Public speakers who are new to the industry often speak for free to gain exposure and experience. However, as your presentations get better, and more speaker invites start coming your way, getting paid for your time and effort is the way forward.
Here’s how to navigate these new waters:
- Be upfront. When you receive an event invite, ask the organiser if they have a budget for speakers. Some organisers only pay their headline speakers, but will cover your accommodation and travel costs. Others might invite you for a speaker dinner or networking drinks.
- No monetary compensation on offer? Ask if you can be featured in their publicity collateral. Have you published a book? Request for it to be sold at the conference bookstore.
- When the time is right, ask for more. Do market research on the baseline fees offered at industry events. Start to raise your fees gradually as you see your speaking gigs gain momentum. New speakers can expect to earn anywhere from $500 to $2,500 per engagement.
- Market yourself! Create a blog, share your email address after your talk, and hand out your name cards at tea breaks. Have a professional showreel ready. This will give organisers a snapshot of your content and speaking style, and help you negotiate higher fees.