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Speaking for The Executive Committee (TEC)

John Haskell

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I asked: I'd like some in depth feedback regarding your experiences with TEC (The Executive Committee div. Knowledge Universe). Two major questions: 1. If you speak for TEC Groups do you find it leads to full-fee engagements? 2. How do you feel you are treated when speaking for TEC -- full spectrum of "treatment" from arrangements to post-talk feedback? I'll be glad to compile responses and send back to those who respond.

Here is the feedback I received. It appears that the comments might have been more focused if I mentioned that I speak 1-2 times per month for TEC. The reason for my question was the mixed feelings I have about TEC and TEC Chairs.

I've done probably 10 for TEC over the past 10 years throughout the US and Canada, but mostly in Milwaukee.

I've gotten a few spin-offs, but it's not a huge fee generator. I'm generally treated well, especially by the program chair. At several TEC programs, there have been some CEO in the crowd who hates my program and me. Sometimes they are expressive of this right in the program.

My talk is mostly "how to think about the future and trends" and not so much "and here are five things that you can take back to your office and implement tomorrow." That bugs some of the more left brain, literal types. Most CEO types seem to eat it up.

The key point about TEC groups is that they are made up of strong individuals, who have often had to go against the grain to get their business up to a successful level. For many, they learn manners and social skills along the way as a part of that growth. Some do not.

Come to think of it, they're a lot like regular audiences, only more so <g>.

One suggestion is to contact the local downtown Rotary and offer to do a free talk because you're in town anyway. Mention TEC brought you in, because that will create good will for them and then leave handouts behind for the Rotarians. They do bring me spin offs.

I have done nearly 300 TEC presentations and have managed to make it my primary marketing source. When the CEO says bring in this speaker, it is usually a done deal. We currently have three long term clients in New York and have had multi-year relationships with several member companies.

TEC treats its speakers well. There is value in building relationships with the staff in San Diego, Jacksonville and Milwaukee -- they can make life on the road much, much nicer.

It's not for everyone, but when it works it works well.

I have spoken for TEC. I was trained as a TEC chair. My partner has done over 500 TEC presentations.

They are CEO types so the critiques can be very blunt and opinionated. My partner gets one training for every two TEC, but he is established. The training is usually done for two or more of the members getting their people together to afford him... he gets $3000.

They are good people and well connected so it is a market worth following if you want to build a speaking business.

ABSOLUTELY for me and my area of expertise (working with CEOs and their execs to improve their leadership skills and to develop a more effective way of managing the business). I have been engaged for consulting work by and/or sold my products to at least someone in every TEC group I have spoken to -- almost 5 figures per group on the average.

This may not be true for everyone, depending upon their subject matter, but I would predict getting more revenue after speaking to 1-2 TEC goups than from an audience of 100-200.

You will be graded by members of each group and notified of the average score and comments. Arrangements are usually handled very well -- if not, it is due to a new or ineffective chair person (I have only had a couple like this).

I've spoken at two TEC groups and both were very different experiences from any other audiences.

In general, I'd say that they think that they know everything and expect you to work miracles. They also seem to have a lot of major problems running their businesses, but don't want to fix them.

My time management program got comments ranging from "Fantastic" to "I could never do that stuff." The bonus: my host's comments helped me rethink my approach to the topic.

My other workshop really fell flat because they didn't want to answer questions or participate in any practice. That is, they completely rejected standard adult learning techniques. Instead, they wanted to be told what to do. Again, I got comments ranging from "Fantastic" to "I could never do that stuff."

So, I collected two ratings that fell between three and four and that may be the end of me with TEC (less than a four is the kiss of death).

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