I have had the privilege of serving many thousands of people with lectures over
the years, starting in about 1990. These lectures range from "command
performances" to groups as small as 8 or 10 in Germany, to larger groups of
hundreds and thousands in Canada and the US. Although I have given lots to
groups smaller than 8, usually I consider those to be "consulting" because in smaller
groups typically we are heavily interacting and there is no formal "prepared"
speech, just a list of topics we want to cover/explore.
The lectures most often are on one of the following topics:
Entrepreneurship. Talking about challenges both mental and external, getting
the right mindset, managing stress, how to decide whether to keep going,
marketing, partners (why, when, when not.)
Managing development projects. I especially enjoy discussions discussing
management of teams that are not physically located. I have been running
development teams spread across multiple time zones since the late 1980's -
long before the World Wide Web came into place.
Specific technologies or techniques (Computer software/hardware, Photographic)
The audience or location has varied greatly, a range of examples is:
CEO's/CTO's gathered by SUN and aRenDeeco to discuss practical use of Java back
when Java was not yet popular
Students interested in starting their own company at the University of Calgary
(several times over several years)
Interational Entrepreneur Association (Knowing when to proceed, Knowing when to
European Client/Server conference (Practial Object Oriented Development)
Airdrie Koionia Christian School: (various topics)
Swiss PBUG. (Project management, Java, PowerBuilder, C++)
Chicago PowerBuilder Users Group (Intra-corporation &
Multi-office Object Oriented development)
Microsoft FoxPro conference in Toronto (many many years ago<g> Discussing
advanced development techniques with FoxPro.)
AAII developers conference (Time management, Development, Project Management)
Various topics for local Church
Can Peter speak at "your event name goes here"
Now-a-days, I seldom speak "for free" except for the Church I attend and the
School my kids go to. (My kids go to a private school, so government funding is
very limited so I am happy to teach for free in this environment. Topics at
schools have included Entrepreneurship, Photography, Aviation and, believe it
or not, cooking.)
My rates for lectures depends on several factors including
Where it is: Close is cheaper, far is more expensive, exotic (to me) is cheaper.
Of course the 3rd time I go somewhere it is no longer exotic, even if it
was the first 2 times! But some places, like Switzerland, I am always
interested in visiting because of the many friends I have gathered there. For
what it's worth some places I'd currently give discounts to visit include: Central America (Especially Panama,
Costa Rica, Nicaragua), Hong Kong and many parts of China, Japan (October/November - the season to obtain Nish-Ki-Goi) Japan is the only one I haven't been to yet,
the others, I've been to multiple times, but still would return and consider it
cheaper for you.
What extra business or personal benefits there are. If you have a group of
investors looking to invest, and they are in the Calgary/Reddeer/Lethbridge
areas, chances are I would be
happy to come and I may just do it for free, or outside
of Calgary/Reddeer/Lethbridge, for the cost of the budget travel expenses, even if the topic requested is not
about the company that is looking for investment! Or, if the location
is exotic and you offer to bring my wife, chances are you'll get a positive
response. Or if the location is in North America and you offer to bring my
family (and my kids are not in school at that time).... Well, you get the idea,
feel free to approach me with your offer, the worst I could do is politely say
What the topic is: The less time it takes for me to prepare, and the more I am
interested in the topic, the less I will charge.
What else I planned to do that date.
How far ahead I am booked. The earlier you book me, the less I charge because I
can arrange myself.
Years ago, one "trick" that some of my long term associates in Europe have done
when arranging a "free" lecture is to line up some specific consulting to be
done at the same time. The consulting paid for the trip including the lecture,
so they got the lecture for free. But now-a-days, business opportunities are of
greater interest to me.