3 ways to work together




Engaging and action-focused keynotes deliver insider techniques that can be applied right away.


Keynotes illustrate transformative principles with examples of real events to move beyond abstraction and help listeners visualize using new approaches to improve their own performance.


"Thank you for delivering such a powerful talk yesterday...your keynote and day was a huge success."

Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Ph.D.

Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research (Diversity & Inclusion) 

"Mark is unique - he's able to weave his top-level policy experience, academic training in rhetoric and persuasion, and his instinctive ability to explain how to boil down complex topics into an educational, entertaining talk ."  

Chris Schaffer, Ph.D.

Professor, Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering

"Our keynote speaker this year was Mark Bayer, who was absolutely amazing. After his presentation, people were just incredibly complimentary, and there's a great deal of interest in talking to Mark and learning more from him."  

Terre Nicholson, CEnvP

Principal Consultant


How to Develop and Deliver the Most Persuasive Messaging to Policymakers 

This keynote is available with tailored workshop opportunities.

This keynote teaches insider, behind-the-scenes techniques for getting your voice heard and advancing your policy goals in Congress.  

Keynote content is shaped by lessons and experience gained during 20 years of work on Capitol Hill, including service as Chief of Staff in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and informed by collaborating with, and conducting workshops for, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows. 

5 Things You’ll Learn:  

  • The thematic approach that should guide messaging to lawmakers 
  • Specific tools essential for creating potent messaging that resonates with policymakers and staff members
  • The role of primacy and recency in communicating, particularly in highly-active, deadline-driven settings like the policymaking environment  
  • Why the choice of messenger is an often overlooked, yet crucial, aspect of messaging and how to choose one who makes the biggest impact 
  • How to sequence and calibrate interactions with policymakers and staff members to support and nurture productive relationships 

Connect Before You Communicate: Keys to Mastering Difficult Conversations

This keynote is available with tailored workshop opportunities.

Delivering bad news is challenging and often triggers backlash. 

The human tendency to "shoot the messenger" was highlighted 1,500 years ago in the Sophocles play Antigone ("For no one delights in the bearer of bad news”.) The staying power of this behavior recently was affirmed by researchers, who published their findings in the April 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review.

Despite facing such an ingrained human reflex, scientists, engineers, managers, and anyone responsible for conveying unwelcome information can learn to more productively communicate during such difficult conversations. 

5 Things You’ll Learn:  

  • What it means to "connect before your communicate" and why it's so important in high-stakes conversations 
  • How to uncover connection points with your listener(s) and strategically incorporate them in your message
  • How to use "gilt by association" to establish rapport when speaking to a new person or group
  • The centrality of empathy and authenticity in creating connection 
  • Why knowing the "native language" of your listener(s) quickly creates feelings of connectedness, laying the foundation for fruitful communication

Combatting Misinformation: How to Stand Up for Your Research When Data Aren't Enough

How can scientists combat the proliferation of misinformation and deliberate distortion of their research? Should they attempt to rebut false charges that twist or deny their findings? 

5 Things You’ll Learn:  

  • The historical roots and features of misinformation to deepen understanding of these terms  
  • Why eradicating it is so difficult and when it's not productive to try 
  • Why fighting misinformation with actual facts may backfire and stiffen resistance to sound data and evidence 
  • Effective approaches for combatting false or misleading claims that use tools appropriate for countering the underlying features often supporting misinformation
  • The symbiotic relationship between alternative facts and "fake news"

How to Manage Multiple Stakeholders and Communicate Research Effectively

Strategic, intentional involvement of stakeholders represents a vital activity within the research enterprise. However, the varied interests, perspectives, and degrees of influence of entities and individuals touched by research can create a challenging landscape that is difficult to manage 

What are the critical success factors for effectively communicating and interacting with key stakeholders? Which pitfalls should be avoided? How can select stakeholders be enlisted to combat misperceptions that could undermine support for research?  

5 Things You’l Learn:  

  • Proven and actionable stakeholder management techniques, including how to segment stakeholders into similar categories, surface the interests of each segment, and develop suitable, productive engagement approaches
  • Ingredients of effective stakeholder engagement and counter-productive behaviors that sap support 
  • The key elements of an effective stakeholder management plan and the “coalition killers” to avoid at all costs
  • The mutual benefits attained by bringing together researchers and patient groups and a model for establishing such regular engagement 
  • How stakeholders can be credible powerful responders to distortions or “alternative facts”  


Workshops are interactive, using role-playing to guide practice with new tools and providing feedback to achieve goals. 

Half-day sessions present Mark's proven insider frameworks and emphasize hands-on work and role-playing using real-world cases to help participants retain and deepen understanding of workshop material.


"Mark was extremely effective in both teaching and demonstrating...I loved it."

"It brought us to talking about deeper issues...and I took a lot away from it."

“Mark is an amazing human being. He’ll definitely go out of his way to help you reach your goals.”


How Washington Really Works: Ways to Make Your Mark in the Public Policy World

Science should be “above politics” has been a consistently-held value for generations of scientists in the research community. 

With sound science and research increasingly excluded or downgraded in importance within the U.S. federal policymaking process, however, scientists and scientific societies are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of remaining on the sidelines as important public policies are developed and implemented. 

