12/03/2010 03:42 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Don't Jump into a Crowded Pool and Expect to Get a Good Workout

Almost every other day I get a request to do a tele-seminar series. They are a great idea because they allow the speakers to provide quality content to people in the comfort of their own home (for both parties). However, there are so many of them it is overwhelming. The market is so saturated with these calls, how many can any one person listen to? Is there anyone live on the line or is it an exercise in recording your content for distribution to the host's email list?

Ah, the list. Now we are really getting to the nitty gritty of it all. The hosts approach you excited about the "unique" opportunity to a part of a call with many great experts, they will promote it and you have a chance to make money by promoting your product. Then "all you have to do" is to commit to send out two solo emails to your list promoting the call. As members of our list register for the call, the host grows his/her database.

As the guest speaker, you craft and broadcast the two emails, you prepare your content and deliver it on the call. Then the orders start rolling in for your products and service, right? Wrong. Many times there are no orders at all. So I find myself repeating my earlier question: is there anyone on the call?

Some of these calls are really well done and they have great content, so you have to be discerning when you choose to participate. I enjoy participating as a guest but so long as I do not have to send out email broadcasts and use my list to build their list.

It's the same as all of these new radio shows. If you can fog up a mirror, you can have a radio show. It sounds impressive on your bio but as we are all finding out -- all you need for a radio show is a check book or a sponsor. Pretty much anyone can have one if you can find the money to pay for it and organize the speakers and callers.

Lesson 1: If you have a large list of subscribers, you should be aware that there is a cost involved to being a guest speaker. Really evaluate the use of your time and make sure it makes sense for you to do this. Also consider if the overall content of the call is in alignment with your message and if it will help bring value to your target audience.

Lesson 2: If you are just starting out building your business you may want to find a way to be a guest speaker on these calls for the purpose of practicing your pitch. Don't look at it as an opportunity for profits but rather one of experience. It is much easier to deliver your content in the safety of your home over a phone line than it is on stage in front of a live audience. As you become more and more comfortable you can venture out to small venues such as radio and local television.

What is your experience with tele-seminars, as a guest speaker or a participant? I would love to hear the great, the not-so-great, and the hilarious. Please comment below.

Peggy McColl is a New York Times best-selling author and an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal and professional development and Internet marketing. As an entrepreneur, business owner, mentor and professional speaker Peggy has been inspiring individuals to pursue their personal and business objectives and achieve ultimate success. She provides effective Internet marketing solutions for entrepreneurs, authors, publishers, professionals, and business owners, who want to establish an online presence, achieve bestseller status, build their brand, grow and/or expand their business online. You can find out more about Peggy at her website,