How to hire a motivational speaker

Motivational speakers can provide the motivation, inspiration and boost your company, group, association or club need in order to be more productive. It is therefore mandatory for you to do your research before hiring a speaker for your event. A hasty decision can lead to an unproductive speaker which can cause more damage than repair.

Here are a few things you need to consider before hiring a motivational speaker for your event.

First on the list is your event’s budget. Motivational speakers don’t come in cheap. Their price ranges from $2,000.00 all the way to $100,000 per session. The budget should be your first consideration. By identifying how much your organizer is willing to shell out to pay for a speaker, you can easily set the parameters and requirements for hiring your speaker.

Once the budget is established, identify which type of motivational speaker you would want to employ. Currently there are three kinds you can choose from. Funny motivational speakers use humor and laughter to convey a message. Content rich speakers are employed when the goal is to convey a lot of information in one sitting. Storytelling is another form of motivational speech that uses actual stories and experiences of the speaker to inspire a specific group of people (i.e. cancer patients, war victims, prisoners etc.)

Motivational SpeakerYou can find motivational speakers in three different ways. You can go old school and ask people you know who might have had the chance to employ one, for references. This is perhaps the easiest way and the most effective. You can go around and ask other associations, organizations and clubs around for their feedback. You might also want to go and contact a speaker bureau who can refer you to motivational speakers on their list. Most speaker bureaus charge a commission fee of around 25% to 30%. Keep this in mind when hiring a speaker because with this commission fee rate you will have little room for negotiation. Of course you can always resort to searching for them on your own, using search engines like Google or Yahoo.

Based on your theme, budget and preference, select the top 5 speakers that you can choose from. This is to ensure that there is plan B, C, D and E in case plan A doesn’t work to your advantage.

Start contacting your top five to determine their price and availability. Do this preferably a month or so in advance. Most companies are employing speakers nowadays and if your choice is among the most popular you might find that his schedule does not fit your event date.

Do your research about your top five choices. The following should be included in your research:

• Price

• Availability

• Expertise – do they write books as well? Do they have a blog? Do they provide consultation and follow up activities.

• Testimonials of satisfied and unsatisfied customers

• Their written biography – background and experiences delivering speeches

Present your research to the committee who will decide which speaker would be invited to your event. If your research is thorough and well prepared it shouldn’t take long before they could come up with a decision. Remember that time is of the essence. You would want to book a speaker as soon as possible and to avoid last minute changes.

Once the speaker is decided, learn to negotiate. There are other means, wherein a speaker can earn money in your event. They could set up a booth where they could sell their books, a Tradeshow booth to sell their items or future referrals to other events that need their expertise. Compromising this way can give you the leverage to work your way around their price and bring it within your budget.

Lastly seal the deal by signing a contract identifying the terms of the agreement. This is also to ensure that come hell or high water, your speaker will be there during your event.

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