I was just talking to a client who was wanted to know about how speakers charge. What are our rates? Our speaker fees?

I found myself giving her a short course in Why Motivational Speakers Don’t Charge By the Hour, and thought you might be interested too.

She asked, “For an Hour? It’s just an hour.”

Well, yeah. But when you engage a professional motivational speaker or humorist, you are not really paying for that hour.

When I, as a speaker, take on a client, I have to prepare myself, learn all about the client, get to the location of the program (which is often takes a large portion of a day) and put myself in a clean shirt. (Which doesn’t take much time at all… :)

So whether you want me to speak for 15 minutes (I’ve done that!) or 3.5 hours in a seminar format, (done that too) I’ve already had to do the hard part: prepare, travel, etc.

In other words, the actual time on the platform isn’t the hardest part.

But the biggest reason why we don’t adjust our speakers’ rates or fees drastically based on the time on the platform is because once we agree to work for you and your meeting or convention, we cannot work elsewhere. We cannot sell that day to anybody else. You’re buying our day…

Finally, there is a whole different way of looking at it. It comes from a joke.

A plumber came in to a house, banged his hammer on a pipe and fixed a problem for a home owner. He charged $150.

“$150 for banging the pipe with your hammer?!”

“No… The banging of the hammer was free. I charge $150 to know WHERE to bang the hammer.”

I’ve been a magician, comedian, and motivational speaker for years. I mean YEARS. I’ve been in front of audiences since high school when I did street magic for tips on the streets of Boulder, Colorado. When you hire me, you aren’t really paying me for that hour. What you are paying for is for a speaker/corporate entertainer who has had a lifetime of experience in order to be ready for you and your needs.

“The joke telling is free. I charge to know where, how, and when to tell those jokes just right.”

(And while I’m there… I’ll hammer on stuff for free. :) )

Read more about motivational speakers rates and fees here.