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Testimonials

The best thing about this job is the opportunity to work with talented and inspiring creative people. Many thanks to the following clients for sharing their experience of working with me.

Mark’s session proved to be that very rare thing: an enlightening seminar that inspires you to really question (and improve) your creative process, rather than a shopping list of trite ‘how-tos’ on the subject. Part history lesson, part creative road map, Mark’s presentation and workshop was illuminating, entertaining and, most importantly, beneficial to my development team.

Sean Kirkegaard, Development Executive – BBC Children’s Television

Mark competently took his own extensive insight of the creative process and combined it with my team’s individual needs to create a genuinely bespoke workshop. This resulted in a highly engaging and interesting day, in which we gained enough momentum to keep our minds creative for some time to come.

Anthony Simon, Interactive Executive – BBC Children’s Television

Especially insightful.

Dorothy Byrne, Head of News & Current Affairs – Channel 4

We asked Mark to train our agency on giving effective presentations. Although we are a creative organisation it was really useful to have his input on how to present our ideas as persuasively as possible, and most importantly, how to present ourselves as people.

Mark showed us (by example and practical exercises) the value of storytelling and emotional engagement in conveying even complex ideas. He also instilled the importance of avoiding cluttered slides, so the focus stays on the presenter.
“We immediately put his lessons to use, and our success rate in pitches has risen steadily following his training course.

Mark is also a source of inspiration on personal development, and how to use both successes and failures to achieve your life goals.

Reg Manser, Creative Director, Life Healthcare

Mark’s presentation skills course was a really fun and engaging learning experience. Around a dozen people from Econsultancy took part, across a range of different job functions and with varying levels of presenting experience. The structure worked very well, and gave everyone the opportunity to do some presenting in a non-threatening atmosphere.

It’s given us all a solid platform to feel more confident when we present in a range of different environments. From a research point of view, Mark’s advice on slide design has me think hard about how we present our data.

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director, Econsultancy

Mark was an engaging and likable speaker, keeping a demanding audience of postgraduate art and design students rapt for nearly two hours. He tailored his material perfectly for our audience, and his advice was useful, relevant and pitched at exactly the right level. He also responded with sensitivity and warmth to the audience’s questions after his talk.

Sarah Douglas, FuelRCA, Royal College of Art

I’ve had the privilege of working with Mark when programming sessions for a conference dedicated to supporting in-house creative team managers. His presentation and workshop were not only informative but inspirational as well. They powerfully addressed the challenging leadership responsibilities of providing effective feedback and the more nuanced aspects of managing creative staff.

Mark’s humor, authenticity and intelligence made for two very effective sessions. He clearly connected with the 500+ audience and they clearly walked away with valuable insights and advice.

Andy Epstein, Program Director, InHOWse Managers Conference, Boston 2012

Mark delivered a hugely useful time management seminar for our staff away day. He gave careful thought to our organisation’s needs and did a lot of specific preparation on the types of people in our staff team, the context in which we work and how we might improve our internal communications and business processes.

Mark’s style is informal but always assured and professional and he kept my colleagues focussed and engaged throughout the morning. Mark’s summary at the end of our session was particularly helpful, chairing a group discussion which allowed for a lot of useful and honest conversation between colleagues based on the issues raised in his presentation – his neutrality and approach enabled a lot of dialogue across the team.

Michael Garvey, General Manager – The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Mark was responsible for developing coaching skills in a number of middle and senior managers in the Surface Division of Transport for London, via training workshops and 1:1 coaching.

This made a considerable difference to the management style and subsequent performance of staff in the directorates concerned.

Keith Brown, former Head of Learning and Development, Surface Division, Transport for London, currently Owner at Ingenium Development

We were delighted to welcome to Mark to Creative Northants for a day-long workshop which focused on motivation in the morning and time management in the afternoon. I was particularly pleased to meet Mark, having followed his blogs for a few years. Mark has a direct and empathetic style and instantly established a strong rapport with the group of creative businesses with whom we work. We had a lively and engaging day, full of challenge and fun. The content of the workshop was exactly what the businesses were looking for and all left inspired and ready to implement some new ideas in their businesses.

Morag Ballantyne, Business Development Advisor, Creative Northants

At Logistix we believe in investing in our people, ensuring that they have the right training for their role and future development. I invited Mark to put together a training programme geared specifically for the creative team.

I have been on many training courses in the past and I was impressed by the way in which Mark had planned the 2 day course for the creative team. The whole team were encouraged for open feedback and I didn’t receive one discouraging comment about the course or Mark as a training facilitator, they all got a lot out of the course.

The team put a lot of their training into practice with immediate effect and with immediate results. Mark continues to call us on a regular basis talking to individuals to see what progress is being made and if they are having any specific difficulty with any of the practices they are now implementing. Thanks Mark.

Gursh Matharu, VP General Manager – Logistix UK

I received some excellent feedback from the people who took the course and Mark’s terminology and teachings have become engrained in the culture of the studio.

