What A Professional Speaker Brings to the Podium

By Kimberley King

Booking a speaker for an upcoming event and challenged with the cost?  Here’s a lowdown on what’s behind speaker fees – and how to get the most for your investment in a professional speaker.

The room is set. The audience is seated. The speaker takes the stage. But what you see may not be the real value of what you get. Rest assured, when you book a speaker, you are not paying for their time. You are paying for their expertise.  That’s invaluable.  Here’s a clear picture of what a speaker really brings to the podium.

Prep Time: Researching the client industry, speech writing, pre-event calls and rehearsals should be part of any speaker’s presentation.

Up-to-date skills and knowledge: Perfecting platform skills, gauging meeting industry trends and keeping material and messages relevant is an ongoing process that has only become more time intensive with social media and other technologies constantly evolving.

Experience: With any profession, proven knowledge over time is always valued and compensated. Speakers have a huge depth of expertise across many sectors, industries, cultures and geographic regions.

Performance Skills: Audiences are often drinking from a firehose when it comes to the amount of information they take in during conferences. A great speaker is like candy for the brain. These speakers understand how to punctuate meetings with energy!

The cost of doing business: Speakers spend a significant amount of time travelling. Depending upon the location, it may take two days of travel to deliver one 60-minute keynote. A portion of a speaker’s fee also goes into running their office, management fees, business development, sales and marketing costs, accountants, pension contributions, etc.

So how can you maximize your investment? Use your speaker creativity and engage them in the design of the conference.  Ask if they will deliver two sessions or help moderate a session. In short, speaker fees are not an issue when the value proposition is understood. Next time you book a speaker, talk to them as a partner in your event, rather than an outsider coming in.