ESP Biography

ALEC LAI, Serial Entrepreneur & Traveling Speaker

Major: 15

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2013

Picture of Alec Lai

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Graduate of MIT in Course 15 - Business Management, and a Graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Education Policy and Management. Applies a combination of unique lifelong experiences and lessons with in-depth social analysis to create new insights and then deliver them to an excited audience and his businesses. For a longer biography, visit .

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

X11485: How People Actually Work in HSSP Summer 2017 (Jul. 09, 2017)
In "How People Actually Work", you will explore, discuss, and analyze six key and unique perspectives to understanding how people and communities work, and how you can use this to change your life. Drawn from research in social sciences, managerial sciences, psychology, and sociology, combined with exciting stories and experiences from CEOs to the homeless, this class is a special culmination of over six years of research and exploration. How do people persuade others to do what they want? How do communities break apart, and how does drama begin? How can you work together with others to make your dreams come true? How do these learnings help me start businesses? With workshops, guest speakers, and live demonstrations, jump in this exciting and enlightening exploration this summer.

X11488: Communication 101 in HSSP Summer 2017 (Jul. 09, 2017)
"Communication 101" is an intensive workshop to help bring your communication skills to the next level! Whether you have stage fright or are an avid presenter, or whether you feel great in social situations or nervous about meeting new friends, this workshop will put you through a series of lessons, guest speakers, exercises, and live demonstrations that will help anyone grow as a wholesome communicator. In these short weeks, you will strive to master the whole package: not just the typical public speaking, but small talk, social networking, written word, sales, and much more. And, you'll do all of this while being challenged, invigorated, and supported by the community around you. Let's get talking.

X8160: Influence and Persuasion in HSSP Spring 2014 (Mar. 01, 2014)
"Influence and Persuasion" provides a new approach to teaching the fundamentals of influence: a practice-oriented, thematically-organized, and interactive workshop. Designed from student feedback through past versions of "Influence," this time, this seminar combines learning fundamental tactics and key psychological theories with hands-on practice and skill development along the way. In addition, the content will now be covered in themes, such as influence through basic psychology, influence through data, influence through networking, and influence through value-added mentalities. As such, expect 60-70% of the content to be different from last year's HSSP! Additionally, there will be guest speakers as well! By the end of this course, you will have learned multiple new ways to influence the people and systems around you to better help you achieve your goals. You will also gain a new perspective, and see the true potential behind persuasion.

X8161: Communication 101 in HSSP Spring 2014 (Mar. 01, 2014)
"Communication 101" is a new, unique, practice/skill-based workshop class that helps you develop a diverse range of communication skills - like never before. This innovative seminar provides hands-on practice and development in many different forms of communication, including not just public speaking, but also small talk, debate, sales pitching, facilitation, mediation, and many more situations! Students of all levels are encouraged to attend (novice speakers to seasoned debaters), as I assure you everyone will learn multiple new competencies. Professional guest speakers have also been scheduled for most class days. By the end of this course, you will have learned both what to say and how to say things in multiple different contexts.

X7842: Social Psych: Pitfalls of Perception in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Understand how people think, perceive, and rationalize social settings - much of which should be surprising! Reflect on theories like the "Spotlight Effect," "Fundamental Attribution Error." "False Consensus," and much more. By the end of this hour, you will be mystified (or distraught) and how poor humans are at perceiving the world!

X7846: Social Psych: Influence on Identity in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
How easy it is for us to be influenced by society and those around us? This course isn't just about "media" or "peer pressure," it's about "evaluation apprehension," "social loafing," "groupthink," and many more actual social psychology theories that help answer this question. Leave the course wondering about what everyone else has done to shape who you are...

X7847: Social Psych: Roots of Relationships in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
How do we form relationships and thrive from those relationships? What tendencies do we have in these social relationships? Topics include "matching phenomenon," "two-factor theory of emotion," "the social trap," and "GRIT." These will begin to help you understand much more about these simple, yet complex, relationships.

X7848: Social Psych: Studies of the Subconscious in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Understand how strong, yet vulnerable, the human subconscious is. The first half of this short seminar will be used to help you explore your subconscious and to understand the basics. The second half will be devoted to how you can utilize your subconscious to your advantage. This is only a short survey course, but you will leave it thinking so much more about how little you need to think.

