I’m in Chicago today preparing to deliver a presentation tonight to graduating seniors of Northwestern University. The crowd gets bigger every year (I’ve been told that attendance will once again exceed 100).  While I’d love to believe the crowd growth is due to a combination of my exemplary speaking skills and the brilliant marketing of the Northwestern Alumni Association (who sponsors the on-campus event), there is probably one enormous additional factor at work.

You: Free drinks afterwards?

I said attendance would exceed 100 not 1,000.

You: Seriously, you should do the drink thing.

It’s a good idea and there is a separate bar tending night, but I’m thinking we should still keep the two separate. Now if the university were to suggest your idea . . .

If I had to wager as to the most important reason the crowd size gets bigger, I’d say it’s due to an increased awareness as to the importance of acquiring at least a basic financial literacy prior to entering the proverbial “real world.”

I wish the reason wasn’t fear but I am glad there’s more interest.  Not only because a larger crowd is more energizing for a speaker, but because greater financial literacy is good for the country.  While I’ll speak for only about an hour tonight, if I do my job correctly, I will change many people’s lives – really. I know this because I can recall a few very important points from my collegiate education (both in and out of the classroom) that stay with me to this day.

I hope to see you tonight. If not, please keep reading here.  If you work for an organization and would like to see this education in your neck of the woods, please contact me.

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4 Comments to “Why will it be crowded at a Northwestern University financial education event tonight?”

  1. Adam says:

    Michael – will there be video of your talk?

  2. Michael says:

    @Adam: Unfortunately, no, but here is a sample video of me talking about balance. It’s from 2007, but gives you a decent flavor of my live message. Thanks!

  3. Nora says:


    They’re a lucky group out there in Chicago. Wish I’d had some financial education offered to me when I graduated from college.

    Good luck!


  4. Michael says:

    @Nora: Thanks, Nora. It went great! Next week: Concord, NH. Week after: Annapolis, MD.

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