Tomorrow I’m going with some friends to a Get Motivated motivational seminar at the Mandalay Bay hotel here in Las Vegas. Speakers include Zig Ziglar, Steve Forbes, Peter Lowe, Tom Hopkins, Michael Powell, Joe Montana, and Rudy Giuliani.
I’m especially looking forward to seeing Zig Ziglar speak. I’ve heard his audio programs and read his books, but this is the first time I’ll be seeing him speak live.
Zig Ziglar’s speaking fee is in the $50,000 – $75,000 range. And he isn’t the highest paid speaker either. Ex-Presidents and celebrities like Bill Clinton or Colin Powell can command speaking fees of $100,000 or more for a single engagement. One professional speaker told me the highest paid speaker he knows of is Bill Cosby, who supposedly charges $375,000 per engagement. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not — a speakers bureau that books Bill Cosby simply lists his fee as being in the “$75,000 and up” category, even when he speaks for non-profit organizations.
Most speakers I’ve met have speaking fees between $2500 and $10,000 (plus travel expenses). That’s for a one-hour keynote or after dinner speech. That may seem an extremely high hourly rate compared to other professions, but the value of a speaker doesn’t primarily come from his/her time on the stage. The value comes from the long-term impact on the audience. Great speakers have the ability to permanently change your thinking and your behavior in a very short period of time, and that is such a rare and important skill that it actually makes the speaking fee a bargain in many cases. Even if just a fraction of the audience takes away only one good actionable idea, the cumulative impact can easily provide enough value that the speaking fee is recouped many times over. A talented speaker can be worth his/her weight in gold.
After the seminar I’ll be sure to post my “show notes” to share what I learned with you. I did this once before for a motivational seminar I attended earlier this year.