It’s about what you can take a deep breath and say to a potential client. What I can say is that usually the minimum wage for a speaker is about $1,000. Does this mean that I have never taken less than that to speak at engagements, absolutely I have. I have even taken less than that within this year alone but that was because there was an even greater opportunity from the backside of it all. When you are a speaker you cant just focus on money, you have to ask yourself if there are going to be other ways that this will have a high ROI (Return On Investment), or if there are other ways that this can help your speaking career grow.
Once again you establish your pricing. You have to be able to say a number with out laughing while telling your potential client. The one thing I will CAUTION you NOT to do is over pricing yourself. If you say you charge $5,000 but you don’t LOOK like a $5,000 speaker or if they have not heard about you then chances are they will question your credibility as a speaker but also question your price tag.
When I first started to speak at colleges I had my fee set at $1,500 and I stood at this price for a very long time. Then I spoke to my agent and he said lets make the jump and go up some more. I then started at $2,000 and stood there for a little while and when I was able to handle telling folks my price I then jumped up to $2,500. Once I reached this point I stood there again for a very long time and then decided to move up by increments to the point that now my speaking fee is $5,000. That is really the peak of what you will get in the college market because for many schools that all they can afford and also many schools are cutting back on their budgets.
There are a lot of ways you can get no money to speak but still receive high value for speaking. You need to know what you want or better yet what you need.
Example, their may be a school that says we only have $700 but we will also video tape it for you then that a great bargain because it would cost you more then $300 to hire a professional videographer. Once again you have to run that and make sure that you are the executive producer of that video so that they deliver exactly what you want.