I’m part of the National Speakers Association, and some of the Certified Speaking Professionals recently had a e-conversation that started with this great question:

Who do you THINK (you do not have to be right!) is the most expensive keynoter on the market today?
Here are some of the best responses:

  • I’d go with Bill Clinton. I understand he’s a million dollars.When he isn’t speaking for free.   — Janelle Barlow  
     
  • One speaker guessed Donald Trump at $1 Million an hour – 3 hour contract.
  • Paris Hilton was guessed by another speaker pal, also at $1 million for an hour.
  • Motivational speaker Warren Evans CSP from Toronto, Canada wrote   “Just recently talking with a planner overseas for whom I am doing a gig  this spring. She tells me thought of bringing Lance Armstrong in, but he wants $750,000 for an hour.   If she can find a sponsor, however, to do a tour . . . he’ll do 4 days, or was it 5?, for a flat million.  Richard Branson is $150,000: same event. Course, these are US dollars, so it’s not as expensive as it sounds . . .
     
  • Motivational Speaker Scott Mckain added this:  This isn’t a current speaker, but legend has it that the most money ever paid for a keynote went to Art Linkletter.  Walt Disney asked Linkletter to be the speaker and emcee of the opening of Disneyland in July 1955. However, Disney had spent every nickel on the attraction, and didn’t have the money to pay Linkletter to speak. So, Linkletter said he’d give the opening address for the park — if Disney would give him all of the sales of film and camera accessories for twenty-five years. Disney agreed.  I’ve never seen a precise dollar amount — but, can you even begin to fathom how many rolls of film, flash bulbs, and other pre-digital items were sold at DISNEYLAND over a quarter of a century? Has to be the highest paid presentation of all time…   And, by the way…Linkletter is still speaking! 

But my favorite answer came from keynote speaker Jeffrey Hansler 

  • Well, the most expensive keynoter was the guy that charged $2000 and then destroyed the entire purpose of the meeting – now that was expensive….

So what do YOU think? What is the most expensive keynote speaker?

If you want a keynote speaker who can make a difference for your organization and don’t have the $1 million for Paris Hilton, perhaps you’ll consider me? Contact me directly here.

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