Looking at Mark Antoine as a child, you wouldn't have thought that he would grow up to be such a powerful stage presence or that he would go on to become a coach for speakers. He had a double lisp and misaligned teeth, on top of being painfully shy. All of the qualities that you don't expect to find in an exceptional speaker, yet here he is today.
Mark Antoine managed to beat back those challenges that stood in his way, and even managed to emcee his way through the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. His gig at Disney Business Solutions enabled him to pay for his tuition and he gained the skills and confidence needed in order to succeed as an impressionable speaker.
We say impressionable because he has had to move immovable and hard-to-impress crowds at corporate events whereby the audience is made largely of people who had to be there due to work and not because they wanted to, and yet he made it work. He managed to captivate their attention and entertain them while providing valuable information, which is the entire schtick of public speaking. You have a message you want to convey, and you need to deliver it in a way that resonates with your audience.
His experience paired with his intuitive insights has allowed him to help others deliver their message. He is an expert in storytelling, able to come up with the most engaging narrative, and he also trains those who want to be commanding on a stage to tap into their natural charisma and build up their confidence.
"Communication is a learned skill," Mark explains, "Nobody is born with the innate ability to communicate flawlessly, but it is how we absorb information and disseminate it that defines us as a speaker. Some people can take a story and make it into a snore fest, but there are those who are able to make it ten times more interesting. It isn't just about confidence, it's about storytelling."
Mark Antoine's insights and skill have landed him collaborations with some world-famous brands such as LVMH, Porsche, and Danone. He has also been a part of industry events like Comexposium and SIAL Paris, but he says that his biggest achievement is still captivating an audience that doesn't want to be there and he wants to help others speak the way that we see in movies - with charisma and with purpose.
"Everyone has the ability to captivate an audience, it's a matter of whether you want to be or not. If you tell yourself that that's not something you can do, you've effectively closed a door on potential. Everyone has potential, you just need to know how to harness it. Furthermore, if you run a business or want to become an industry leader, you'll notice that great leaders are exceptional speakers. While you don't have to be a great leader in order to be a great speaker, you will need to be able to communicate well to be a great leader."