If you are in the process of launching your professional leadership speaking career, you are probably overwhelmed with the plethora of items you need to tend to. From planning your marketing strategy to building your website and marketing materials, there is definitely a lot that will keep you busy. However, before you spend any money on these materials, it is essential that you clearly define what your speaking fees are so that you know what your marketing budget will be.

If you want others to pay for you to speak, then you should believe that you can deliver what is needed. More often than not, speakers that are relatively new to the field make a lot of mistakes including undervaluing their knowledge and expertise just to get an engagement. You should not do this because you are only hampering your financial and professional goals.

If you start with a reasonably high fee, there is no other way but up. So give yourself a nice head start. Be sure to give one hell of a performance and great service so you can have plenty of follow-ups with referrals. Public speaking is all about marketing, networking, and experience.

When trying to set up a fee, you should decide on a base rate. You can go around this rate and this will be your primary basis for your varying charges. Many of the top leadership public speakers do exactly this so that it gives them room negotiate.

Now, the things to consider:

1) The Audience 

Is it a large audience? Are they difficult to handle?

Obviously, an audience of hundreds is much more difficult to manage compared to 30 to 50 people. You also have to consider what type of audience you will have. An audience composed of unruly teens may be bit demanding compared to an audience composed of educated adults.

2) The Topic

Is the topic or the theme completely new or something you have not really though about? Is the subject specialized in any way?

If the topic is somewhat alien to you or something you have not really done before, you may charge more because you have to put more research work on the subject. Specialized subjects are not that difficult but needs a little research than usual. Of course, you would only want to deliver a great speech.

3) The Location

This is the most important thing to consider. The farther the location, the more you should increase your fee especially if it is from another timezone. The travel can be very taxing.

The best way to negotiate with your contact is to get them to make the arrangements in your travel and accommodations. Make them pay for these essentials. That way you don’t have to spend from your pocket initially. If they can’t do this, at least, ask for a 50 percent down payment for all your troubles.

4) The Type of Engagement

Is the speaking engagement a one shot deal or is it a series of seminars or workshops? You should consider this because each has its own pros and cons. Set your price accordingly.

These are the basic things to consider when setting up a speaking fee. Sometimes, there are golden opportunities to speak in an event where you can build up your market. There also speaking opportunities that have a great chance of making a sale in your products and services. 

These types of engagements should be treated differently because it has great marketing value. You can then set a lower fee on these “gigs” depending on the marketing value they present.