• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™


Situations Change. Deposits Shouldn’t.

Situations Change. Deposits Shouldn’t. 670 449 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

Today I was talking with Sybil Stewart, a speaker, advocate, and TEDx organizer. We were discussing how important it is for speakers to charge a non-refundable deposit when being booked.

Experienced event planners and speakers, we know that situations change. Speaker rosters shift. Budgets shrink. Attendance may not be what was anticipated. And speaking engagements might be canceled as a result. We understand.

We also understand that the speaker had blocked off time which may not be scheduled with another client. In the worst case scenario, the speaker may have already completed the prep work.

As this is a relationship business, it’s important for both parties (speakers and planners) to feel comfortable and valued throughout the process.

Requesting a deposit will recover some of the income speakers may lose if an event is canceled or changed. The benefits go both ways. After a speaker is booked with a non-refundable deposit, that speaker is committed, even if another planner reaches out with a bigger budget. Win-win.



Photo credit: Image by Canva

Consider creative alternatives to an honorarium or speaker fee

Consider creative alternatives to an honorarium or speaker fee 2560 1709 I Need A Speaker

I’ve participated in enough committee discussions to know that some organizations don’t have the funds to pay speaker fees. Today I’ll suggest that perhaps that fact doesn’t stop the process – with creativity, it can begin a conversation to negotiate terms.

Here are some ways speakers can be paid outside of the traditional transactional model of money for services:

  • Place ads for the speaker’s services in organizational materials.
  • Feature the speaker in social media accounts.
  • Include information about the speaker on your website.
  • Write an article or publish an interview with the speaker in your group’s newsletters.
  • Offer a discount for the speaker’s products to your members.
  • Barter products or services offered or sold by your organization.
  • Extend membership in your organization.
  • Allow use of your organization’s space or resources on a limited basis: printing, video conferencing, etc.
  • Provide testimonials that can be used to promote the speaker.

A creative approach that results in a win-win situation will pay off for everyone!

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