Mark Black

Mark Black

Mark Black doesn’t just teach resilience to his audiences, he embodies it. Born with a life-threatening heart defect, Mark underwent two open-heart surgeries before the age of one. He battled his condition and it’s limitations for twenty-two years when at 23 years old, Mark was suddenly faced with the biggest challenge of his life.

His doctor informed him that without a rare and dangerous heart and double-lung transplant, he would not see his 25th birthday. He found himself living in a hospital, waiting for a life-saving transplant. Three years later, after receiving his second chance at life, he was running marathons.

Since receiving his second chance at life Mark hasn’t wasted a moment. He travels the world speaking to audiences about his experience and the lessons it provided. Mark lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada where he spends as much time as possible with the most important people in his life; his wife Marise and their children.

Mark is a Certified Speaking Professional, a designation held by less than 1000 speakers in the world. He has inspired more than 100,000 people in more than 350 presentations. A resilience expert and author, Mark helps students to “Stop Complaining and Start Celebrating”. His programs provide the tools to transform your adversity into your advantage.

Mark Black’s Speech Titles & Descriptions


Too often motivational school speakers are little more than stand-up comics. They speak to your students for an hour, and your students leave having a laughed a few times, but having learned nothing of consequence. Too many speakers make students laugh, and then give them empty platitudes that ultimately don’t help them. That’s what makes Mark Black different. Mark will still make your students laugh, but he’ll also make them cry, and the only reason he does either one is to earn the right to share a message that can change their lives.


In this frank presentation, Mark shares his experience with the dark cloud that descended a few months after his life-threatening transplant surgery. While reliving his personal struggles, Mark incorporates humour and humility to deliver an authentic and encouraging presentation, on dealing with depression and other mental health struggles. Whether audiences have personally faced similar issues or have come in contact with the struggles associated with mental health, Hold On will increase understanding and empathy. Perfect for mental health initiatives and awareness weeks.

LEADERSHIP: Show Up, Shut Up, Step Up
Mark has had the opportunity to meet many people who have had to face death. He has had to face death himself. Through that experience Mark learned some very important things about life. Most importantly, he learned that at the end of our lives, we won’t care how much money we’ve made nearly as much as we’ll care how much of a difference we’ve made.

It’s no secret that bullying is a HUGE problem in schools today. The statistics are staggering. The CDC quotes suicide as the 3rd leading cause of death among teens and victims or bullying are between 2 and 9 times more likely to commit suicide than their peers. Scary stuff. So what do we do?


  • "Mark Black was truly inspiring. I think these motivational speech are what kids remember the most and what makes them want to be better people and better leaders. I know for a lot of the members in my chapter they were very impressed and it was an eyeopener."FFA Wyoming
  • "Recently our students had the privilege of hearing speaker Mark Black. Mark was chosen by our Students’ Council after they heard him speak at the Ontario Student Leadership Conference in Niagara Falls. Right from the start of Mark’s presentation, students were engaged and remained engaged throughout the entire hour. Mark did a great job of combining humour and anecdotes relevant to our teenage students to hook them up, and to prepare them to hear his practical and powerful message of leading a life that is positive and purposeful. As a Guidance Counsellor and Students’ Council Advisor, I would highly recommend Mark for any speaking engagement. Using his own personal life experience, Mark is able to offer students practical ways to feel more optimistic, reduce anxiety and worry, and start a change process to reach their goals."- Adam Rowden, Student Council Advisor, Wellington Heights Secondary School
  • "The saying ‘speak from your heart’ certainly suits Mark Black’s presentation! His honest, down to earth conversation with our students made a huge impact! We tied his presentation to our school Career Fair and his words hit home. It is rare to see a standing ovation in a high school, but there was no question: he deserved it!"Sheila Chad, Principal, E.D. Meehan Catholic High School

Mark Black Videos

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