How do you determine the right price for speaking engagements?
1.) When starting out - do I ask the question "What's your budget?" and decide when they give me a number or stand firm at a specific price?
2.) What are some questions I can ask to help build value?
3.) Do I give a discount for allowing me to video?
3a.) How do I get permission from attendees to be videoed or is it something I can say while video taping?
Full Disclosure: I am developing a presentation and will provide credit with credentials of any answers that I use. Please include your website or contact info if you wish to have it included.
Thank you in advance for your answers!
My timeframe is VERY short - I am doing the finishing touches on the presentation tomorrow.
There are a lot of variables involved to answer this because it depends on so many factors. For example, is this within a company, to a general group, an association, etc. And is the speech geared toward a very narrow topic or one that is overall strategic in nature and would be applicable to many different industries? The reason I say these are important is because it can impact what you do with all your questions.
For example, if I give a speech inside a company on a very specific topic, say Customer Experience Strategy, I give them a fee but it is generally lower if we also do some consulting for them. If we aren't, the fee for speaking is higher. So with all this said, here are a few thoughts...
1) If this is for a larger group and you're doing a keynote speech or a workshop, I have generally asked if they have a budget so I know what I am dealing with and is it worth my time. Remember, in negotiation, the first one to give a number is generally the one setting the minimum for you. If they don't, then I usually give them a range and tell them it is variable based on other factors... such as follow-on consulting or speaking engagements, or having access to the members of the audience and their contact info, or being able to sell some books, etc. Giving them a range has helped me identify the opportunity. I have to admit I have given big discounts if it's a group that I think has leverage for me with other opportunities.
2) This is a huge question and hard to answer. Value comes from them seeing you have both some insightful information they want and your presentation style. These together will demonstrate value. My best advice is to be super confident when talking to them. Negotiate on topics but be very firm on the material. If they think you don't know enough, value goes down. Also, if you focus on whether or not you can modify a speech you have already given or if you have to create a new one, this demonstrates you have credibility and have done it many times before and know your stuff. Be confident.
3) I never have even suggested this... if I want to video I video. I can set it up where I include some of the audience in the video or I just video me so I can use it on my site or share with others. If they are videoing it, I always want a copy to be able to edit and use as I want.
4) I have never done the waiver thing... if they aren't sure of videotaping the audience, it is more on them than me so they need to tell me if they feel they are cleared to go with this. If they aren't, I simply don't video the audience and don't mention people in the speech... and where I do get very specific and mention them or the people and they don't want that public, I simply edit it out of the video clips I would use for something else.
I hope this helps. Best of luck. We're cheering for you!!
As others have said, it depends. In my world there are two types of speaking engagements: ones for trade or industry groups where the purpose is to generate leads and the other is for a private company with whom I have done business or want to to business.
For trade groups, I consider it a marketing exercise and I charge nothing and chalk it up to marketing expense. If it's for a private company my minimum is $5,000 and that is for a talk that has very little prep work. If I have to do research or is on a topic that is not in my wheelhouse, then it goes up from there, as high as $10,000
Here are some thoughts on your questions:
1. Sure, ask about the budget but that is just for you to qualify the lead. You would even ask this for a trade event because, who knows, you might make something AND generate leads. The best of both worlds.
2. Questions should center around what they want to get out of it. Are they looking for a deep dive on an industry topic or they want you to talk about something that you have deep expertise in. For example, I frequently talk about the best practices of world class sales organizations (based upon research) on one hand, and critical account management on the other.
3. No discount for video. Just do it.
4. Tell the organizer that you will video. I've never run into any situations where someone objected to be seen in a shot.
Good luck, tell us how it goes.
Hi Julie, great question! I have been a professional speaker and coach for the last 2 decades and I get this question a lot. Here is what I have found works best for me.
1.) When just starting out, I suggest having a set price. Why? People want confident, professional speakers. Make sure you have some sort of video clip - even if the audience is friends and family. That said, some charities or clients may not have the budget. If it is a good event, THEN ask how close to (your rate) could you come? If you accept it, let them know why (your organization holds a special place in my heart, etc)
2.) My favorite 3 questions are:
1- What is most important to you when hiring a speaker?
2 - How will you know when you found them?
3 - After the talk goes well, would you be willing to give me a testimonial?
These questions will help you book more talks because you will know exactly how to fill the needs of each client. A testimonial helps you tremendously in booking your next talk.
3.) As far as video goes, that is a VALUE ADD that is worth money! It is your intellectual property and they pay you for it. If it is a good client, offer it for free and put a true dollar value on it (i.e. $500). I also put in my speaker contract "no video" so they inderstand that by getting it, they are receiving extra value from me.
