Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to a Get Motivated! seminar. These seminars have been going on for over two decades and they bring together some of the best motivational speakers. This seminar was no exception.
The seminar opened with Leon Patillo (former singer with Santana) singing the National Anthem. I've never heard the Star Spangled Banner in that low of a key. Even I was able to hit the high notes.
The first speaker was Terry Bradshaw. He was hilarious. He frequently pushed the limits of acceptability, especially when talking about his former wives and his two daughters. But it was funny. He also talked about his faith (without specific messages about Christianity). One of his funniest lines was when he said he had a bad day, "My dog ran off and my wife stayed home."
The second speaker was "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani. He quoted Vince Lomardi when he was talking about his winning record. A reporter pointed to one of Lombardi's losses and he replied "I didn't lose that game, I just ran out of time." Keep trying, always with the solution in mind, Be the optimist, what play can we run next? If you run the right play and it doesn't work, it may work next time.
Giuliani said you need 6 things to succeed: 1) a strong belief system, 2) optimism (Lombardi reference), 3) courage, 4) relentless preparation - 4 hours of prep for 1 hour of plan, 5) teamwork and 6) communication. (For the record, I'm not a Rudy G. fan. See my comments here).
The next speaker was a collegiate memory expert. He had us memorize a string of unrelated items. Trouble is, I can't remember his name. It was Bob Katel or something like that.
Next was Phil Town. Phil is a Vietnam Vet, a Green Beret and teaches investment. He was hawking his 2-day seminar. I was impressed, but won't go through the details here.
Next up was Laura Bush. She gave a review of her 8 years in the White House. Her speech was touching in many ways. She talked about her focus in literacy and the brutal treatment of women and children by the Taliban. She also talked (positively) about the transition to President Obama. Her speech did not focus on Republican/Democratic politics at all.
Tamara Lowe, co-founder of the series, spoke next. She talked about DNA - Drives, Needs and Awards. The speech was good, but I didn't take many notes.
After lunch, Christian Rapper KJ-52 took the stage. I couldn't understand most of what he said/sang/rapped, but he did have us up going "whoop-whoop". I didn't even know he was a Christian Rapper until I looked at his Wikipedia page.
The first after lunch speaker was Gen. Colin Powell. I've heard Powell speak before and all I remember was I wasn't impressed. I think this was when he was considering a run for president. However, this speech was not about politics and he was good. He talked about the role of the leader, he used examples from his service and he talked about Reagan and Gorbachev. He does not believe we will have an enemy in China, they need our money too much. He pointed out that there are NO major wars going on between countries at this time. He also talked about economic growth being the key to "world peace" (my words).
Zig Ziglar is probably the epitome of a motivational speaker. His health is not what it used to be, he had a fall two years ago and has a head injury. But the 82 year old man got on stage with his daughter who led him through some Q&A to give some of his typical motivational lines. "Motivation won't last, but neither will eating or bathing. If you do both every day, you'll live longer and smell better." After about 10 minutes, he sat down and we saw a video interview done with his son & daughter complete with some vintage Ziglar clips. I'm glad I got to see him, as I can't believe he'll be doing this much longer.
Somewhere in the afternoon, Leon Patillo got back up to sing Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA." I was impressed. I'm going to have to find a CD of Patillo's. (Christmas hint to family).
Next up was James Smith. Smith gives a Real Estate seminar and you could sign up for $49. His presentation was good and he gave lots of business advice. I won't publish all the notes here, but some was good. He was colorful and had a few catch phrases like "watch this" that he repeated to get attention.He quoted the Bible and talked about ethics, but some of the things he suggested seemed to imply a contradiction. I could be wrong, but I didn't sign up for his seminar.
The last speaker was Steve Forbes. He grabbed my interest when he talked about mainframe computers. Who made the most money on mainframe computers? It wasn't Univac who invented it, or IBM who is essentially the only vendor in that market today. It was Sam Walton. Who made money off of sweat? It's Under Armour. He also talked about Ray Kroc of McDonald's fame. He said that Princeton University gets a royalty from every McDonald's burger sold (I need to research that).
Forbes said that the GROWTH in the US economy between 2003 and 2007 exceeded the entire economy of China. Then in 2004, we printed too much money. Everything went up, oil, copper and housing. Mark to market destroyed bank capital.
Forbes said we need a strong/stable dollar. He talked about his flat tax of 17% with no tax on savings and no estate tax. He said there would be an exemption for families of 4 so that the first $46,000 would be non-taxable.
All in all, this was a good seminar. Most of the speakers spoke about their faith. I woke up at 4am to take a 2+ hour drive (with a few stops). Then I parked and walked 3 blocks to wait for the start of the seminar. At the end of a long day, I had to drive back. But I'd do it again.
I'm convinced that if I believed in reincarnation (I don't), I'd want to come back as a motivational speaker. Maybe I can use these blog posts as material for my book that I would sell at my speeches. You can say you read it here first. Autographed copies will be available for $39.95 (family can get it for $49.95).
* Update* One of my co-workers who went with me to the seminar sent me this link. Apparently, George Bush is speaking at some of these seminars (I think we lucked out with getting the prettier one of the two). The article also points out that these are high priced speakers with Mayor Giuliani getting "$100,000 for an hour-long pep talk".
I really DO want to be one of these speakers.