Harvard Researcher Dr. Robert Waldinger

"I can't believe my great luck in finding Devin Marks. He guided me every step of the way in crafting a TED talk that succeeded beyond my wildest expectations—it's now been seen on TED.com by more than 1.5 million people, in less than seven days time!

But much more important is Devin's warmth, joy in coaching, and obvious talent for helping people envision new possibilities for themselves."

The Back Story...

Dr. Robert Waldinger’s TEDx Talk (What makes a good life?) is an all-time success. At 45-million views it is a legendary TOP 10 talk — for the most views of any TED or TEDx talk. His book (The Good Life) is an international, award winning bestseller.

But before all that... He was a respected (little known) Harvard researcher. He’d never even watched a TED Talk. He was also a “one and done” author who hated the writing process. He didn’t even have an active social media account or website.

Devin worked with him — almost daily — on message clarity and delivery refinement. Later he suggested a co-author collaboration to launch an ongoing education campaign. 

A bit more of Dr. Waldinger’s story is here.

Hero and Southwest Airlines Capt. Tammie Jo Shults.

“From the Navy ball to Edward Jones’ leadership summit... Devin has had a guiding hand in my standing ovations.

Devin has amazing instincts — so many of his tips helped me hit a stride that worked. While the road to a polished TED Talk is well marked, he helped me get my first-ever keynote to center stage in six days. He is the speech whisperer!”

The Back Story...

Captain Tammie Jo Shults’ idea drove a national keynote series, bestselling book, movie deal, and two dinners with Jeff Bezos.

But before all that... She landed distressed SWA Flight #1380 and was painfully thrust into the media spotlight — without ever having presented to an audience before in her career.

What’s more, within weeks she was slated to deliver a paid keynote within a six-day period!

Devin volunteered his firm’s services, pro bono. Captain Shults and her husband decided to collaborate on that first keynote — and many, many thereafter. Today this multi-year creative partnership is one that they both value. 

A bit more of the Captain Shults’ story is here.

CEO Ocean Robbins, Food Revolution Network

"Devin was so perceptive. He got me and my message and my values and my style.

And he helped me in so many ways — subtle ways that make a world of difference and BIG ways. To craft my talk, to hone it. To focus on the core message.

The way that Devin helped me decipher GOOD ideas, from GREAT ideas, from TED-WORTHY ideas was extraordinary. This guy is the real deal!" 

The Back Story...

Ocean Robbins’ talk launched, quickly clocking one million views in fewer than 6 months. The result rocketed his organization’s profile across the internet — just as his soon-to-be book was nearing publication.

But before all that... His TEDx Talk was 3 weeks from delivery and still incomplete. The script was forming-storming. Rehearsals weren’t planned. His calendar was full of activities for his nonprofit. Naturally, there wasn’t any plan for a post-talk promotion effort. 

Devin stepped in to help isolate the big idea, shape a rehearsal-worthy script, and design a daily practice regime that worked with a CEO’s jam-packed schedule. What’s more, Devin ensured that a detailed post-talk campaign was in place to immediately begin promulgating the Food Revolution Network’s message.

A bit more of Ocean’s story is here.

Hydrow Startup CEO Bruce Smith

When our Series B final needed a fresh pitch, Devin’s story savvy came through!

I needed to find a stronger story line to communicate with potential investors. 

Devin worked with me both on presentation and the specifics of our story to make it both sticky and powerful." 

The Back Story...

Hydrow CEO Bruce Smith’s venture capital pitch resulted in a $200M Series B funding round.

But before all that... Hydrow had been the darling workout option during the Covid lockdown. But as workouts moved back to gyms and outside, a reframing of the vision story was needed.

Bruce was struggling to communicate his startup story in a way that both connected with investors and compelled them to invest. Questions swirled:

- How do we clarify our story for investors?

- What’s the fastest way to ensure our story sticks?

- What’s the process of forming the story of the story?

What’s more, Hydrow’s Series A funding was down to less than a month. The lights were going to be switched off soon.

Bruce turned to Devin’s STICKY Stories™ framework and The Marks Messaging Method™ to plot his next moves. Then he jumped on a plane to California for one last pitch. He was traveling with two documents: the new, sticky vision story and his resume. (If the funding didn’t come through, he was going to have to begin looking for a new job.)

In the end, Bruce and his storytelling pulled together $200 million for his startup’s next chapter. Today, Hydrow is redefining connected home fitness.

A bit more of Bruce’s story is here.

Rev. Mark Roberts, PhD

"I had the privilege of working with Devin at a conference where I was a speaker. He was extremely helpful as a coach and a facilitator. I've spoken in many venues, and have never had better coaching, support and encouragement than what I received from Devin. I would gladly work with him again, and I'm happy to commend him to others who are looking for excellent, creative, and friendly help with TED-style speaking and storytelling.”

The Back Story...

Repeat client engagements are always a welcomed adventure. When Rev. Dr. Mark Roberts was stepping to stage for a second TED-style delivery, Devin already knew his strengths and areas for focus. 

But before all that... the 3x Harvard man (BS, MA, PhD) was an accomplished public speaker. The pulpit, the classroom lectern, the board room, the author speaking tour, the conference main stage... He knew those venues and public communications. Really, really well. 

At the same time, the other thing he knew was that TED had *forever* impacted how we share ideas on stage and screen. And THAT was a game-changer. So he leaned in. You could say, he brought his Havard A-game to the prep process. 

The 1st talk was a standard engagement. Devin worked with him between recorded online trainings, nudging for more here in 1:1 sessions, asking questions there in email feedback. He saw subtleties in script or delivery that could easily be adjusted — but that weren't easily seen. Together, they worked to bring their best of storytelling and delivery to center stage. 

In the 2nd engagement, they were able to jump back into the saddle together for an abbreviated "idea to center stage" prep process. It required one third of the time. 

The result? Mark's first TED-style talk was one of the best presentations of his career. His 2nd time in the bright lights was easily a career defining delivery! 

A bit more of Devin's work with Dr. Roberts is here.