A Master of Influence by Mark Davis

A Master of Influence


At 18 years of age, and now finished high school, I went to my local bookstore and picked up a copy of “The Magic Of Thinking Big”.  That book started me on my personal development journey. I cannot imagine how my life would have been without it.

It taught me to have bigger goals, to think of bigger possibilities, to see the world as a place for me to travel and enjoy, and for business to be somewhere that I could make a difference.

I was led to read other books, start listening to the audio recordings of great trainers and speakers. I got inspired to change my own life.

It took me 7 years to get into my first business, which would become a million dollar publishing and event management business before I turned  30.

I traveled the world and spoke on stages of 300-2000 people at conferences.

The ability to influence yourself is the magical combination of becoming your own trainer plus a motivation to be your best. It works when you are yourself willing to be the student that listens to the trainer, also yourself.

Change is important. Changing yourself to be a better trainer is about providing more value when you speak. Finding more ways to get your message through. And becoming the type of person that people want to listen to.

A leopard never changes its spots. Because it is doing what it’s supposed to do. Be a leopard. It hunts, runs really fast and catches and kills its prey.

Doctors are a caring profession – they take an oath, and even if they are on holiday, if the Pilot calls for a doctor, they are compelled to stand up and assist. First, do no harm, then help people live (Hippocratic oath).

Carpenters build things, some make houses, some make tables, but they work with their hands.

I’m a trainer.  I use my words, and my philosophy,  to help impact peoples lives for the better. I’m a teacher, a mentor, a guide, a light, a map.

If you’re like me, you love training. It becomes a part of everything you do. When you embrace who you are and what you do, and do it again and again, you’ll find joy and relief that you don’t have to be anyone else or anything else.

You can be a trainer – and still be a businessman. An entrepreneur. In the moment you stand up in front of a group of students, you are there for them. You are no longer the mother or father or caregiver. You’re there to pass on what you know, so they can do the same for you, or bigger or better.

There is definitely freedom in realizing your purpose. I am always grateful when I am asked what I do and positively speak about my career and my experiences. But there is, even more, satisfaction in focusing on your purpose and fulfilling it every time you speak.

As a public speaker, you can be motivational, you can be instructional, you can be inspiring and you can be entertaining.

But you’re a trainer today. That means not just sharing your words, but transferring your knowledge. Making tomorrow easier than today, because more people know what you know.

If you’re a carpenter that moves into training – you bring your experience and multiply your efforts by showing 5 or 6 young people how to do what you can do.

And you’re not just teaching – because that means you talk and hope they get it and study more and can pass the exam.

Training is sharing what you have and then seeing it in someone else. Your ability to ride a bike. To read a spreadsheet. To type.

Trainers have enormous influence.

Influence as a way of life is amazing. You know that the work you do, each day, for a living, is making a difference for people. It brings with it a sense of purpose and direction for yourself. What people say and how they say it about you and your impact on their life. Their sincerity and their passion for what you have done.

Your influence extends beyond the moment when you share your teaching or training. It is just the beginning when you are talking, the impact goes on long after.


Influence is people quoting you.

It’s when they want to speak like you. Copy you. Mimic you. When you’re being retweeted.

When your ideas are liked.

When you have a book that you write and people buy it.

And when you have someone tell you that you changed their life.

Influence is a skill you have to embrace when you are on the training ‘stage.’ It makes the difference between speaking to and creating change in your students.

If you have mastered the art of influencing, it is usually a sign that you have invested significantly in your own personal development and have learned to make a difference for the most difficult person. Yourself.

Influencing yourself means opening up to the possibilities that are around you for change. Taking a personal inventory and realizing that you aren’t perfect. That you need to grow and change.

And then making those changes. Not because someone else suggested it, but because you know you need to.

So you are the #1 student.

The most adaptable, changeable, malleable.

You take in information from all sources. The common, the unusual. When you are influencing yourself to become more valuable to your students, you like to study. You become hungry for information and for challenges to help you grow.

After doing this for such a long time I want you to know – the challenge of influencing yourself becomes more and more exciting over time.

