Ever since the beginning of time, ambitious people of the world
have attributed some « indescribable secret » to the success of
those people with wealth. These people have spent, and will
continue to spend, millions of dollars to cultivate these
« secrets » within themselves.

Particularly since the early seventies, there has been a growing
demand by the public to attend classes, workshops, and
self-improvement seminars that will enable them to align their
thinking as well as their actions, with those of people who have
already achieved success.

The popularity of such best-selling how-to books as WINNING IS
others lends reinforcement to the « need » for self-improvement

You can promote and stage these seminars either as a generalists
or as a specialist in a specific area of expertise–and attain
wealth for yourself almost beyond your current imagination! The
market potential has only barely been scratched, affording a real
ground-floor opportunity for those with the gumption to take

Dale Carnegie–the author of the book, How To Win Friends and
Influence People–was certainly one of the first, if not « the
first » self-improvement seminar market/teacher. Back in the Great
Depression of the thirties, he recognized this need in people to
improve themselves–he worked out a deal with the local
management of his hometown YMCA– got the word around that he was
holding classes on self-improvement–and the rest is one of the
truly classic unemployed-to-multi-million-dollar success stories
of our time.

A self-improvement seminar is conducted much the same as a
Toastmaster’s Club meeting…It can be held just about anywhere,
from the informal atmosphere of someone’s living room to the
formalities of the Hilton Convention Center.

Basically, a self-improvement seminar is a gathering of people
where one or more speakers talk on a specific subject. More often
than not, only a certain aspect of self-improvement, such as How
To develop A Positive Mental Attitude–is the thrust of the
seminar. In other words, the more successful seminars deal with
« specialized areas » of self-improvement.

These speakers usually wind up their talks with audience
involvement questions and answer sessions. Most of them « wind
down » with the speaker circulating thru the audience, plus lots
of opportunity for the purchase of self-help books and tapes by
the people wanting on-going motivation and reinforcement to what
they’ve just heard. Always-sometimes even as the featured subject
of the seminar–there’s a great deal of motivation projected
during these meetings. At the bottom line, motivation is more the
purpose of these seminars than the attendees learning something
they don’t already know. The favorite words of most seminar
speakers is usually, « It’s the difference between having a dream
and taking action–a matter of saying I can, believing it, and
then doing it–because you can!

Successful seminars are generally based upon the concept of
giving you the power to believe you can. The speakers usually
speaks from insights and expertise gained from their own life
experiences. Self-improvements seminars give the attendees the
tools–and the motivation–to succeed. Thus, a well-organized and
well presented seminar that helps people up the ladder of success
can’t help but succeed because we are a success oriented
society–it’s an easy sell with an income potential limited only
by your ability to express yourself.

You won’t need an office to make it big with self-improvement
seminars. The public doesn’t visit you–you take your programs to
them. Self-improvement seminars appeal to almost everybody–from
blue-collar workers to top executives.

The average cost per person to attend a seminar is very close to
$300–so your basic audience will be from the upper-income
brackets–but if you handle the promotional aspects properly,
you’ll pull them in from lesser income brackets as well.

Many seminar promoters employ sales teams to call upon top
company executives and either get the to partially pay the cost
of several employees to attend as educational or business
improvement investments–or to foot the bill for the sponsorship
of a « group seminar » for all of that company’s middle management
personnel. Many specialty speakers make in excess of $100,000 per
year with regular motivational and/or self-improvement seminars
in this fashion.

In the beginning though, you’ll get your start by staging
seminars for the general public in restaurant banquet rooms,
hotel ballrooms, and convention centers. These will entail
advertising costs, plus the charges for the rented space, and an
« on hand » inventory of the materials you want to sell to the
people who attend your seminars.

Generally, you’ll do best with an intensive radio advertising
campaign during the week preceding your seminar date. In a
metropolitan area of half a million population, you should spend
a couple of thousand dollars on radio advertising, plus half as
much for flamboyant newspaper advertising. Some seminar promoters
invest a quarter of their budget in newspapers, then a half going
into radio. Of course, the allocation of your advertising budget
should be related to the previous proven pulling power of each
media within that particular market. Not too much concern is
given to television advertising, excepting for guest appearances
of the community service talk shows.

Most promoters spend all of this effort and money to promote a
series of free seminars. These free seminars usually draw huge
crowds, during which special « front men » turn everybody on with
super-motivational stories designed to wet the appetite of those
in attendance for more. These free seminars generally last only
45 minutes to an hour, and are strictly motivational in purpose.

Each person in attendance is handed a brochure describing the
up-coming « main event » as they leave these free seminars. An
attempt is made to get an commitment—at least a deposit for the
cost of the « real thing » which is usually set for the week
following. Those who do commit themselves to attending the big
one are then contacted by professional telephone sales people and
given the complete sales presentation between the time of the
free seminar ad the date of the real thing. With good
advertising, up-front motivational speakers, attractive program
brochures and experienced telephone sales people–you can count
on closing about 30 to 35% of those who attend your free

If you don’t have the confidence or inclination to
participate–be the principal speaker–at your seminars you can
hire local sales training people, professional people from the
medical specialties, local « experts » known thru your area
newspapers or broadcast media, and or/ nationally known speakers
wiling to travel and operating thru speakers’ bureaus. You might
want to contact Burt Dubin of Personal Achievement Institute–225
Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 305–Santa Monica, CA 90401…or Dottie
Walters of The National Speakers’ Bureau–400 W Foothill Blvd.,
–Glendora, CA 91740.

Finally, a reiteration of the fact that there are literally
millions of people in all parts of the country willing and able
to pay you for helping them to improve themselves. You can start
with meetings in your living room, or your local restaurant. All
it takes is action on your part to get it set up, and a push from
yourself to start making it happen. Best of luck, and now get
going with it.