Locking in that keynote speaker
How to hire anybody (including me) to give a speech
I'm not a prima donna -- I don't need my own case of Evian water, or a chauffeur-driven limo to the airport. But there are a few simple things that will make things go much better. These rules apply to me, but they also likely apply to anybody else who gives speeches regularly -- and that includes most authors who are moderately successful. In writing this, I'm hoping that sharing the perspective from the speaker's point of view may be revealing for you. Let's begin . . .
1.Great to meet you. Let me introduce you to the people who help me with speeches. Right now, my speech requests go to Belinda Simmelink, who is one of our excellent PR people and indispensible to me. Belinda and I decide jointly which ones to do. Most popular speakers have a speaker's bureau or some other sort of helper like this. Going "around" the helper if you get a "no" isn't going to change the answer -- but it's certainly going to annoy the speaker.
2.Yes I charge for speeches and I also do them, unpaid, for exposure. But we make those decisions. I've delivered unpaid speeches to groups from national advertisers to business school students. We decide based on the size and composition of the audience (yes, we're going to need to know that) and how easy or difficult it is to get to (I don't do many free speeches in Tasmania). A speech to corporate employees or clients is typically going to require a payment -- because those groups can pay, and because the promotional value is limited. I often agree to give a speech to an organization with a broad audience, just like many other speakers, just to get my ideas out there. If we can't do your event for free, we'll be delighted to do it for a fee -- and yes, we already are aware that we may be passing up your incredible promotional opportunity. By the way, if it's a paid speech, the date is not committed until you sign on the dotted line. This avoids the "but we talked about the second Monday in June, don't you remember?" conversation. My schedule changes every day.