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Speaking Fees: Establishing Your Value

Speaking Fees Consultants

Speaking fees, like consulting fees, should be about the value you deliver.

Some of you may think that doesn’t sound right. And I can understand that, especially considering some of the conversations I’ve had with some speakers.

You should focus on the value you will provide the buyer; and not only will you get hired more often; you’ll be able to command higher fees as well.

I’ve heard the following reasons as being most important for a speaker:

  • “To connect with the audience”
  • “Make people laugh”
  • “Get people to think”
  • “Share new ideas”
  • “Receive a high score from attendees when they rate your presentation”
  • “Keep people happy during a specific time slot”
  • “To arouse and inform”

What do you think?

At first glance these don’t seem too far off the mark. But take a minute to actually think about what the speakers are saying here.

These are words of an entertainer, not of a consultant speaking for the purpose of helping a business or association achieve meaningful results.

None of the above offers a suggestion that real value will be delivered.

And since most business events aren’t hosted to simply entertain the attendees, these responses seem rather foolish.

Instead, you need to take a different approach.

An approach that delivers value, moves you away from being a commodity speaker crammed into a time slot, to a speaker seen as an authority that helps your buyer reach or move closer to their goals.

So what does that look like?

First you need to understand what your buyer’s objectives are.

What is their mandate for hiring you?

By understanding the reason they are hosting the event and what result they want to see from it, you can tailor your delivery to provide just that.

3 Examples of Why Speakers are Hired

For example, is your buyer putting on the event because they want the sales team to feel more motivated so they can make more sales calls?

Or maybe the real estate association wants its realtors to make better use of technology to improve follow-up so they can close more deals?

I was hired by Canada’s largest bank to speak to a group of 50 small businesses, clients of the bank, to empower them with best practices in marketing so they could improve their implementation of marketing programs, to make more money and grow their businesses – which is in the bank’s interest as well.

You may have noticed that these three examples don’t talk about the speaker’s rating or how happy and engaged the attendees are. The focus is on meeting the objectives of the buyer.

Your buyer is the one that is going to pay your check and re-hire you to speak again.

Doubt what I’m saying?

Let me ask you question: Would a buyer be more likely to hire a speaker who got 7/10 on a rating score and 3 months after the talk the sales team is closing 20% more deals, or a speaker that got 8.5 out of 10 on a rating but the sales team hasn’t seen any increase in deals being closed?

Hmmm…? Not a hard choice is it.

Obviously the buyer is going to bring back the first speaker so he can help additional sales teams or have the speaker visit other office locations.

You get the idea, right?

You should focus on the value you will provide the buyer; and not only will you get hired more often; you’ll be able to command higher fees as well.


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4 thoughts on “Speaking Fees: Establishing Your Value

  1. Dani says:

    Very true! This is a great reminder and I’ll use the tips.

  2. Stefan says:


    I thoroughly agree. When the company employs you then they need a payback. I always talk this through with the organisers and discuss the impact of we don’t achieve this. It helps all of us to establish the value of the presentation. The same principle applies to training sessions.

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