I hope you’ll permit me a moment for personal reflection and, okay, a bit of braggadocio. You see, it was 19 years ago—September 3, 1997, to be precise—that Barks Communications was born.
In the ensuing years I’ve had the privilege of working with more than 5000 business leaders, association executives, thought leaders, physicians, performers, and others. I thank you for the opportunity to work with you and the confidence you have shown me. I am humbled.
The goal throughout the years has been to help businesses and their leaders craft magnetic messages and shine a light on the communications skills they need. In and of themselves those factors mean little. In the end, however, they pave the road to greater career success and achievement of business goals.
One of my personal points of pride was the publication of my first book, The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations. Thanks to all who have read it (and especially to those who bought it; and, oh yes, it’s still available). I also appreciate all the constructive feedback colleagues have offered over the years when reviewing my research reports, position papers, tip sheets, and this blog. I decided to offer these resources for free online in hopes they would make communicating in public easier and less scary for anyone trying to sharpen their communications edge.
Where do things stand now? Well, I’ve grown accustomed to the widening of the eyes when mentioning that I’ve been in business for 19 years. The independent consulting life is a way of life for me by now, though I understand that it seems like a long, challenging commitment for some. Still to my surprise, I’m now the guy other would-be consultants consult to get a better sense of the path ahead of them. And I’m pleased to share whatever I can, much of it admittedly learned from others along the way.
The main thrust of the business remains pretty much the way I envisioned it with a laser-like focus on media training, presentation skills, and Congressional testimony workshops. That’s my niche and I do my best not to stray far afield. That would be a disservice to my clients.
One change I’m working to implement is to attract more sustained engagements. Long ago, I figured out that executives and their businesses attain greater success when they commit to a long-term plan for improvement. Much to my chagrin, the attitude of too many organizations is to consider communications training as a one-time deal. Bring the expert in and make our leaders talk pretty in a single day. Good luck with that. Real improvement comes only to those individuals who dedicate themselves to professional development over time. Admittedly, this move toward sustained engagements remains a work in progress. Any bright ideas you have are most welcome.
What of the future? I’m most excited to be working on my next book, slated for publication next spring. Stay up to date on the details by following me on my Goodreads author page, and of course staying tuned here on The Media Training Blog.
Thank you for being a part of our community. I hope you will contribute your thoughts here and stay in touch otherwise, too. Deepest thanks for a splendid 19 years. Here’s to many more.