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3 Steps to Increase Your Speaker Fees

By Michael Zipursky


There is a simple and highly effective way to increase your fees as a speaker.

First let me share a story with you.

Several years ago I was asked by a large bank to talk to 30 of their private business clients. These were all business owners. Some owned spas, others printing companies, accounting firms and so on.

My mistake is that I didn’t explore with the bank manager (the buyer) what other services I could provide for her and her clients at the bank.

Through a referral the bank manager had contacted me and asked if I would speak to this group of their clients about marketing and customer loyalty.

When I spoke with the bank manager, we discussed timing and details and then the fee for my speaking.

I made a big mistake that day. I hope you’ll learn from my mistake.

The fastest way to increase your speaking fees is by uncovering what other areas you can assist your buyer with.

For example, in my case, I simply arranged for the fee with the bank manager. Looking back it was a quarter of what I would charge today, but I was okay with it then. My mistake is that I didn’t explore with the bank manager (the buyer) what other services I could provide for her and her clients at the bank.

An additional service that would have been seen as valuable would have been to do some detailed exercises with the clients, or 1-on-1 hot seats to name just a few.

Potentially I could have prepared some materials for the attendees to receive before or after my talk.

These are all services that the bank would likely have been more than willing to pay for if they saw them as valuable for their clients…and I believe they would have.

To uncover the additional services you can offer follow this process:

1. Before Speaking – list all the actions you will need to take before speaking. This might include interviewing the buyer and others in their industry or company, customizing materials, and providing an analysis or feedback on the complete event.

2. During Event – keep going with your list and add every action that would take place during the day of the event. If you have a book, then book signing. Doing 1-on-1 or group hot seats or groups as mentioned above, etc.

3. After Speaking – Are there follow up materials that attendees or the buyer will value from? Can you provide coaching or consulting to the organization or buyer? Does the buyer want extra copies of your book or other intellectual property you have developed?

Now you have your list with three columns. When you’re talking with your buyer go through each of these and find a fit. As you list them to your buyer they will show interest in the one they see value in.

You can then assign an additional fee based on the added value.

That’s how you can exponentially increase your speaking fees and income.

Does it take more work? Sure, some. But your consulting fees are based on value and this simply means you’ll be selling more to the same client and making a great deal more overall.

4 thoughts on “3 Steps to Increase Your Speaker Fees

  1. Janice says:

    So great how you have simplified this. Very helpful!!

  2. Michael,

    Your specific suggestions on how to add value are so

    I especially like the idea of interviewing people typical of
    the audience and customizing the content to their interests. More specifically,

    I like how you list these as separate services so the client can see the
    additional value you are providing.

    It’s easy to take on these tasks but not point them out to
    the client—especially customizing the content.

    It’s important to single out how you are adding value, not
    just claim you are doing so.


    Diana Schneidman

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