For $1.95, I got myself a seat at FedEx Forum March 28th to hear Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Steve Forbes, Laura Bush, Terry Bradshaw, Lou Holtz, Leigh Anne Tuohy and others speaking at the "Get Motivated Business Seminar."
"Get Motivated" has been running full-page ads in The Commercial Appeal as well as radio spots and billboard ads around town for a few weeks. The ads promise that all speakers are "live and in person, all in one day!" Pretty good deal when you consider most of these folks get at least five-figure speaking fees and probably don't need the extra cash from selling their books and tapes. I believe Colin Powell got $80,000 when he was here a few years ago for a talk.
I am fully aware of the power of salesmanship. And I have read skeptical reports about Get Motivated in other newspapers, claiming that if you sign up you subject yourself to a hard sell to buy various upgrades and accessories.
Fair enough. It's not like my email box is exactly pristine.
I bought my ticket, plus a workbook for $4.99, online. With 17 cents for taxes and facility fee, my total outlay was $7.11. I called the website's 1-800 number to confirm that all speakers would be here in the flesh, and was told by a female voice that indeed they would. After I placed my order, a man called to confirm it and repeat that assurance. He also told me I would be at FedExForum and not at the convention center, which will hold the overflow if any and get a satellite feed.
I plan to attend the motivational marathon with an open mind and a positive disposition, such as it is. I have listened to and written about Don Hutson, Cavett Roberts, Zig Ziglar, Holtz, Bradshaw, and other professional speakers before, although it is certainly debatable whether it did me any good. Granted, eight hours is an iron-butt assignment, but I am a veteran of school board meetings and have the right stuff.
If there are any shenanigans or no-shows before or during the event I will report them.