How To Hire Professional Keynote Speakers

Before you head to your laptop or mobile device and start searching for a speaker at your next event, it is important to find out a little bit more about professional keynote speakers and what they will do for your company. It can also be helpful to learn how to hire them, as the hiring process can be different than others.

Typical Mistakes

Many times, companies that hire a speaker will make mistakes regarding them. While it isn’t your fault that you don’t know the best choices, you can do a little better by scheduling at the right time, require modifications and see the slides or hear the speech ahead of time. Scheduling can be tricky because you want it to be at the right time. During or right after a meal is never the best time to have a speech, so plan it before or towards the end of the evening.

Also, you can make requests of the speaker. You are paying for them, and it is your right to see their graphics and ask that they are changed. This is true of the slides or the speech, as well. Most professional keynote speakers will let you see their planned speech or the slides/graphics they plan to use.

Best Practices

When considering a speaker, make sure you check out a demo video of them. Many offer this option on their websites for quicker viewing but ask if you don’t see any. You will also want to add in some breaks throughout the conference or event. Don’t try to squeeze everything in to accomplish more, because it will backfire.

When To Book

Many times, a speaker is booked up to a year in advance, especially if they are popular. Therefore, you want to start looking up to a year before the big event though you can still find someone great within the two to three-month range if you look carefully and know what you want.


You should expect to pay between $10,000 and $15,000 for an experienced and skilled speaker, plus any travel expenses. Some people will charge less, and some may charge more. It all depends on who they are, how popular they are and where they live. Even though the price tag can be daunting, you shouldn’t try to haggle. If your event or seminar is for 500 people and you’re paying for the rooms, refreshments, and venue, you want people to remember what you have to say.

Professional keynote speakers understand that you are paying them to talk about the particular points of your session or event.