X7849: Influence: What Any"Body" is Saying - Body Language Basics in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
As part of the "Influence" series, this course will help give you insights into how to read others' body language (and how to use your own body language to your advantage!). This is a 2 HOUR course, as it will not only cover the basics but do so in an interactive, workshop format. (This course is 75% similar to Day 6 of ESP HSSP 2013 last semester.)

X7850: Influence: The Power of Word Choice (Neuro-Lingusitic Programming) in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
As part of the "Influence" series, this course will cover some basics in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in persuasion, where word choice and sentence structure can have dramatic effects on interpretation. Every word you say has a subconscious connotation (even conjunctions), and this course will show you what power you could have with your words.

X7851: Influence: The Secrets to Relationships in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
The famous trademark course, renamed from past iterations! This TWO hour class will be a workshop on how to look at relationships, their development, and their sustenance. Everything learned can be generalized to relationships between leaders and followers, friendships, and even romantic constructs. Disclaimer: It looks at relationships/emotions very critically; not for the faint of heart. Secrets are proven to be successful, but use with discretion.

X7852: Influence: Online, Text, and Phone Analysis and Persuasion in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
We use our computers and phones now for universal communication, and many say it's harder to read the other person when there are no faces to read. However, as typing has become a subconscious action for us, it has opened up many more weaknesses that can only be seen through analyzing and utilizing the text through technology. Learn how to use Facebook, GChat, and other messaging services (as well as your phone) to your advantage. (33% similar with Class 7 of ESP HSSP 2013.)

X7853: Influence: 10 Easy Ways to Change Your Life in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
The introductory, applied "Influence" course! Learn in 50 minutes, 10 quick ways to easily change your life (making people like you more, getting what you want, etc.). Combines basic techniques from various disciplines and sectors.

S7311: AP Physics B in Delve Fall/Spring 2013-14 (Sep. 15, 2013)
This course prepares students to take the AP Physics B exam in the spring.

X6830: The Power of Persuasion in HSSP Spring 2013 (Mar. 02, 2013)
Unlock the door to a whole world of persuasion and influence. You'll gain a new perspective of human social interactions. Perhaps more importantly, you'll learn the art and science of getting ANYTHING and ANYONE you want. During Splash, two of these classes were offered (101 and 202). HSSP will cover these and many more topics in a seven class session.

X6922: Get ANYTHING You Want: Tactics Revised in Spark! 2013 (Mar. 16, 2013)
Learn new and revised tactics for getting anything you want! Come with an open mind and a willingness to search for the truth. Revised course from the Splash course (Persuasion 101) and a segment of the HSSP course (Power of Persuasion).

X6923: Get ANYONE You Want v2.0 in Spark! 2013 (Mar. 16, 2013)
Learn how to deal with teachers, employers, friends, and relationships. Win the others over with your new tactics and skills. Come with an open mind and a willingness to learn the truth behind human interactions. Revised version of Splash's Persuasion 202, covering some topics from the HSSP Course, Power of Persuasion.

X6924: Body Language and Lie Detection in Spark! 2013 (Mar. 16, 2013)
Learn how to read body language and detect lies. Be critical, analytic, and willing to explore. Has similarities with the HSSP Course: The Power of Persuasion.

X6481: Persuasion 101: Getting ANYTHING You Want in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
In less than 50 minutes, expand your toolbox with brand new techniques that will get YOU WHAT YOU WANT! Control what's around you, persuade others of your ideas, and create the outcomes you want.

X6482: Persuasion 202: Getting ANYONE You Want in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
Did you like the basics of persuasion? In this class, you'll take it to another level and answer the question that's on half your minds: getting ANYONE you want. Understand what really underlies high school relationships.

X6483: Social Analysis: Reading Others and Yourself in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
A skill set useful for every person (and definitely a great supplement for persuasion!). Learn how to read what others are LIKE, what others are THINKING, and what others WILL DO. Gain new insights on yourself from what you learn.

N5959: AP Chemistry in Delve 2012-2013 (Sep. 16, 2012)
AP Chemistry is a year-long class preparing for the Chemistry exam. See for more details on the content in AP Chemistry.

Persuasion 151: Getting ANYTHING and ANYONE You Want in DELVE (Spic)
A combination of Persuasion 101 and Persuasion 202 offered at Splash - in just one hour! Learn some basic techniques ...

Social Analysis: Reading Others and Yourself (Abridged) in DELVE (Spic)
Take this abridged version of the Splash class! Learn some info on what people around you are like and what ...