Today’s executives need to do more than simply succeed: they need to stand out. Expert performance trainer Mark Bowden explains how you can use persuasive communication skills to set yourself apart, win trust, and generate profit. The author of Tame the Primitive Brain: 8 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work, Mark’s communication techniques are used by top executives and political leaders around the globe who want to gain an advantage—beyond words—when they speak. We put the spotlight on our friend Mark this morning:
What inspired you to want to be a speaker?
It always seemed to be a great way to be most helpful by get my ideas across to a large number of people, in a live and exciting way!
Any advice for aspiring speakers?
Just let everyone know that you are interested in speaking to any audience they can find you.
What do you like to leave audiences with?
The skills to use their body language to stand out and win trust every time they communicate.
How do you prepare before a talk? Any special rituals? A good luck talisman?
I use my own “TruthPlane” techniques that use body language to countermeasure our natural or impulsive anxieties and fears when in front of an audience. They help me to come across as calm and assertive, every time I speak.
Do you have an especially memorable event you can tell us about?
This year I was asked to speak at TEDxToronto. It was a great event and a privilege to be chosen as one of Toronto’s innovators in the world of communication.
Any funny or embarrassing situations you found yourself in as a speaker?
I am increasingly going onstage after national heroes like Chris Hadfield and world renowned spiritual gurus such at Deepak Chopra. It does make me feel a little inadequate, and so I get the audience to laugh at the situation with me!
Is there a charitable cause that you feel passionate about? Why?
I’ve been working recently alongside Sir Richard Branson and Jamie Oliver on a project called Untap.It which aims to inspire millions of people worldwide to untap their true potential. Like Richard and Jamie, some of my abilities were not fully recognized at school so we have developed some new ways of helping others amaze themselves at how brilliant they can be.
If you had to choose a new career, what would it be?
Astronaut—now that Chris Hadfield has moved into my territory. 🙂
Desert island album?
Sounds of The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar (the perfect choice for a desert island).
Best subject in school?
Last book you read?
Psychogeography, by Will Self
Last film you saw?
The Heat, a female buddy cop comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. I fly a lot and see most films on planes. This one I watched on the trip to Disney World, Orlando to speak alongside Steve Bulmer and Daniel Pink. I needed a good laugh to keep my mind off the 7,000-strong audience attending.
I think it would be inappropriate and potentially incendiary to say Miley Cyrus. So I won’t. But I will get some good organic search hits by mentioning her in this post.