Make Money As a Speaker

Make Money As a Speaker

I was in a meeting a few weeks ago when someone shared that she was astonished to find out the college where she worked paid $5000 to someone to teach a workshop. She went on to say that she could have taught the workshop herself. Unless you are a part of the world of speaking, it would be very hard to believe the amount of money that many speakers make. But the fact of the matter is there’s a ton of money that can be made from speaking.

Often times I’m asked, “How do I get paid as a speaker?” There are a variety of ways you can make money as a speaker, but for the purpose of this blog post, I will focus on the top two.


The first way you can make money as a speaker is to actually charge to speak. Many people choose to give away their information for free, but there is an entire multi-million dollar industry built off of paying people to speak. The fee that is given to speak is often called an honorarium. An honorarium is a payment that is made as compensation for giving a speech or talk.

You can be paid to give a particular type of speech such as a keynote address (the main speech at an event) or to present in some other way. You can also be paid to teach a workshop, seminar or to give some other type of presentation or information.

The second most common way to be compensated as a speaker is by making an offer at the end of your presentation. This occurs when at the end of a talk, the speaker makes an offer to the audience that produces a sale.


The offer can be a product, program, service or something else that requires a monetary exchange. This talk can be paid, have a fee associated with it or it can be given completely free.

Although some people think it is best to go the paid speaking route only as a speaker, often times your greatest profits can occur by not getting paid initially and just by making the right offer at the end of your talk.

I use both methods in my speaking business. However, I often say if I could only pick one of the two methods for the rest of my career I would skip the upfront fee and just make an offer at the end. Why you may ask? Because in most cases, if you know how to do it effectively, you can make a lot more money with the appropriate offer than you can through receiving an honorarium.

According to the National Speakers Association, the average keynote speaker is paid $3500. This can be a significant amount, especially if you weigh it against the amount of time it takes to give a keynote – normally less than an hour.

If you were fortunate enough to be able to book a few a month, it can certainly add up quickly. But, you can make 5-figures and 6-figures in sales after a talk from offering the right offer, in the right room, to the right audience, which can far exceed the honorarium you would get paid to speak.

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