James Allerton, Creative Director, Product – Logistix UK

I can’t recommend Mark enough. His seminars are always engaging, useful and relevant. By the end of every session the seminar room is full of motivated and inspired faces. I can’t wait to work with him again!

Sian James, Project Manager, Create KX

Mark gave some excellent food for thought to the wide range of creative freelancers we work with. The seminar ended with the room buzzing even at 8pm at night after a long day’s work

Clare Hudson, Creative Industries Manager, Creative Leicestershire.

Mark drew a panel of successful bloggers together, to give us a great talk on business blogging. The result, as one 26 director put it, was a ‘quintessential’ 26 event – superb speakers, stimulating, practical content, an intimate feel and lots of good questions. But Mark is not only a talented writer and presenter, he’s also a thoroughly decent bloke. Thank you Mark!

Ben Afia, Director, 26 (This page includes a review of Mark’s presentation by a member of the audience)

I asked Mark to present at a number of ‘Open Mind’ events, that I run for the Direct Marketing Association (Europe’s largest trade marketing body). These events were dedicated to helping clients and agency staff think outside the box (to use that cliche).

Mark’s sessions were always engaging and different, well received and well remembered after the event. Mark is well studied and experienced and works well with groups small or large.

Chris Arnold, Creative Partner – Feel

Mark has helped us come to terms with what we are good at and how we express that. Using his guidance we have redefined the way we communicate our creative output to potential and existing clients to ensure a better return on our new business efforts and ensuring more of our ‘Great ideas’ achieve fulfillment.

Mick Rigby, Joint Managing Partner – Monkey Communications

Mark created an accessible, engaging and visually interesting session that really brought the subject matter to life. The pitch and delivery were spot on and we’ll definitely be working with Mark again.

Ellen O’Hara, Head of Business Development, Cockpit Arts

I hired Mark to run a creative brand planning session with my team as we had a ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ to crack! Mark prepared thoroughly for the session, with thoughtful stimulus and just the right amount of encouraging interplay to tease out our relevant thoughts and ideas. The result was a fully motivated Brand team who shared common ideas and were ready to develop those further back in the workplace.

James Bennett, Head of Marketing, Discovery Foods

In the words of a former classmate, “Mark is such a great guy. His presentations are something else.” Mark is remembered by colleagues and fellow graduates from the MA in Creative and Media Enterprises as a thoughtful and engaged contributor to debates and presentations. Now as a much valued guest lecturer on the programme, Mark brings these same qualities to bear in his teaching.

Mark’s approach is both professional and focused. I am always impressed by the degree of preparation and thought he puts into the design of his sessions – students are guaranteed to take away a wealth of valuable ideas and resources that reflect contemporary thinking and practice in the creative industries.

As a speaker Mark has real presence and he manages discussions and workshops with an unassuming authority. He is quick to respond to the dynamics of the group and able to employ his intuition to advantage. Mark’s easygoing, even diffident manner, belies the sharp thinking and deep understanding of creativity and creative practice that informs his approach. Prepare to be challenged. Mark will not only invite you to redefine the limits of your thinking, but offer you the tools and methods to employ in the process to effect lasting and positive change.

Ruth Leary, Senior Teaching Fellow, MA Creative and Media Enterprises – University of Warwick

Mark McGuinness hosted a Company away day for our team of 12 and performed really well as a business coach and motivator. What impressed us was his ability to stay in tune with our needs and reactions, without resorting to the usual coaching ‘tricks’. He also took time to prepare well and to get to know us before and during the session. We came away with much clearer appreciation of our aims and more importantly, our values, as well as knowing a thing or two about aikido.

Kevin McLean, Joint Managing Partner – Wardle McLean

Kevin also blogged about the away day here.

Mark delivered a workshop for the Creative Lead project called “Creative Work Habits”. As the project was for creative companies it was really important to us that the training was relevant. The feedback we had from the participants was really positive. They really appreciated training that was tailored for their specific needs, and the delegate participation meant they could share ideas and concerns with like-minded people. Mark really understands the creative industries, and their needs, which made this training day thoroughly enjoyable and highly relevant to the delegates’ needs.

Anna Smart, Innovation Manager
Knowledge Transfer Office – UCCA

Mark is a joy to work with, a reliable, skilled professional with a natural aptitude for engaging and inspiring his participants.

Kerry Lemon, Assistant Arts Development Officer – Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Mark was an excellent contributor to our ‘last minute surgery’ for creative entrepreneurship students at King’s College London – he was a great listener and gave good advice which boosted their confidence and helped them prepare for the ‘dragon’s den’ of investors the following week.

Jemima Gibbons, Managing Director – Interactive KnowHow

Mark is hugely talented over a wide range of fields. His work is always of exceptional quality and he’s always been a great inspiration. I look forward to working with him more in the future.

Antonio Gould, Digital Media Consultant