Considerations around Paying a Keynote Speaker.

Considerations around Paying a Keynote Speaker.

Considerations around paying a Keynote Speaker you may not have considered.

Are you buying a Speech or Investing in the Growth of your organisation? It is a very different thing to ask, “How much does a Keynote Speaker cost?” than to ask, “How much am I willing to invest in the growth of our business?” This distinction shifts our thinking from cost to value. Cost tends to focus on the short-term effect and Value tends to focus on the long-term impact. Considering your payment in terms of Value helps you frame more effectively the importance of your event and the role a Keynote Speaker can play in it.

The goal of this article is to give you insights into paying a Keynote Speaker that allow you budget correctly and explore new possibilities you may not have considered.


Do I need to pay?

One of the first questions that comes to mind is ‘should I pay the speaker?’ To reduce risk, the answer is always to pay your speaker. Professional relationships are based on providing value and receiving a return on that value. Professional Speakers, like any professional, should get paid for the value they bring. When you treat them like professionals they will behave like professionals.


How much do I pay?

The answer is ‘it depends’. It depends on your event and who you are hiring (see below). However, to reduce risk and optimise the success of your event start with a budget of at least €7,500.


Who am I hiring?

Another consideration when paying a Keynote Speaker is to be aware of who you are hiring. While there are many different types of Speakers, there are three categories to consider: Speakers are either Popular, hold a Position, or are Professional Speakers.

Popular Speakers are celebrities (public or industry fame). They will certainly attract a crowd. Everyone wants to meet a star. However, be aware of how much you are paying for their fame or for their ability to speak.

Positional Speakers are Founders & C-level leaders of successful organisations (including Government, Military, Doctors & Scientific experts). The challenge with this category is that they are usually specialist so you need to make sure that the speaker is able to transfer what has worked for them to what would work for your organisation.


A Professional Speaker will work with you to maximise your event and they will tailor their content towards your organisation.


Professional Speakers are people whose profession is speaking. For these speakers, their product is the speech. They master the craft of speaking, audience engagement & comprehension, storytelling, and group dynamics. They tend to have many topics and will work with you to maximise your event as they tailor their content towards your organisation. A Professional Speaker will work with you to maximise your event and they will tailor their content towards your organisation.


What incentives can I offer?

I find this to be one of the least used variables that is considered when paying a Keynote Speaker: what are the incentives you can offer the Speaker that cost you little or nothing, however, are very valuable to the Speaker? What are the extra perks you can offer the speaker that would interest them?

For example:

  • Can the Speaker stay extra days in an amazing event location?
  • Do you have unique transport (Private jet, helicopter, chauffeur 24/7)?
  • Are there interesting people attending?
  • Can you offer high video & photography production value?
  • Will there be great media coverage at your event?
  • Can you offer outstanding hospitality?

Remember these incentives are not meant to replace paying a Speaker fee but instead are an extra value you can offer that costs you little or nothing and are of great value to the Speaker. These incentives may also be covered by other budgets that extend beyond a limited Speaker budget.


For more insights on how to get a speaker and their speech aligned with your Vision & Strategy download: The Keynote Speaker BEST PRICE Expert Guide below.

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