Mark Slaven

Co-Founder & Managing Director City: Sydney, Australia Course List:

Mark did not enjoy public speaking or debating throughout most of his schooling life. A natural introvert, he found the concept of speaking in front of audiences daunting and, to be frank, a little bit scary.

This all changed around halfway through Year 9, when his mother forced him against his will to undertake a six-week intensive program at his school. A few sessions in, Mark discovered not only that the world didn’t collapse every time he spoke in front of an audience, but that he genuinely enjoyed the rush of adrenaline he got every time he got up to speak.

From this epiphany exploded a love of public speaking, followed by drama and debating, which lead Mark to compete across countless tournaments, representing his school and then his university at national and international competitions (he has remained a life member of the Macquarie University Debating Society). Throughout this period, Mark made sure not to hoard his newfound knowledge and passion to himself, but shared it as a tutor, coach and teacher in a range of forums throughout his (rather lengthy) time at university.

His passion also led him to become a lawyer, obtaining a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from Macquarie University, and a Master of Laws from ANU. After spending a few years fighting the good fight at various law firms and as a Tipstaff to a Judge in the Land & Environment Court, Mark decided to apply the skills he learned throughout his legal career in a new forum.

Still an admitted solicitor in NSW, Mark now spends his time following his two passions – arguing, and teaching people how to argue better – as the Managing Director of both Speaking Schools Australasia and Speechcraft Solutions.