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Speaking Candidly

Speaking Candidly

Identify yourself as an expert—a resource—not as a speaker or coach or consultant—which are commodities.

The former is of great valued worth high fees. The latter three are easily comparable and highly price sensitive.

Case in point: You’ll hear people talk about how to make a lot of money “in the speaking profession.” If you were to charge $35,000 per speech—which is about the very top of the “non-celebrity” range, you’d have to speak twice a month to earn $840,000. Most people would find it impossible to speak at that fee twice a month. (The “celebrities” are the exceptions: current best-selling authors, former high level politicians, sports stars, etc.) The last time I looked, the average member of the National Speakers Association was making less than $5,000 per speech. That’s barely over $100,000 at twice a month, and speakers in that range aren’t in great demand.

The key is to combine your varied talents around your expertise and, as an expert in your field, consult, speak, train, publish, facilitate, and so forth. But promote yourself an an expert, not as a speaker. And by the way, motivation is intrinsic, so there is no such thing as a “motivational speaker” (or motivational walk on hot coals), though I’ve see a lot of them who are demotivating!

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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