You become what I call a professional student of the industry. And that is the training industry of course, but the personal development and professional development industry at its origin.

Being your own best student helps when you move on and begin teaching others. Because you have already dealt with the challenges of change. Of not wanting to do the hard things. Of wanting to run away, to quit, to give up

Probably the biggest lesson you learn as a trainer is that the change had to come from inside. Which is why motivational training is always looking to find the key inside someone to get them to motivate themselves.

And when you are doing repetitive skill training, you help them achieve small victories. As the saying goes, “You  don’t eat an elephant in one go, you  take it on one small bite at a time.”

Confidence and mastery go hand in hand. If I am feeling good about what    I’ve just learned, I will want to learn more. Then I can stack all my learning on top of one another, and look back at the end of the learning period and see how much I learned. It could be hours, it could be years.

Another technique when presenting new concepts is layering. You give an introductory concept, adding more and more detail as you get agreement and mastery over the simplest applications. And before you know it you have achieved amazing things that at first glance appeared impossible.

Like teaching public speaking. In my workshops, I only have 3 hours to take people from shy to confident. From silent to talkative. From in their head – to boldly talking on the stage.

So I have to add layers of confidence quickly,  from the initial concept of a  first impression right through to a full-blown “Academy Awards Worthy” introduction in 3 hours.

I’ve refined that workshop over the last 15 years which is why I’m now sharing what I know about training with you. Because of that workshop, above all others, was my control environment. I knew the outcome I was aiming for, and little changes along the way have helped those outcomes occur faster, and for more people, in more places.

So let’s look at influencing yourself first.

Self-influence is a dynamic thing because you do it all the time.  This happens with your habits.

For example, how much of this issue have you read today? Is it just one article, or are you reading from beginning to end?

If you wanted to be a great trainer,  you bought the book and want to read it from cover to cover. Then read it again.

If you are only dipping your toe into the topic, you might be reading a few pages at a time.

How are you are reacting to the ideas or concepts here? Do you see the need to change? Or do you already know all this? How fast you are listening to yourself and your motivation to change your skill level will affect your mastery.  If you ignore the need for change, reading is a waste of time. If you nod your head when you hear about  Respect,  Motivation,  Entertainment,  Influence  – you’re on the right track to being able to implement the ideas.

The faster you listen and adapt the faster the change takes place.

You may be getting hungry for the benefits of the success that comes with mastering this skill. And you want to nurture and develop your talent, knowledge, ideas, and skill.

The concept of training is simple. But you can become the best example of public speaking mastery by opening your mind to change and doing it yourself. Without needing much more help.

You will make the changes as you influence yourself. Now you take something intangible in the form of the ideas you want to share and make it real as a speaker and trainer.

Real enough for others to see, and for you to reap the benefits.

As you stand up and transfer what you know to eager and enthusiastic audiences.



[A Master of Influence]


Mark Davis

Mark Davis

Mark Davis is an international speaker, trainer and social entrepreneur whose passion is to inspire people to grow, lead and connect.

Mastery of Communication across the verbal, written and online area has helped him teach and train tens of thousands of people around the world.

Mark’s background and passion lies in speaking and training, helping people to develop and connect with like-minded individuals. During Mark’s speaking and training career, he has:

*Been a feature speaker at Networking *Mastermind Conference
*Developed online strategies for key networking leaders
*Built communities within organisations to facilitate more fluid idea-sharing
*Become an internationally-renowned speaker and traveling life coach
*Conducted public speaking, social media and internet marketing workshops across the USA, UK, Canada, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Romania, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Mark is also passionate about coaching, travelling and making a positive social impact.

Mark has helped Australian communities across the nation gain access to quality training, and fresh food when they need it most through not-for-profit partnerships. He’s used his experience in developing and growing initiatives in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland to launch multiple projects across the world to meet various community needs.

Mark resides in Australia, working on new projects as a social entrepreneur. In addition to his community initiatives, Mark also heads a new social enterprise, Feed More People, which works to provide assistance to communities in need across the globe.
Mark Davis


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