Mark Schenk

Mark Schenk, Managing Director, Anecdote photo


Mark is the Managing Director of Anecdote and the go-to advisor for some of the world’s leading companies on how to communicate more effectively: using storytelling to really engage employees and customers.

He has worked with IBM, Coca-Cola, AMP, NAB, Fuji Xerox, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Thiess and Microsoft, among many other organisations. When Anecdote started in 2004, most executives’ eyes glazed over when storytelling was mentioned. Today, storytelling is a high priority for many of the biggest companies in the world.

Mark is a sought-after speaker across the globe. He regularly publishes his ideas on www.anecdote.com, one of Australia’s most visited business blogs.

Mark’s early career aspirations included becoming a fighter pilot, a pro golfer and a beach bum. Deciding the best way to get a degree was while in the military, he joined the Air Force and spent 20 years as a logistics officer. His career took a surprising twist in the late 1990s when he stumbled across the incredible power of stories. Since then, his work at Anecdote has focused on helping leaders and organisations tap into the power of stories to make strategies stick; helping leaders influence, engage and inspire; creating positive culture change; and bringing values to life. His work takes him around the world: speaking, consulting, and building Anecdote’s growing network of partners.

View Mark’s speaker reel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OWRx_bD534



Anecdote is now in the privileged position of being the largest, most experienced business storytelling firm in the world. It crafts strategic narratives for companies, teaches leaders how to find and tell effective business stories, and helps companies embed their values through everyday actions.



Storytelling for Leaders: Unleashing your storytelling superpowers
How everyone in business can become more influential, engaging and inspiring.

Citing psychology and behavioural science findings, Mark reveals how every leader can become more memorable, more authentic and better understood by using one of the most underutilised sources of power in modern business – the humble story.

Key takeaways include:

  • Why communication always gets hammered in staff surveys, and how stories can turn the tide
  • How to make your messages stick
  • How to spot a story at 100 metres.

Elephant whispering: The key to engagement and influence in the workplace
Over 70% of change initiatives fail, often because of the ‘people aspects’. Behavioural science research has highlighted the reasons for this, yet many organisations struggle to adapt. Mark explains why this is so and describes simple strategies for more effective change initiatives. He discusses:

  • Why arguments and assertions don’t work
  • How character trumps credentials
  • How to overcome entrenched views.

Giving strategy a soul: Connecting people with the big picture
It’s the dirty little secret of the business world: between 80% and 95% of employees don’t know or understand the company strategy. And this applies regardless of how good the strategy is.

Using industry case studies, Mark highlights:

  • Why simply communicating strategy doesn’t work
  • How strategy can be converted into a co-designed story that can be told and retold, so everyone is clear about what the organisation is trying to achieve
  • How to identify and tackle anti-stories that prevent progress.

Building 21st-century organisations
Mark talks about the importance of developing new capabilities to succeed in the future business environment. In particular Mark will outline what’s necessary to define and communicate clarity.

Building collaborative workplaces
Mark reveals how to create the conditions for people to work together to achieve business success. This talk is based on years of experience helping organisations develop communities of practice to develop internal expertise.


  • Malaysian CEO Summit keynote (‘Reinventing your SME for success: Storytelling and the power of brand’)
  • Victoria Police quarterly leadership conference (90-minute keynote)
  • FPLMA Annual Conference keynote presentation (‘Communicating with influence: the storytelling secret weapon’)
  • Persona Global Annual Conference, Vienna (Storytelling for leaders)
  • Queensland Supply Chain and Logistics Conference, Brisbane (Keynote)
  • IABC Canberra (‘Giving strategy a soul’)
  • Microsoft Australia MAX2014, Sydney (Keynote)
  • Calvary HealthCare Leadership Conference, Sydney (‘Connecting people with the big picture’)
  • Sharp Healthcare Annual conference, San Diego, California (Keynote)
  • LASA National Congress, Melbourne (‘Giving strategy a soul’)
  • APSMA Australia & New Zealand Conference, Sydney (Keynote)



If you would like to book Mark for a speaking engagement, please contact:
Jane Taylor at Anecdote
Phone +61 1300 720 537, or email jane.taylor@anecdote.com