that is something he is working on!  


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: