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Arlo Change Makers: Scott D’Amico

Scott D’Amico was born and raised in Warren, Ohio, a blue-collar town that was greatly affected by the industrial decline of the 1980s. With the outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing jobs, local factories closed. Scott and his family witnessed mass job losses and the subsequent struggles of the people around them. 

Scott’s parents were dead set against seeing their own kids go through those same struggles. From a young age, they instilled the importance of education in him – it wasn’t a matter of if he went to college, but when. 

“The importance and value of education by my parents always stuck with me. That is ultimately what led me to get my teaching degree, and my first career as a high school teacher”, says Scott.

That first career was at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools as a Social Studies Teacher, and the beginning of Scott’s long-spanning career in education and development.

Fast-forward to today, where he’s the President of Communispond. Communispond’s purpose is to help the world communicate better and since 1969, they have helped more than one million professionals worldwide improve their presentation, writing, sales, leadership, and interpersonal communication skills.

Driving behavioural change

“Communication plays a role in every facet of our lives – at home with our families, with our friends, and in the workplace. We design our training to help bring about behavioural change that helps them in every aspect of their lives.” Says Scott.

Behavioural change, Scott says, is one of the most important measures of a successful training program. Learners should be able to walk away from a training session with the ability to think, act, and behave differently. For Communispond learners, that might be leading a sales conversation more effectively, or delivering a presentation with more poise and confidence. 

“When people are really engaged in training, that’s where the magic happens. We start to see behaviours change and that leads to results in the workplace”. Says Scott.

How you accomplish that change comes from sound instructional design, very well trained and qualified facilitators, and post-training reinforcement. 

Some of the inspiration behind that post-training reinforcement comes from Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve. The curve shows that we tend to halve the memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless we consciously review the learned material. Learners may finish a course with their heads full of new facts and figures, only to find that much of it is forgotten days later.

Ebbinghaus’s study also showed that reviewing information soon after the original learning can improve retention. And regular refreshing of the learnings helps halt the forgetting curve even further.

A challenge for all learning and development professionals that Communispond has taken great care in solving with Communispond Digital, a platform that houses valuable post training resources. Participants in Communispond’s communication skills training programs receive free lifetime access to the platform which houses refresher videos, digital workbooks and more to support that post-training reinforcement.

Scott also supports that reinforcement with free lessons on YouTube, such as the Communication Q&A series and his Communicast podcast. In each podcast episode Scott interviews a business professional about communication skills and how they have impacted their career and overall organization, as well as offering tips and tricks to hone their listeners’ communication skills. 

“This idea that I’m somebody that can use all of the tools and strengths and resources that I have at my disposal to help others be more successful is why I do this.” Says Scott. 

Communicating with purpose

“Success” looks different for every one of Communispond’s customers.

For some, success is sharpening presentation skills so they can elevate their credibility and impact with senior leaders, the board, or others, and drive decision-making. Communispond’s presentation skills training teaches participants to communicate with confidence and purpose, to captivate audiences, convey ideas clearly, and drive engagement.

Others are technically competent at their job and ready for a promotion, but lacking the communication skills they need in order to become an empowered and effective leader in their organization. With Communispond’s one-on-one communication coaching engagements, participants work closely with an experienced coach to build strategies around using stories to convey complex information, fostering collaborations, and achieving exceptional results for their organization. 

Scott says it comes down to really getting to know their learners, understanding what their goals are and what drives them, and what they need to be successful. When they can articulate their “why”, that is when you’ll get their true buy-in for your training.

“You can really demonstrate your value just by listening and asking a few questions and then being able to offer a more tailored solution.” says Scott. “And at the end of the day when our customers are able to walk away from a Communispond course with the ability to take their communication skills to the next level, elevate their careers, or get them ready for a promotion – that’s what success looks like for us.”

One of the most rewarding parts of Scott’s job is hearing from past course participants about the impact Communispond’s training has had on their careers. 

“Barely a week goes by where we don’t receive an email or a phone call from someone who went through one of our programs 10, 15, 20+ years ago and now they want their teams to experience our training.”

A dream come true

Scott has stayed true to his roots of believing in the power of education to open up opportunities for people, but his focus has shifted to lifelong learning. Programs that are designed for adults who still want to fit education into their busy lives to advance their career, upskill, and better their families, without having to commit to a full degree. 

His job as President at Communispond, Scott says, is a “dream come true”.

“To lead an organization with such a strong team, impactful programs, and rich history is an absolute dream come true; especially with what we do to equip people with the skills needed to communicate effectively. Those skills are more important now than ever before.”

You can catch Scott on stage at the 2024 ATD Conference in New Orleans from 19-22 May, alongside Arlo’s North American Regional Manager Andre Brice. In this inspiring session they’ll cover how to drive behavioural change with sound instructional design across face-to-face, live-online, and blended training, how to improve knowledge retention and application with continuous learning and much more. 

You can also connect with Scott on LinkedIn, visit Communispond or tune into the Communicast Podcast.

Arlo Change Makers is a series that highlights the passionate people behind training organizations that are changing people’s lives. 

We are proud to be the platform behind Scott and Communispond, helping them streamline administration, scale their business and deliver more impactful training.

Want to learn more?

Arlo has transformed hundreds of training businesses like Communispond. Book a call with our expert consultants to find out how Arlo can transform yours.