3a.) It is important to set up a table outside the room where you will be speaking and get the attendees to sign a waiver. Search google online or reach out to me and I will send you the one I use.
I hope this was helpful. Even if you are just starting out, always remember: As a speaker, trainer or teacher, you are adding value to your audience and deserve to be paid accordingly.
If you have any questions at all, contact me and I'll gift you a 30 minute speaker training fast start coaching call. david at david brownlee dot com or (858) 367-0289 ($497 value)
Coach David Brownlee
As Blaine correctly said, so much depends upon the situation.
If you have cache and have a speaking track record, then stipulating a price is certainly reasonable, but that may end the conversation.
If the talk is at a conference put on by a for-profit organization, then there is likely a track record and the organization has some guidelines. Try to find out from others who have spoken to the organization. The phrase that I use is: "What honorarium do you provide to speakers?" It's a soft way of asking the question that is likely to keep the conversation going." If the response starts out: "Speaking at our conference will provide you a great opportunity to network with peers...", say thanks but no thanks. You won't even get travel!
If this is for a company, then it does matter as Blaine said whether the talk is packaged with some consulting. The talk may be a legitimate marketing loss leader, but at minimum asking for expense relief shouldn't be threatening.
Questions to ask. Show interest in what the group does and how your topic could help them.
Video. Consider this a negotiating point with respect to price. If they want to pay less, then ask to be able to video. I would only record you, the speaker. Getting into permissions for audience members is a logistical mess that will decrease your apparent value. Then again, many conferences record their speakers to sell. Attendees in their registration have likely waived rights.
Wow, Julie, this is very late planning, and very short notice.
Ask yourself some questions.
What is my knowledge worth?.
How much value will my audience receive.
How large is the audience.
Who are they. ( you should already know this in terms of preparation.)
How much are they paying to attend.
How long will I be talking for.
Who else will be presenting. (this will provide a pegging order.)
What aides will be required, and what is available.
What about handouts.
What's the purpose for videotaping. ie. training or website.
Some speakers start just like musicians, they start off doing it for free or at cost + 30%, untill they get a following.
THere is no hard answer for you.
Generally there would be an engagement / speakers contract including guidelines.
In general you would have expenses to cover, such as travel accommodation, public liability and production costs.
All of that should be already covered via a contract.
If you are asking at the late stage, I would think that most of this has not been covered.
If you have time between finishing the preparation and delivering, I would very much suggest that you get the negotiations completed with the organisers.
If this is the case for this one, I would simply be asking them how much are they paying for the gig, and what does that include.
If they have already promoted your name, you are really stuck with what they are providing. It's your reparation that is at stake.
good luck with it. I hope that it'
s a great success.
Hi Julie - Unless you are planning to market your expertise directly to the open market, you will need to have specialist knowledge that event managers etc. will want to buy so the first thing to go into your presentation is why people will want to pay for the knowledge you are prepared to deliver. Also, my experience is that public speaking agents and event managers will come to you if you have what they're looking for - and they will dictate the terms as regards any fees you may receive - and also what you may need to pay to get them to book you a gig. As regards videoing etc. I'd suggest you agree this with the people organising the event - they may include agreement to the event being filmed as a condition of attendance. Similarly, if you are the organiser, make your own decision and advise potential attendees that the event is to be videoed. To be on the safe side, I'd suggest you run your thinking past a solicitor to make sure you are within the law (privacy etc.) if you are to be the organiser. Hope this helps.
1) No - Give them a number
2) It depends on the presentation and the value it brings. This is very subjective. However you may have an idea based on the time and effort it will take. What value are you bringing to the attendee's?
3) Not necessarily
3a.) Prepare a waiver for attendees to sign. I would definitely inform them before the presentation and also place a sign stating that the event will be video recorded and that they may be filmed.
With eight Power Point Presentations I wish I could be contacted and could negotiate a price. Unfortunately, I always get asked by local organizations with out a real budget for speakers. Wish I could get larger potential organizations which would like me to present. For 14 years, I had a TV show, Face-Off in the New York City area and the Albany - Schenectady area. Bob McMillan
I ask the organization to first share with me what they have paid their past speakers who have a comparable reputation and accomplishments as me. (I am 67 and have authored several business books.) That way I turn the tables for them to start the negotiating process. ... Gary ... Gary Cokins
This question is similar to trying to close the sale.... My 3 steps:
1.INTEREST-----already interested in your speaking
2. MONEY-----as recommended keep asking and negotiating and for gosh sakes do not go in to low, unless this is a "lost leader"
3. DECIOSION---you are at that step get to the NO as quickly as possible so you can adjust your fee based upon the sales negotiation