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Grant Baldwin and The Speaker Lab

I like to click on things. It’s not an unusual habit, after all it made the internet what it is today. Mostly it’s harmless, sometimes Norton screams at me and puts Defcon 4 alerts in my face, and every once in a while there’s some gold.

Grant Baldwin and his “The Speaker Lab” and “Booked and Paid to Speak” was one of those. The ad kept popping up in my Instagram and made me curious. Who advertises on Instagram? Is it scam or legitimate? What type of business is he building? So I clicked. Why not?

The link schedules you for a free seminar and drives you to the website to create a log in for their Agent site. Not a lot of information there, mainly the “just wait until after the seminar that will change your life” shtick, but nothing about a paywall or monthly fees so I was thinking – this could be legitimate. Someone is following their dream to help people to help others achieve theirs. It’s a beautiful internet moment.

I didn’t bother to look further into the website – there was a seminar to attend first. I received my notice it was about to begin an hour before the scheduled time. Thinking I had screwed up the time I signed on, only to receive a countdown clock. Like I have an hour to kill and just sit and watch time tick. Not a good sign.

I logged back in at the appointed hour to see a simple slideshow and hear Grant Baldwin start to talk. And boy, can he talk. There can’t be a single person surprised by his admission that he started out in religion, because he sounds like a Sunday-go-to-meetin’ preacher about to tell you if you don’t sign up with his company, you will burn in hell!

He asked for people to type various things in the comments window starting with “I’m fully present” as in, you have my full attention. Truth to tell, I was playing DCU online and in the middle of a raid. I couldn’t just bag out on my group and let them take down Starro with Aquaman alone, so figured I’d give him 30-40%. It seemed fair after the hour previous wake up call.

Grant asked for those inputs periodically throughout the presentation. He would say something profound and, where normally a preacher would ask for an AMEN! he would have the participants type something in the window. I began to grow suspicious almost immediately. He claimed to be reading comments, but they were…not what he was asking for. It sounded like it was…pre-recorded.

I must have zoned out for a bit, the final battle with Starro takes some focus, but about 10 minutes in Grant was still promising to make all the difference in my life and began talking about vending machines while stating his HALLELUJAHS and asking for his AMEN!s every few moments. Confused, I typed in asking why we were talking about vending machines. This didn’t throw Grant off his patter for a minute. I typed in a few more vending machine comments in response to his call outs and…nothing. There was a shift in paradigm as well. It had moved from “Preacher with a mission to save speakers souls!” to “Act now to get this time share opportunity at a low low price”!

So when he asked if we were ready to move on and get our speaker careers on the fast track – I typed in “I’m ready to buy that time share!” Figuring one of three things would happen:

1) It would confuse Grant and he might offer to sell me his time share
2) An administrator would message back telling me to knock it off, Grant wasn’t responding to that
3) Nothing, because it’s a pre-recorded message with no one monitoring it.

After no offer to sell, and no message to stay on point, I realized it was probably 3.

I decided another mission with Superman and the Justice League to battle Doomsday was a better use of my time and I logged out. I did not stay for the free gifts or the offer. I also did not get an offer for a timeshare. I did complete a raid so the time was not a total loss.

But wait…there’s more…

Following the presentation I received an email. That’s a lie. I have received emails pretty regularly after the seminar, but the first one that caught my eye:

Hey #ATTENDEE_FIRST_NAME#,

Yes, that is correct, whoever is working the office over there doesn’t know how to mail merge. Or doesn’t care. Maybe it’s the same bot that was ignoring my vending machine and time share comments. Maybe the bot is so bored with the spiel that it’s gone to sleep. I did laugh out loud, not because it’s an error – it happens. This is why I check things twice before they go out, but because it was so sloppy. It reminds me of every sales pitch in the world “You’re number one, you’re the best, we love you, until you write the check.” All pitch, no follow through.

More interesting, it was a link to the “recording” of the presentation. Which makes it a recording of a recording, and now we’re in some inception level sales.

Now, lets be honest, I’m not paying the $1000 or so dollars for the subscription to listen to Grant proselytize at me for hours and get access to his speaker booking engine, so I can’t review the contents of the site or quality of the training. Quite frankly, I would pay $1,000 or so to make him stop talking – there’s just something about his voice and approach that is interesting and even a bit entertaining at first, but wears quickly as the preacher moves from preaching to the sales pitch for the new church steeple. Or speakers training and website. Whatever.