Professional Scholastics: New Twist to Online Presentations

Mark Brooke,   President

Mark Brooke


The ability to communicate well is of paramount importance in the success of an individual or a corporation. Good communication skills and effective interpersonal skills are instrumental in generating new business, sustaining good relationships with corporate partners, and in running a company effectively and profitably. The pandemic highlighted the challenges of communicatingremotely using Zoom and other platforms. Professional Scholastics addresses this problem by providing CPE (Continued Professional Education). The company is headquartered in Tampa, Florida in the US and boasts over 16,000 clients worldwide. The company provides training in business presentation skills, business writing, sales & negotiation skills, communications skills, and organizational communication both online and onsite. While individuals can take this training, Professional Scholastics offers packages for larger groups to be trained together.

Keys to an Effective Presentation
An effective presentation needs to persuade the audience. The two components of a presentation are how it is designed and how it is communicated. The design of the presentation includes how it is structured, the actual content, and the time required to complete the presentation. While the design is important,the success of a presentation is heavily dependent on how it is presented to the audience. This includes vocal and movement skills.

Voice and body movement are two key driving factors in human communication. This extends to communication in a business environment as well. With a background in the theater during his college days, Mark Brooke, the founder of Professional Scholastics has deep insights into the importance of voice and body movement for expression and persuasion. One must go beyond the spoken word to understand how the voice works and the use and importance of breathing in speech.

Professional Scholastics teaches how to speak more clearly with physical training exercises one can perform to produce a better voice. Having an effective speaking voice does not happen by chance.

It comes with knowing how sound is produced. Once this knowledge is obtained, a
person can use these exercises for the rest of their life. Further, the training also includes instruction in body movement. It is well known that body language is as important as spoken language. Effective use of body movements is essential to providing a persuasive presentation.

Professional Scholastics teaches how to speak more clearly with physical training exercises one can perform to produce a better voice

The company also offers courses customized to different sectors. One example is the course that is designed specifically for the tech and finance industries. It focuses on how to structure a data-driven presentation to provide an effective means to present numbers, charts, graphs, and formulas. It has been very popular with these industries for its ability to address their specific needs.

Role of Technology in Presentations
Platforms such as Zoom and Skype have emerged as critical tools for communication during the pandemic. While this was the only way to communicate during lockdowns, anecdotal evidence indicates that Zoom and Skype meetings are ineffective and disliked. Watching only a headshot of a person speaking who is seated is counter to natural human communication. The voice is expressionless because the presenter does not know how to speak properly seated. There are no or few body movements visible, so the audience is left with none of the customary physical cues that are essential to communication between humans. Fortunately, the era of the headshot video conference in its current form will be short lived. Professional Scholastics believes that even when in-person meetings and presentations resume, video conferences and meetings will remain because of their cost-effectiveness. However, they will evolve.

The future of business communications, in addition to the headshot, will include video presentations and meetings with Virtual Sets. These will be very basic video tools that can be used to provide a full body, standup presentation complete with over-the-shoulder graphics we are accustomed to seeing in an in-person presentation.

This will allow the presenter to stand and give a presentation naturally with all the vocal and body movements that are so important to effective communication. Whether doing solo for a remote audience, or in a conference room of both in person and remote participants, the presenter will have the ability to use all of the skills needed to give an effective and persuasive presentation.

Professional Scholastics has been at the forefront of bringing this capability to the corporate world. As it was in the early days of online training, corporations are not in a hurry to explore these technological advancements. The necessity of video conferencing during the pandemic has opened eyes and the door to full-body virtual presentation. Professional Scholastics can help companies with the technology, the presentation design, and what will again become important for these virtual presentations ­ voice and body movement.