Spark Presentations is a private company founded in 1998. We help businesses and individuals capitalize on the immense, unique, and under-utilized opportunities presentations offer to generate connections, leads, sales, referrals, press, goodwill, and other positive outcomes efficiently, effectively and enjoyably.
Toward that end, we provide presentation, public speaking, and trade show talent and training services to a wide variety of companies and individuals around the United States. Our motto is “Presentation help when you want to talk. Professional speakers when you don’t.”
Spark’s services are divided into three general groups:
1. TRADE SHOW SALES TRAINING & TALENT: We help our clients squeeze every penny of value from their trade show booth investments by providing professional trade show presenters, high-caliber event staff, and lead attraction training for exhibitor staff.
2. PROFESSIONAL SPEAKERS: We help our clients’ special events sizzle by providing emcees for awards ceremonies, traveling shows and other events, plus live auctioneers for non-profit fundraisers.
3. PRESENTATION SKILLS TRAINING: We help our clients build and deliver their own great presentations (and enjoy doing it!) by providing presentation skills training for executives, salespeople and marketers.
Most services are provided directly by Spark owner and lead speaker/trainer Andy Saks. This is by design, as it allows for the most streamlined, fluid, and productive client contact, and ensures the greatest return for a client’s investment in us. When appropriate, we book and manage the best contractors in the business as Spark trade show presenters, assistants, product demonstrators, magicians and jugglers.
Our streamlined structure hasn’t stopped us from delivering an outsized impact with a global reach. Spark’s client list includes:
GLOBAL CORPORATIONS like AT&T, Best Buy, Ericsson, FedEx, Home Depot, Hyundai, Intel, Kimberly-Clark, Olympus, Owens-Corning, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Volvo
IT INDUSTRY LEADERS like AMD, Atrion, Citrix, Gigamon, and Symantec
PROFESSIONAL GROUPS like Vistage, the CEO Club of Boston and 1nService
BOSTON NON-PROFITS like the Boston Jewish Film Festival, the Pan-Mass Challenge, Newbury College and Community Rowing
Moreover, Spark has reached many proud milestones, including:
Delivering trade show booth services at over 200 trade shows in North America, South America and Europe
Creating the trade show booth staff training program, “Booth Brush-Up: How to stand out, sell more, and have fun on your trade show floor”
Emceeing eight AMD/Microsoft North American Tech Tours (over 100 total shows)
Mastering and teaching the Earprompter, a unique and invaluable speaking tool
Andy is also the author of The Presentation Playbook Series, a three-volume set of books that helps businesspeople master common presentation situations by building and running speaking “plays” like a coach or player calls a key play in a game.
The American Revolutionary War, to be exact.
Andy Saks, Spark’s owner and lead speaker and trainer, grew up in the Boston suburb of Lexington, Massachusetts. He spent his teenage summers as a volunteer tour guide on Lexington’s Battle Green, where the American Revolutionary War began in April, 1775.
Each day, Andy would show tourists the monuments that dotted the Green, recount Paul Revere’s famous ride and the Minutemen’s stand against the British Redcoats, then shamelessly beg his audience for tips. This experience taught Andy early on that the more you enjoy yourself and engage with your audience, the more they listen, laugh and learn.
Andy cut his performance teeth in other venues as well, from plays, musicals and debate team in high school, to children’s theater and sketch comedy groups during his undergrad years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, to improv comedy in Boston in his 20s. But his experience selling interactive marketing programs for Digital City Boston, a local online content channel for America Online (AOL), really planted the seed for Spark Presentations.
Promoting Internet marketing at the dawn of the Internet age meant first explaining to each prospect exactly what the Internet was, how it worked, and the interactive marketing options it allowed. This educational component of the sales process proved to be the part Andy loved best, and his fellow salespeople dreaded most. As a result, Andy increasingly took the lead in crafting and delivering his team’s sales presentations.
After AOL, Andy decided to found a business focusing directly on this critical aspect of a company’s growth: building and delivering clear, concise, compelling presentations that educated sales prospects.
Initially, he focused on delivering live booth presentations for clients in the exploding high-tech and dot-com worlds. Over time, Andy added speakers and assistants to his team and broadened his services (often at his clients’ request) to include presentation skills training, one-on-one coaching, event hosting, auctioneering, video and voice-over performance, scriptwriting, slide design and more.
When Andy’s not working or traveling, you can find him spending time with his wife Deb and young daughter Cara in their house near Boston, rooting for the Red Sox, and searching tirelessly for the perfect sushi roll.