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March 05, 2009

What's Wrong With the College Speaking Market

There's one name all college speakers know.

That "brand awareness" is a great testament to his ability to market himself and his own products. Not surprising, then, that marketing is what he teaches.

People say he's very successful and that's great.

I'm sure he helps some college speakers with their marketing.

The problem in the college speaking market today, in my opinion, is that there is too much focus on marketing and not enough on meaning.

The marketing message, one of the hundreds of emails we've received from this marketing trainer, has this header:

Picture 67.png

It addresses a pain of many aspiring and even moderately successful speakers - they are financially stressed. I get it.

It also appeals to our lowest instincts and produces speakers who do the same.

Money is not bad. I'm not against being rich or getting rich.

I simply believe that if you have decided to go into education, in any form, you have to be in it to help first. If you help well, by all means, you are free to make money. If you put money first, however, you won't help much.

Take one minute to watch a segment of this video by Barry Schwartz at TED - start at 12:35





At every conference there are legions of new speakers that will come and go. They will flood the colleges with their postcards and phone calls. They will, in short, market.

But they won't last.

If Barry's morality plea is too squishy for you, Jim Collins will give you 300 odd pages of case studies showing putting money first is simply bad business.

Find your meaning in helping. Do this first.


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