But we can get speakers for free?
I’ve been asked many times to justify my fee. Or been declined because of my fee. I’ve been told ‘We don’t have the budget’. One teacher recently told me ‘ We can get speakers in FOR FREE’. I understand that.
For 15 years I’ve bootstrapped my businesses and lifestyle, making sacrifices to keep costs down. Frequently finding ways to figure things out for myself to save money. When I started to speak and prepare talks and presentations I soon realised that I had to charge accordingly.
My fee is not just for the 45-minute keynote or hour assembly talk or 4 hour workshop. It’s for the hours of research and preparation that lead to that point. Each time I speak or present I’ve had the initial meetings and researched the group, school or organisations needs to death. By the time I’m in front of you, I’ve spent hours crafting a presentation that will engage and entertain you. I’ve discussed the topics with other specialist partners and experts, frequently from all over the world and researched and planned the key information, messaging, content, videos and activities for the programme. I will spend days or weeks before the talk continually assessing current and emerging news, information and trends to support my 15 years experience and knowledge. Often I will not get to see my two little boys that day or the following depending on travel. I will return late that night or the following day.
I expect challenges. While schools, colleges, university and youth talks are enjoyable and exciting, there will be difficulties. Audience expectations and moods can be varied and are impossible to gauge beforehand. Enthusiasm from the audience is not a pre-requisite. It has to be worked for and encouraged. Students might be apathetic, teachers distracted. Young audiences ‘fidgety’. The venue may have incompatible facilities, the projector may malfunction, the presenter may go ‘on the blink’.
I’m ready for anything. I’ve planned well and can think on the spot for most eventualities. I may have to shorten the presentation or fill out time till another speaker arrives. This won’t faze me. I’m confident and focussed in my ability to engage and enthuse my audience. I can pull out a story from my own experiences at a moments notice and love to interact with the audience so time passes quickly.
When you hire me you’ll find a speaker with education and life experience who connects with your students, and you can be sure you’ll receive value for money. I work hard to ensure the messages ‘stick’ and your students will be inspired by them.
Every audience and every student is unique but my delivery of these messages will resonate. And they will be remembered. For years to come.
So it’s up to you. Someone who will speak for free. Or a speaker who is relevant, real and positively disruptive!