Interview with Mark Grimm, Mark Grimm Communications
Q: What does your company do?
A: Three primary services:
(1) Provide high-energy, entertaining and practical keynote speeches and business seminars/workshops to associations, companies and not-for-profits.
(2) One-on-one coaching to help improve public speaking skills or to become more seasoned when dealing with media.
(3) Consulting on public communication — such as stronger messaging, better presentation skills, improved media relations and social media, or more effective political campaigns.
Q: What topics do you cover in your presentations?
A: More than 20 topics in all. They include motivational speaking, presentation skills, leadership, media relations, political advocacy and change management.
Q: What do you think is your edge?
A: Passion and Experience. Helping people never gets old, so I am relentlessly passionate about guiding people toward their full potential. I also think my unusual blend of experiences provides a perspective that is hard to find and hard to beat.
Q: What experience do you mean?
A: I was a TV news anchor/reporter for 12 years which included one-on-one interviews with Presidents Bush and Clinton. Every day in that industry was a learning experience and I encountered nearly every walk of life. I also interviewed more than 700 people in my 14 years as a radio interview host. I picked up something from nearly everyone I interviewed. My 11 years as an adjunct college professor gave me a wonderful window into the minds of young people. As a small business owner for 17 years, I’ve learned to focus on what matters most to clients and how best to meet those needs.
Q: You are also an Albany County legislator representing part of Guilderland. Where do you find the time?
A: Time management. I spend time on the things that clients and constituents care most about. I love communication and public service, so it does not seem like work to me. And you can truly make a difference in people’s lives in both endeavors.
Q: Who are your prime business prospects?
A: People who hire professional speakers. This might be program managers for conferences, human resource professionals looking for a strong business seminar or workshop at their company, or an organization looking for a motivational speaker to charge up their event.
Q: What would be your typical client for one-on-one coaching?
A: It’s funny, you might think my typical client is a poor speaker hoping to get better. But most poor speakers never take the initiative to get better, that’s why they remain poor at it. My typical client is pretty good at speaking but wants to get better because they understand the awesome value of strong presentation skills.
Q: What makes your business so satisfying?
A: Feedback from thrilled clients. One coaching client once said, “I feel like you’ve given me a super power by helping me become a stronger speaker.” And after a speaking engagement, a workforce development professional said, “Mark, you truly inspired us. I cannot say enough about your ability to motivate people into action.” Those are kind words that make your day.
Q: Where did this passion for your work come from?
A: When I ran for a student office at Siena, I hid in the men’s room when it was my time to speak. The nervousness was too much for me. As I sat there, I said to myself, “Do I want to spend the rest of my life this way?” I decided then to begin the path to better public speaking and that’s why I cannot wait to share this roadmap with anyone interested.
Q: Is that what your public speaking book is about?
A: Exactly. I wrote Everyone Can Be A Dynamic Speaker: Yes, I Mean You! to provide an easy-to-read blueprint for better speaking that anyone can follow.
Q: Haven’t I seen you on some local commercials?
A: Yes. I have done quite a bit of on-camera and voiceover work over the years. I still do, but my roles are for older characters then when I first started. After all, Father Time is undefeated.
Q: Do you offer anything for free?
A: Yes. My website (markgrimm.com) has a page entitled, “Grimm Academy.” You can find short video tapes there on several topics that serve as helpful instructional guides. Share the links with anyone you wish.
Q: How does someone contact you?
A: You can find all contact information, how to purchase my book and much more background at markgrimm.com.
Q: Is there something people would be surprised to hear about you?
A: I am one of nine children. That meant hand-me-down clothes and macaroni and cheese a lot for dinner. But, I certainly learned the value of a dollar and the importance of family.
Q: How do you relax?
A; My favorite activities are watching shows or movies at home with my family and being a soccer and lacrosse dad. Go Lady Dutch!
Started Our Towne Marketing in 2005. In addition to publishing Our Towne Guilderland each month we also provide print and web design services. Serves as a Board Member with the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce and a Member of the Ethics Board for the Town of Guilderland.
Lives in Guilderland with wife Kristen, son Ryan and daughter Kyra.