Keller Media Blog

By Wendy Keller, Literary Agent and Professional Speaker

Some “regular people”* speakers can attract $15,000, $25,000, even $30,000 or more for the same 45 minutes of speaking time that others are lucky get just a few hundred bucks for.

* = speakers who are not celebrities, famous athletes, presidents, etc. Basically, people like you and me.

If 45 minutes is the same amount of time anywhere in the world, then why are you not getting paid more?

The obvious question: What needs to happen so YOU can get higher fees when you speak?

The difference between one speaker and another comes down to 3 basic things:

1. Preparation

Of your speeches, of your mannerisms on stage, of your messages, of your marketing, of your content expertise, of your platform style.

2. Packaging

Speaking is a “Fake it ’til you make it” business. If you look low end, you will be paid low end. This includes your website, your handouts (if any), your slides (if you use them), your contract (which you should have), and…you. Sometimes, hiring an image consultant, a vocal coach or a movement coach can make all the difference in someone’s speaking fees.

3. Promotion

How you are promoted, whether you do it yourself or hire it out, whether or not your promoter has any skills, what promotion materials you display, who you promote yourself to, all that kind of stuff…makes a huge impact. (Assuming 1 and 2 above have been implemented properly).

People often tell me, “The most I’ve ever gotten was $1,500, but usually it’s just $500 or so…”

I refer them to the “3 P’s” above and point out that the reason they’re not getting more money per engagement is certainly one of the above reasons, most often #1 – Preparation. No one likes to hear that, but it is the first step toward actual success as a speaker, not just survival.

In most of our lives, when one of the basic ingredients is off, the whole result is off. It’s like using 1 cup of salt instead of 1 cup of sugar when baking a cake; it’s like filling your gas tank with mineral oil instead of gasoline: it might look similar but the results are disastrously different.

Tighten up the “3 P’s” and you’ll find your speaking fees perk right up. To get help as a speaker – whether you are just getting started or in raising your fees – you’re invited to our webinar “Get Paid to Give Speeches.

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