Professional Speaker Rates & Fees | Motivational Speaker Brad Montgomery
Motivational speaker rates vary as much as car prices … from a beat-up, 24 year old Ford Pinto to a top of the line brand-spankin’-new Mercedes. But there are some guidelines and ball-park ranges that can get you started. This article may not answer all of your questions about speaker rates, but it should at least be a good starting place for a conversation.
Do Motivational Speakers or Humorist Speakers Charge “by the hour”
Generally speaking… nope. Once a speaker has saved a date for a particular client – and promised not to sell it to a different client – prepared for and traveled to the event site, the difference between speaking for 5 minutes or 85 minutes just isn’t that important.
If I promise you that I’ll be at your event I will charge my fee regardless of the amount of time I speak. When you hire a motivational speaker you’ve bought his or her time whether or not you use it all.
It is a little like going into Krispy Kreme and telling them you want a discount because you are only going to eat 2 bites of the doughnut. It doesn’t matter to them: they cannot re-sell the remaining doughnut so you buy the whole shebang no matter how many bites you take.
My fees generally are in three categories:
1. Keynote (Up to 90 minutes.)
2. 1/2 day. (I do a ton of “seminar” type events.
3. Full Day. (For full day seminars and also Emcee / Master of Ceremonies jobs.)
Can you give us a sample rate sheet?
Even finding price ranges for keynotes is hard. A sample rate sheet for motivational speakers isn’t as common as you might think. Telling you how much speakers charge is kinda like herding cats. But generally entry-level professional speakers who are the start of their career might be somewhere in the $2500 to $3000 range. Speakers who charge less than that might have full time jobs (besides speaking professionally) and have fewer credentials and experience. (You might find a speaker in the lower price ranges that does well for you… but generally speaking groups that require excellence will have to pay more.)
Fee structures for more experienced and professional motivational speakers (generally — remember there are tons of exceptions!) range from about $6,000 to $20,000.)
Celebrity motivational speakers’ fee structures might range anywhere from $35,000 to $235,000. Gosh… I don’t even know how to comment. It seems to me that we could all do more with $235,000 than spend an hour with a speaker, but who am I to say? (I can tell you that by comparison, I’m a huge bargain!)
How Much Do Motivational Speakers Charge? What is my fee structure? I have earned the designation Certified Speaking Professional, have spoken for thousands of audiences, and have a long list of very happy clients. But I’m not a celebrity, nor have I won a gold medal. : )
To be honest, my rates flex wildly because what I offer flexes wildly. I create experiences for my client organizations, which also means that I love to include product, toys, and other resources so that they can implement what we talk about on the platform immediately. I also think it is important to include a plan for following up on the message after the keynote, and I have many ideas about how to do just that.
Most of my clients ask me to do more than just deliver a canned presentation — which would be easier to price. I also provide a menu of services, including the keynote, the follow-up, companion products and resources, companion sessions (such as breakout sessions and seminars), networking and kick off events… the whole nine yards. (No idea what that means, but my Grandma said it all the time.)
What is your budget?
No, it’s not a negotiation tactic. Knowing your budget helps us to help you. We generally like to send you a proposal with 2 to 7 choices on it… All within your budget. But we need to know at least what “fee family” you are in. It’s silly for us to recommend a full-on convention make-over for $20,000 if that just isn’t in your budget. But it’s also silly for us to leave out some of the high-end offerings if you can afford them. (So let us know what you’re working with and we’ll do our bests
In other words, I like to figure out desired outcomes first, and then quote a fee that helps reach that outcome. That’s pretty hard to put on a menu.
To be honest, it depends: give me a call and we’ll talk. But usually my range is from $7500 to $12,500. Most clients fall right in the middle of that range. (Read on for more…)
[Brad’s Programs are Guaranteed. Read more about the no-risk policy here.]
What makes the higher motivation speakers rates worth your investment?
Corporate and association audiences invest many thousands of dollars in their meetings and conventions. Meeting costs, food, travel, decor, hotel, trainers, coffee breaks and lost man-hours add up. So investing enough to get a speaker who you can absolutely count on hitting a home run for your opening or closing session is well worth the investment. (Imagine the opposite: a well-planned and expensive convention can be nearly ruined if you close with a weak speaker and a not-so-great keynote speech.)
I like to compare it to the memory of a restaurant visit. If we go to a restaurant and ONE food item was way above average, we fondly remember the great food at the entire meal. For example, if the salad was amazing… absolutely astounding… we will leave that meal with the impression that ALL of the food was excellent. Even if the rest of the meal was only average.
In this way, conventions are like restaurants. If the closing keynote motivational speaker rocked; and I mean ROCKED; your meeting attendees will leave that convention feeling great about themselves, their futures…. And great about that meeting. They will love the meeting if they love the speakers.
The opposite is true. To leave out the restaurant metaphor, if your keynote speaker stinks, the entire conference will be perceived as lousy.
So investing in a keynote speaker who can deliver a professional, top-of-the-line motivational speech insures that the general investment in the convention will succeed. Yes… motivational speakers can appear expensive…. But meeting planners and their audiences believe they are well worth the investment.
Are Motivational Speakers Rates Flexible? Will they Negotiate?
You might as well ask! In my case, my fees are more or less set. But again, it never hurts to ask. Occasionally speakers – including me – will give a discount for:
- More than one program at the same meeting
- Multiple programs with the same client
- For clients who support my pet charities.
- For clients who will be flexible with their times, allowing me to work two programs in the same day.
- For clients who will “trade out” goods or services ( or a portion of them.)
- For clients who are working in a fun place (read that: resort!) and will provide a few extra days at the hotel –and fly my wife and (maybe even my kids) out.
- Who knows? It never hurts my feelings and sometimes we are able to come up with a creative idea that makes sense to us both that can save money for your budget.
- For clients who purchase a significant number of my products.
How do we find the rates for any specific motivational speaker?
You just gotta call. Rates can flex a great deal depending on what it is you want from your motivational speaker, how much preparation time your event involves, how hard it is to get to your venue (If you are booking a date in Fairbanks, AK or in Paris, France you might have to pay a premium) and a dozen other variables.
My rates flex a ton too…. Give us a call. We’d love to talk to you, and we don’t bite (hard anyway.) And we can specifically answer your rates questions.Call us at 303.691.0726 or go to the contact page now.
Big name speakers on a low budget. (Article)
Getting the most from your speaker investment. (Article)
Why is it worth spending good money on a funny speaker? (FAQ)
Brad Montgomery is a business motivational speaker who speaks to the people side of business. He’s a member of the CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame, (which is sort of a big deal), is a dad and a husband, and a really passionate — but pretty lousy — soccer player.