You may view or purchase the following virtual presentations and courses by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, using the links provided. There are three different websites that host these recordings.


The following lectures, presented by Elissa Scalise Powell, can be accessed through FamilyTreeWebinars. Lectures are available individually by yearly subscription for access to over 1,200 webinars. The following titles are available:



The following free lecture videos are available at in the “Learning Center” section of the “Help” menu or click the below links:

Rubik’s Cube Genealogy: A New Twist on Your Old Data” (recorded in 2012 for FamilySearch)

Messages from the Grave: Listening to your Ancestor’s Tombstone” (in two parts; recorded in 2011 for FamilySearch)

“Choosing the Best Continuing Education Opportunities” (recorded 17 August 2010 at the APG Professional Management Conference)

Get Paid For Your Passion: Becoming a Professional Genealogist” (recorded at the APG Professional Management Conference, Little Rock, Arkansas, 2 September 2009)

BCG Certification Seminar” (in two parts; recorded in November 2008 with Dr. Thomas Jones)



VIGR was an online learning opportunity that stopped its recorded course offerings in 2019. It allowed students to attend live 6-hour courses on various genealogical topics which were recorded for sale to the public afterward. Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, has done the three courses below. Original cost for each six-hour course was $69.99. An additional bonus session and personalized feedback from the instructor was available for $99.99.

“Professional Genealogy I: Your Plan for a Genealogical Business”

Many people who have been enjoying genealogy as their hobby are interested in knowing if they can make a business from their passion. Transitioning from hobbyist to professional requires a certain mindset, abilities, considerations, and business decisions. Before you jump in, take the time to make informed decisions about how you will create and operate the business, what types of clients you want to attract, how and how much to get paid, and the ethics involved in working as a genealogy professional. Learn why communicating with your clients and educating them about the research process while setting their expectations is important to your reputation, business, and for the prevention of common problems. Time management tips will be discussed.

Course Schedule

  • Session One: “Are You Ready for a Genealogical Business? Part One”
    • Defining Professionalism
    • Income Opportunities in the Field
    • Qualities and Skill Sets of a Professional
    • Steps for Forming a Business
  • Session Two: “Are You Ready for a Genealogical Business? Part Two”
    • Resources
    • Business Record Keeping
    • Time Management Tips
  • Session Three: “Preparing for Your Marketplace”
    • Get Paid for Your Passion: Setting Realistic Fees
    • Financial Policies
    • Marketing Strategies
  • Session Four: “Client Communications and Ethical Considerations”
    • Choosing client projects
    • Managing expectations
    • Educating the client
    • Defining limits
    • Ethical Standards
  • Bonus Session

“Professional Genealogy II: Becoming a Better Professional Researcher”

Whether you take clients or work to a professional level on your own family, you will want to learn how to be an efficient researcher. Education is a key to your developing skills and creating your personal education plan will help you direct your educational time and dollars to the learning opportunities you need. Developing a coherent, succinct research plan for each project you undertake saves you time and your client, money. The report writing process should be a part of the research process, making it time efficient. Learning how to clearly communicate and display various types of data.

Course Schedule

  • Session 1: “Your Personal Continuing Education Plan” — Create your own plan according to your budget, time, availability, skill-level, and needs and compare it to learning opportunities. Create an action calendar to achieve your goals.
  • Session 2: “Research Planning”
    • How to Focus on Research Questions
    • Problem Analysis and Research Plans
    • Research Procedures
  • Session 3: “Research Reports, Part One”
    • Standards for Research Reports and the Genealogical Proof Standard
    • Types of Genealogical Writing
    • Transcriptions and Abstracts
  • Session 4: “Research Reports, Part Two”
    • “Writing as You Go”
    • Research Presentation Techniques for Various Types of Research Problems
  • Bonus Session 

“The Fine Points of Making Your Point: Honing Your Lecturing Skills”

There has never been offered a course aimed at improving the lecturing and teaching skills of genealogical educators. Similar to other skills in genealogy, lecturers are self-taught and may be lucky enough to find a mentor or experienced educator who will give them pointers. Whether for a local, state, regional, or national conference, or classroom course, each presenter has to figure out the mechanics, topics, and style for themselves, often with many missteps, possibly costing them time, dollars, and opportunities lost. This course is for those who want to learn how to become a better speaker, market themselves, and master the mechanics of presenting.

Included in the course are topics on evaluating your readiness, developing topics, creating PowerPoint slides and handouts, marketing your lectures and courses, and doing webinars. Tips on “dos and don’ts” before, during, and after the presentation will be given. This is one course that will benefit the entire field of genealogy through helping presenters become better in classrooms, conferences, institutes, and webinars, as well as prove useful to Board-certified genealogists who want to apply for the teaching credential Certified Genealogical Lecturer (CGL).

Course Schedule

  • Session One: “Setting the Ground Work”
    • Knowing when you are ready and what motivates you
    • Traits of a good lecturer
    • Standards for Genealogical Educators
    • Audiences and their needs: beginner, intermediate, advanced, mixed
    • Choosing Topics and Creating Marketable Titles
  • Session Two: “Getting Hired: Devil in the Details”
    • Answering calls for proposals
    • Social media
    • Direct and indirect marketing
    • Contracts and Ethics
    • Equipment sometimes needed by contract
    • Types of payments to expect
    • Negotiations
    • Webinars
  • Session Three: “Creating the Presentation”
    • Creative process from concept to visually appealing presentation materials
    • PowerPoint Presentations
      • Demonstrations of PowerPoint tricks and tips
      • Graphics
      • Animation
    • Presentation style – finding your “voice”
      • Analysis and discussion of various speakers’ lectures
  • Session Four: “Audience Experience”
    • Creating Syllabus Material
      • Standards
      • Copyright
      • How much is too much or too little
    • Show Time
      • Tips to make the speaker and audience more at ease
      • Practice tips
      • Timing
      • Test audiences
    • Webinar Presentations
      • Tips
      • How different from an in-person presentation
  • Bonus Session