Paid to Speak?

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Free or Premium: Should You Be Paid to Speak?

Many people wanted to get started speaking, but the more they read about the subject, the more overwhelmed they become. Where to begin looking for speaking gigs? Should I speak for free or ask for a fee?

Maybe you have a desire to speak—but you don’t know what to expect, here are a few things to keep in mind…

Speaking for Free Gets You Experience

There are always event coordinators and conference hosts in need of speakers. Sometimes, these leaders don’t have much of a budget, so most of the cash goes to feeding attendees and providing paper goods (like tissue). That doesn’t leave much to pay speaking fees.

However, this can be an advantage if you are a new speaker. There’s less competition to get free speaking gigs and event hosts will be more forgiving if you mess something up. After all, they understand that you’re still finding your way.

Another advantage of speaking for free is that it builds up your confidence while marketing your business. Most people don’t become confident speaking until they’ve done it a few dozen times. You can speed up this growth process by speaking at multiple events in the span of a few weeks or few months.

Speaking for Pay Can Be Exciting

For some, speaking isn’t just a hobby or something done to grow their business. It’s how they keep food on the table and afford to clothe their families. Fees can range anywhere from $100-10,000+ depending on many things—the conference budget, your experience level, the topic you’re presenting on, and the complexity of your talk.

Professional speakers often have multiple income streams like additional products or services. They may sell these items at conferences and events to off-set some of their costs and to grow their bottom line.

Speaking for Perks Is Good, Too

Keep in mind that you don’t have to choose between speaking just for free or profit. Some speakers do it for the perks. These perks are typically paid for by the event host.

For example, you’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii and a conference coordinator contacts you. They don’t have the budget to pay for your speech but they are willing to pay for your hotel costs for three nights. You get to travel to a dream destination, speak at a big event, and be a tourist for two days.

Of course, the perks an event host can offer will differ. Some may be willing to pay for your meals, your flight, or your hotel stay. It all depends on what their budget is and what you’re willing to negotiate for.

When you first start speaking, it’s smart to get your feet wet with free or perks-based events. Then if you find you enjoy speaking and you’d like to do it more often, consider turning pro and charging a fee in exchange for your time.

What about you? Are you a beginning speaker or more advanced?

For some great tips on speaking, check out Tom Antion He offers a speaker’s ezine in addition to many helpful speaking tips. I have been a member of his site for almost 20 years and have purchased several of his products.

To your speaking success

So You Want To Speak
To Your Speaking Success

Fran Watson

About Fran Watson

Involved in public speaking since 2000. Joined Toastmasters in 2002 and have served in all Executive roles including serving one year as the District Public Relations Officer. Achieved my DTM in 2014. Develop and facilitate workshops in the area of employment and career development.
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