Mark Robinson, TEDx speaker, entrepreneur, guest writer of Eindhoven News and author, has found a place among the best selling authors on Amazon. A handy bible in the art of presenting, Robinson’s book SPEAK INSPIRE EMPOWER has evoked astounding reviews on many e-commerce websites from readers.
Robinson was any other techie employed in the sector until life took a turn with the idea that sprung from his own experience. Robinson created and evolved a clever ploy to handle issues about making presentations. Learning from his own mistakes to achieve terrific success is the road that Mark has travelled. The book SPEAK INSPIRE EMPOWER is all that anyone needs to know before doing a presentation and more.
We at Eindhoven News are proud of what Mark has achieved! So we decided to chat with him about his experience. As a person who has attended his workshops on presenting, I would vouch for the methodologies he wields. A positive approach in giving feedback is the USP of the training.
Q: In my opinion, I would recommend anyone who makes presentations to read your book. But Mark, Why should someone read your book? Can you please tell us what inspired you to write this book?
Mark: This book is something from my experience. I went from being terrified in front of a crowd to being a TEDx speaker. When I last stood in front of a group of 200 people, I told them that I felt relaxed and I truly was relaxed. So I am amazed at the transformation my technique has brought to my own life and I wish that for everyone. That is exactly what I have been able to achieve with the book. I have the whole workshop and more in almost 400 pages. One of my reviewers even called it, “a workshop in a book”! The idea to write a book was born during one of my trips to Nice, France, where I regularly conduct workshops for a client. I happened to have a free day (you will read about it in the book) so I started writing in September 2018. And the book took about 9 months to hit the stands.
Q: Why did you choose to emphasise on positive feedback in your training? Especially how did you gauge that it would work in the much more direct Dutch culture?
Mark: The original idea came from Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) – he wrote about his experience of positive feedback on the Dale Carnegie course on public speaking. Plus this matches my own nature: I like to encourage people when they do well than criticise. I was amazed at the dramatic impact this method had on the participants of my workshops. People are often sceptical at the beginning, but when they start receiving only positive feedback they get it! The process involves both giving and receiving positive feedback. I find that the atmosphere between people who have only met each other that morning is incredible.
Q: Do you have tips for those who make online presentations/workshops especially since this work from home period demands more creativity in keeping the attention of the audience?
Mark: I have a load of tips in the book! One is to keep the camera at eye level. How many online calls have you spent looking up someone’s nose? Very distracting and quite unpleasant! Another tip is to stand when you present. Online presentations tend to be low energy events, so increase the energy by standing when you speak. And avoid PowerPoint which breaks eye contact – that’s a real attention drainer, especially when you’re reading slides of text!
Q: If you happen to run into Jeff Bezos in an elevator, how would you pitch to him and inspire him to read your book?
Mark: I would ask him about how would he rate the level of presentations, especially technical ones at Amazon. Do they inspire him? If his employees meet a customer, how well would they be able to communicate with them? I would be interested to see what he answers! Assuming he says that not many can, I would emphasise that it was precisely my situation many years ago, and since then, I have learnt how to give excellent presentations. This book is not only my journey, but it is full of practical tips that anyone can use and also provides practical exercises to follow. Then I would give him a copy of my book and say, give this as a Christmas present to every Amazon employee!
Q: Having written such an amazing book, do you have plans to take it further?
Mark: As an exclusive scoop for Eindhoven News, I can tell you that I am launching a workbook shortly on Amazon in a few weeks’ time. This workbook will take the reader step-by-step through the whole presentation preparation process. If you follow the advice and complete the exercises, you can’t fail to make a memorable and persuasive presentation!
Q: You launched the book during the pandemic period, what were your thoughts? Were you apprehensive about the response you would get because of the situation?
Mark: Not so much because the pandemic is temporary – but nervous presenters and boring presentations will be around forever! [Laughs]…Besides, I felt like I was pregnant and wanted to get the baby [book] out…because I have been working on it consistently for more than nine months!
Q: Every writer has his/her review score of their book so how much a score on 10 would you give yourself?
Mark: I fear that I might sound like Donald Trump, but I would give myself a 10! The book has received fantastic feedback. Indeed, about fifty reviews on Goodreads and so many more on Amazon and LinkedIn as well. Above all, I am completely satisfied with how the book turned out: it’s practical, powerful and easy to read. And the cartoons in each chapter are a lot of fun! I couldn’t be happier with the end result!
Features Editor-in-Chief, Eindhoven News, is a dentist who followed her passion, becoming a writer. She also works as a freelance content creator, copywriter and inks media campaigns for businesses and organisations.