Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Oct. 8--TAMPA -- Mark Wiskup's father was a teacher. His sister was a teacher.
It was only a matter of time, he says, before he got the urge to join the family business.
"I'm a teacher by blood," he said.
Wiskup, a Tampa businessman and former television reporter, didn't follow his father's and sister's footsteps into the classroom. Instead, he has gone searching for pupils in corporate boardrooms and conference rooms.
Wiskup's courses in communication became the basis for a new book, "Presentation S.O.S.: From Perspiration to Persuasion in Nine Easy Steps."
The 192-page paperback, released last month by Warner Business Books, has been mentioned by USA Today and is garnering good reviews on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble's online bookstore.
Wiskup said he doesn't know how many copies have been sold, and he might not for several weeks. He won't divulge what he's getting paid for "Presentation S.O.S.," but he's quick to point out first-time writers typically don't receive fat paychecks.
Communications consulting and writing is Act III in Wiskup's professional life. After graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1977, Wiskup studied broadcast journalism at Northwestern University and pursued a career in journalism. In the 1980s, he left his post as the business reporter for a TV station in Denver to launch a video production company.
In 1988, Wiskup moved his family to Tampa to start Business Video Productions, a firm that specialized in making corporate videos and organizing live multimedia presentations. The company closed in 2003 because it couldn't keep up with changing technologies and because some of its clients had gone out of business, Wiskup said.
"It was sad, and my heart was broken," Wiskup said. "I spent every bit of money I had to keep it going."
With Business Video Productions gone and with barely anything left in his savings account, Wiskup formed Mark Wiskup Communications Inc. He had done a lot of communications coaching with Business Video Productions, so consulting seemed "a natural way for me to go," he said.
His clients today include Ernst & Young, Bank of America, Citigroup and Progress Energy. He hatched the idea for his book in 2004 after hearing several clients ask him for something to read.
Wiskup wrote a proposal, signed on an agent and sold the idea to Warner Business Books in July 2004. He wrote the book over the next few weeks. The book was published Sept. 15.
"It was a blast" to write the book, he said. "It wasn't easy, but it was a joy."
When you do what you love, "the money will come -- and whatever comes will be enough," he said. "It will be plenty. I wake up every day and I'm happy."
To see more of the Tampa Tribune -- including its homes, jobs, cars and other classified listings -- or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.tampatrib.com.
Copyright (c) 2005, Tampa Tribune, Fla.
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.
For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.), (213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail email@example.com.