When Should You Pay and Not Pay to Speak

When Should You Pay and Not Pay to Speak
When Should You Pay and Not Pay to Speak

By Caterina Rando, MCC

I get asked all the time if it is normal to have to pay a fee to speak at an event. The answer is yes and no.

When you are such a sought-after-speaker that your presence at an event will be a draw, and help the event producer fill the room then you can charge a fee to present. However, if you are paid a fee, then in most cases you cannot also make an offer.

If an event is a for-profit event, recognize that the event producer is covering all the costs of marketing and covering all the expenses and taking the financial risk of producing the event. Therefore, it is appropriate for them to be paid a commission on the speaker’s sales or charge a fee for the speakers to present.

If you are considering a “pay to speak” opportunity, you want to make sure that it will be profitable for you. Ask what you receive in return for the fee you are paying. Get all your answers in writing. Here are a few tips to ensure your success:

Be sure you can make an offer and that there is a break immediately after your speech so that people can come talk to you right away.

Also, be sure a table or booth is included and that the attendance fee is included for yourself and your assistant. Also find out how they will be promoting you before, during and after the event.

Ask how many other speakers will be presenting and make sure they do not overlap with your topic area.

Caution: experience has showed me that when an event producer is doing an event for the first time they rarely reach their target number of attendees.

FYI, I will answer other questions about making money and growing your business with speaking in my Facebook group. Join me: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GetBookedForSpeaking

If you want to master speaking and doing your own events to gain clients, join Caterina Rando at her next Sought After Speaker or Enliven Summit. Find our more at www.soughtafterspeaker.com and www.enlivensummit.com

Use code CATSM for a deep discount. Caterina can also be reached at cat@caterinarando.com and by phone at 415.668.4535.