Devin D. Marks thrives on ushering great ideas to center stage. For more than two decades, his career has benefited from a distinct blend of message shaping and event staging in the advocacy, corporate, and nonprofit sectors. In recent years, he has dovetailed that background with the vibrant TED Talk movement and its “ideas worth spreading.”
Visit Devin’s LinkedIn profile, or continue reading to learn more of his back story.
More About Devin’s Background
Devin’s interest in public speaking began early. Descendent from long lines of politicians and preachers, the study of oration was woven into his upbringing. While he never mounted a stump or pulpit, by college he was a confirmed rabble-rouser—organizing public debates tied to the launch of a movement to lower the drinking age. (Students and lobbyists loved it; national legislators and college administrators, not so much…until some time later.) The adventure taught him something about the mix that is popular ideas, powerful interests, and timing. And it got him to Washington, DC.
Inside the Beltway, he began his career with a forward-leaning lobbying firm tied to alcohol legislation and then moved to a telecommunications powerhouse. (The former taught him to hone messages; the latter exposed him to top-tier presenters and world-class speaker trainers). In his season at MCI, Devin served on the HQ internal communications team, supporting executives who delivered countless presentations in call centers across the nation. Eventually he jumped out on his own, designing events and launching marketing initiatives for corporations, nonprofits, and even history-loving projects (but that’s another story).
Along the way, Devin became something of a conference hound. When TED released its first six videos, he quickly soaked in the event’s design and speaking style. He became a full-on TED-head when most were asking, “Ted who?” So much so that later, as a mid-life graduate student, he undertook a concentrated study of the TED formula. In surveying the range of TED how-to resources and services, he identified a content gap between simply buying a TED Talk tips book and hiring a pricey speaking coach.
Devin initially filled that gap for wannabe TED-sters with an amalgam of insights that he shared with speakers and incorporated into events. Over time, those strategies and tips became the kernels of a new approach to public speaker preparation in the TED-era of online idea-sharing. He formalized those ahaas into myTEDtalk. His approach has powerfully resonated with first-time and veteran speakers alike.
Devin lives in the Boston metro area with his wife and daughter. Both gals are (relatively) patient with his genealogical love of New England’s Colonial orators and martyrs. He is the proud owner of an Eagle Scout sash boasting the Public Speaking merit badge. It is something that his toddler likes to use to play dress-up.