Last week I had the opportunity to see the ethical side of the speaking industry and the slimy side.
The Ethical Side
The ethical side was hearing Debbie Allen at the Oregon Chapter of National Speakers Association September meeting.
A total class act. Gave great content, made it clear what needed to be done to succeed as a speaker and that you have to work for your success. It was totally worth the 100 mile drive (each way) to see her.
That was on Monday.
The Slimy Side
On Thursday, I went to an event in Portland that was promoted as an event for those wanting to succeed as a speaker on massive stages. In that I love speaking in front of big crowds, I thought I might learn something valuable.
This one, also a 100 mile drive each way, was a total pitch fest from the minute the first presenter began.
I wanted to see what these folks were going to offer to those in attendance. Sadly, I didn’t have to wait long.
I knew they would make offers, but not so soon in the day, because they started pitching so early in the day, within minutes, several people got up and left.
By lunch, at least 10 of 85 left. After lunch, 45 remained. That’s a huge drop in numbers.
What was really sad was the BS they were promising people about “buy our program for $10,000 – $20,000 and you will skyrocket to fame because we put you in a room with celebrities and you can take a picture with these celebrities and you have social proof you are a rock star.”
There was a lot of the, “The people who left are losers. They don’t realize they are the reason they are such failures. Those of you who stayed are the smart ones and you know how to make smart decisions.”
It is appalling that this kind of stuff goes on.
Debbie Allen is the epitome of being a professional and gave massive value to everyone in the room.
This other group was the epitome of slime bags. When they kept saying, “We normally don’t make this kind of offer to other groups so you have to promise to keep it a secret,” I wanted to barf. Literally, it turned my stomach because it was so much snake oil from them, it dripped from their mouths.
I have no problem with programs that are $20,000 or more. I’ve invested in a few of those on more than one occasion and received tons of value. But these people were preying on the desperation of quite a few people in attendance. People who had never been on the platform, never spoken to groups of any size, and yet, they made it sound like any one of the people in the room would instantly enjoy success by investing in their program… and having pictures taken with celebrities.
Oh please! It takes more than a picture with Sylvester Stallone to succeed. A lot more.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with high price programs. What I do find wrong is the way these people sold. It was sickening.
Folks, don’t buy the BS that some companies are peddling that all you have to do is pay tens of thousands of dollars to them, get your photo with a few celebrities and you will be successful.
Do it the right way. Do it the ethical way. Put your time in. Invest as needed, but make investments based on a good business decision, not desperation.