Seminar Offerings

I offer many seminars, workshops, and presentations. The titles will tell you a bit about my values. Those values include the belief that integrity, authenticity, creativity, depth, and compassion are core components of organizations and communities that people want to belong to, and which work for everyone.

All seminars are interactive, experiential and integrate the most effective adult learning methodologies.

A sample of seminars includes:

  • Discovering Personal Leadership — Deepen your understanding of your leadership story and strengths in this two-day seminar
  • Leading High Performing Teams — Learn new skills and techniques for engaging team members. building commitment and accountability, and maximizing results in this two-day seminar
  • The Art of Powerful Conversations — Learn how to convene people, ask powerful questions, and stimulate dialogue in this one-day seminar
  • The Voice of Leadership — Strengthen your leadership presence and deepen your skills at powerfully expressing yourself in this two-day seminar
  • The Courage to Serve — Renew your passion to serve in this one-day seminar
  • The Heart of Leadership — Reconnect with your core values in this one-day seminar
  • Leading Change — Increase your knowledge how to lead others successfully through change in this one or two-day seminar
  • Leading for Results — Learn how to foster strategic alignment, enhance accountability, and achieve optimal results in this two-day seminar
  • Leading the Innovative Organization — Learn how to spark creativity and increase collaborative approaches to innovation in this two-day seminar
  • The Community Leader — Develop the skills to engage citizens and create more democratic spaces in this two-day seminar
  • Profound Speech: Leadership and The Transformative Power of Poetry — highlighted below
  • Everyone Wants to Be Heard: The Discipline of Listening — highlighted below
  • Inspiring Shared Vision — highlighted below

Signature Program

Profound Speech: Leadership and The Transformative Power of Poetry

Leadership is the job of Everyman, Everywoman and Everychild.

The complex challenges of the 21st century are breaking down the paradigm of the logical and independent leader. A new view is emerging that we are born in and for community, that leadership is not the responsibility of an elite few, and that leadership is infinite and universally available. Leadership comes with the territory of being human. If this is true, then it is everyone’s responsibility to co-create the world we want to live in. We can’t wait for an official ‘leader’ to transform the world.

This emerging kind of leadership demands more than technical brilliance, rational competence, and masterful efficiency-it requires heart, courage, and wisdom, qualities that can be inspired and informed by poetry. Poetry by its nature can shake us up. It can touch our hearts and help us focus on what we deeply care about. And it can reconnect us with our values, principles and beliefs, pulling us into an internal dialogue about whether we are living them or not. Poetry, therefore, is a reminder to live right and a call to act courageously.

The workshop gives everyone a visceral experience of the transformative power of poetry. Activities will include small group and large group conversations and a “Poetry Table™.” The Poetry Table™ is an activity where in silence the group wanders around reading many poems set on tables. Each person will chose one and go into small groups to read it aloud and speak about why the poem matters to the person. The process is illuminating and leads to action.

Can be offered as a half-day or full day seminar.

“David Markwardt’s “Poetry Table™” is a highly creative and engaging process that affords groups new insights to their challenges. David is a gifted ‘host’ of groups, creating a space for deep, meaningful connections to take hold and lucid insights to come in to focus. We invited David to The Banff Centre where he shared the “Poetry Table™” with us. After experiencing it, I am convinced, David’s “Poetry Table™” will be the next “World Cafe” (that Juanita Brown shared with us).” – Nick Nissley, Ed.D, Executive Director, Leadership Development at The Banff Centre.

Seminars in the Spotlight

Everyone Wants to Be Heard: The Discipline of Listening

Everyone wants to be heard, from employees to small business owners, from youth to politicians. Every person wants to be taken seriously, to be respected, and to be listened to by others. Many leaders are taught this it is their job to hear the problem, discern the issue, and then offer solutions that will resolve the problem. Rather than jumping straight for an answer, it is important for leaders to listen and then make inquiries that offer deeper insight into the issue at hand.

In this seminar leaders will practice strengthening their ‘listening muscles.” Deep listening requires practice and discipline. The seminar will offer participants tools for paying attention, for asking open and honest questions, and for developing habits of listening so they can hold meaningful conversations and address a hunger everyone shares — to be heard.

Can be offered as a half-day or full day seminar.

Inspiring Shared Vision

To be effective today, leaders must be able to wield expressive language and vivid imagery.

To do this they must tell stories of who they are, expressing the values they hold and what matters to them. They must be able to articulate powerfully where the community is headed.

To engage people and do so within the constraints of busy schedules, leaders need strategies for going deep fast and getting beyond superficial conversations. They need methods for moving beyond rational and strategic ways of thinking and talking. To reach the widest possible audience, leaders need to understand how to use language to reach unexpressed memory and unexpressed emotions – fear, anger, doubt, delight, joy, awe, wonder – and make discussable the subjects that are at the heart of complex, community matters but are difficult to address.

This seminar will enable leaders to strengthen their skills of expression. Learning how to get to the heart of the matter and speak from that deeper place requires practice and discipline. The seminar will offer participants tools for going deep fast, for telling stories, for letting citizens know who they are, they values they hold, and for developing habits of expression so they can address their community’s interrelatedness, oneness, and common life, and inspire shared vision. 

Can be offered as a half-day or full day seminar.