How can scientists unfamiliar with public policy mechanisms and processes effectively engage in the policy environment?  

 5 things you will learn:  

  • The critical “Big Question” and how to answer it before engaging policymakers
  • A systematic way of assessing connections to policymakers that could be useful in your outreach
  • The top outreach fails and how to avoid them
  • Why being a “resource, not just a request” is essential for building a productive relationship with legislators and their staffs and how this principle can help you establish and expand your influence with Members of Congress
  • How to deliver concise, results-focused descriptions of your research through three rounds of hands-on practice and feedback using the CASE |System™, which also can be effectively applied to any topic you encounter in the future  

How to Effectively Communicate Your Science to Any Audience

Important stakeholders, including policymakers, potential investors, and the public, often are unfamiliar with scientific terminology and language commonly used in research. 

At the same time, these groups can impact funding levels and the perceived value of your work, significantly affecting your ability to conduct your research or advance your innovation.  

How can you develop engaging and memorable explanations that build support while still preserving accuracy?  

5 things you will learn:  

  • How to boil down your research into relatable, jargon-free descriptions that convey its real-world relevance to listeners
  • How to uncover any audience’s level of understanding of your work before you craft your message so you can incorporate accessible, interesting examples that resonate with listeners
  • How to use a toolbox of powerful, proven rhetorical devices that quickly promote understanding and connection with your audience
  • How to frame your research in a compelling narrative that holds listeners’ attention during your talk, prompting listener engagement and interest from the start
  • How to deliver concise, results-focused descriptions of your research through three rounds of hands-on practice and feedback using the CASE |System™, which also can be effectively applied to any topic you encounter in the future  

Unleashing Your Power As a Scientist

Scientists' circle of communication often extends primarily to colleagues and others familiar with their research. Nevertheless, certain specific skills and attributes scientists use in their research can be oriented and activated to fuel productive communication and extend influence beyond the academy.  

How can you repurpose such capabilities to gain confidence and boost performance during interactions with those unfamiliar with your research?  

5 things you will learn:

  • How to skillfully use your authority as a scientist to establish credibility
  • The qualities and abilities you already possess that are critical to making an impact beyond the academy and how to tailor them to achieve your goals
  • Techniques such as “gilt by association” that amplify your influence
  • The keys to networking and how to transform your relationship building approach to become more comfortable and confident when contacting people you don’t know  
  • How to deliver concise, results-focused descriptions of your research through three rounds of hands-on practice and feedback using the CASE |System™, which also can be effectively applied to any topic you encounter in the future  


Engagements advance clients' goals with 360-degree analysis driven by an instinctive grasp of political, policy, and procedural landscapes.

Consultant engagements immediately identify decisionmakers with the greatest influence over clients' priorities, strategically craft and help deliver focused messaging while exerting the most effort on the specific levers for moving clients' priorities forward.  


"Mark is the smartest, most capable policy analyst and strategist with whom I have ever worked. But beyond his knowledge and skills, Mark has that rarest of traits— excellent judgment. And he doesn’t give up - ever." 

James C. Pyles


Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville PC

"What’s unique about Mark is his holistic approach to tackling an issue - it’s refreshing to work with Mark because he understands all components of an issue to get the resolution we want.”

Sara Nelson

International President

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO

[Mark] immediately encouraged and helped us target allies to join us in building a strong bipartisan coalition—still rare and anomalous in Washington—to gather the forces needed to change minds and laws."

Deborah C. Peel, MD

Founder and President

Patient Privacy Rights


RISE ISystem™ Online Training Program

A 4-week interactive online training program for getting funding, gaining influence, and skillfully engaging decisionmakers using a unique blend of proven communication and persuasion techniques.

In every interactive session, students learn specific practical techniques for communicating their work to any audience, beginning with the often ignored prerequisite for effective communication: the need to "Connect before you Communicate."


"...I am amazed at what I learnt from Mark.
I highly recommend Mark’s course to anyone
who aspires to improve their science communication…"

Qing, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Translational Medicine

"I really enjoyed his course. I learned a lot. And after that, I was able to use the skill set I picked up from [Mark's] course in my daily life. I would recommend his course to everyone."

Xuan, Ph.D.
Associate Consultant

"I would definitely recommend this course if you’re looking for a way to improve

the way you talk about your research and if you want to enhance

your ability to share your work."

Karissa, Ph.D.

Science Communications Coordinator

“My grant was selected for 3 years of funding...Thanks, Mark! I used some of your communications tips...Obviously helped!"

Kelli, Ph.D. , Associate Toxicologist, Regulatory & Life Sciences Group

“My proposal got selected for the Starter Grant
that you recently trained us on...Please keep at it, you are making more impact than you may ever know."

Toyin, Ph.D., PMP, Lecturer and Researcher

“... fantastic results from this course, applicable to so many fields!"

Susi Varvayanis, Executive Director, Empowering Ph.D. Students and Postdocs

"University of California, Irvine's S.T.E.M students raved about Mark's online course.

His course has quickly become a favorite online course for Science Communication. "

Harinder Singh, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Workforce Development ICTS


Session 1: Connection

Session 2: Construction

Session 3: Communication

Session 4: Combination


"I would highly recommend this course. I absolutely learned things that I can start applying

to my own work and my own communication style.”


Ph.D. Student