. . . or, as I like to call them, "Tips in advance" are a part of my speaking life. Does that mean I am an unethical person. ABSOLUTELY NOT! It means I am a realist. It means that when I am 30 minutes from the beginning of a presentation and I have been trying to get a projection screen for two hours, it might be time to grease a few palms. I just consider it an investment in my image. I am the one who is going to look bad if I am not prepared to begin on time. If it costs me five or ten or even twenty bucks to get some action, so what? I don't believe in penny pinching when you get in a pinch.
Am I happy about this? No, I am not happy, but I am always willing to invest in excellence. Also, I would rather lose a few bucks than get all worked up and upset before a presentation. In addition, any problems I am having are probably not the fault of the maintenance or set up person who gets the money. It makes me feel good to give them a little boost in their pay for that day. So, have a few small bills handy before every presentation, just in case you need to get something done quick.
One more thing . . .This also works when you have too much baggage at the curb side check in. An extra bag costs 50 bucks at the airline ticket counter, so I give the skycap 20 and save myself 30. It doesn't work every time, but most of the time it does.