When booking through a speakers bureau, the terminology that we use, or that you will see, can be a little confusing. Think about when you hear the term professional speaker versus motivational speaker. Would you be able to determine the difference? Is there a difference?
Speakers Bureau: They are the companies, just like us, that book speakers. They are the agent between a speaker and the client. A speakers bureau will have a website where you can find all of the speakers they represent and the ones they personally manage. Something to keep in mind is that most speakers bureaus can also book speakers not listed on their site. A bureau’s job is to get you the best speaker fit for your event. The company is usually compensated with a percentage of the speaker’s fee.
Professional Speaker: A paid speaker. Once a speaker starts getting paid, they are no longer an amateur and now a professional speaker. The speaker could have another job on top of being a speaker, but as long as an organization is paying to have them come and speak, then they are a professional speaker.
Celebrity Speaker: Simply put, a famous person. This includes athletes, movie stars, politicians, influencers, etc., that will give a speech to an audience.
Motivational Speaker: Technically, this is also a professional speaker. You will often hear them called a motivational speaker. People might sort this type of speaker with topics such as self-improvement, goals and personal growth.
Speakers’ Fees: These are the fees that a speaker charges for their services. It can range from a couple hundred dollars for a newer speaker to thousands of dollars. The general fee range is usually $5,000-$20,000. Between $20,000-$50,000 are usually reserved for speakers that are seasoned, have a NY Times best-selling book, or extremely well-known.
Travel Expenses: This one might be obvious, but it’s not always something that is top of mind. Some speakers will hand in an itemized expenses list at the end. However, most speakers will have a set price for travel. Sometimes that will include flight, food and hotel. Other times they will only charge for hotel or just hotel and flight. Each speaker is different, so make sure to keep this in mind when working with a bureau and booking a speaker.
These are just a few terms to get you started when booking a speaker. Terminology shouldn’t scare you off from booking a speaker, your agent will have your back through it all.
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