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  • ben26023

Know Your Worth

Freelance consultants. Sole Traders. Creatives, business owners and agencies.

All of them have had at one time or another considered how much they should be paid for providing a service. So, as a public speaker, how much do you think you’re worth?

Australians can often struggle to define one’s worth. As George Lucas would say, “the tall poppy syndrome is strong in that one”. Or, something along those lines.

So how can you put a price tag on something when you don’t know how much it’s worth?

Knowing one’s worth means taking a deep dive into what it is you’ll be delivered.

The subject matter, length and costs associated with it. But where do you begin?

Similar to my last blog (Self Relfection before Projection –check it out if you haven’t already), it’s important to begin with some self reflection. The lines can often be blurred between confidence and reality, and so understanding where you sit is essential.

To oversell yourself can do long-term damage – not only because you could be overlooked for “cheaper” alternatives, but also a premium price tag oftens incites a premium product. If you oversell and under deliver, it’s fair to assume your public speaking career will be short lived.

Worst still is under selling yourself . Come in too cheap and you’ve set yourself a low bench mark and potentially out of pocket! No doubt it’s a tricky balancing act but thankfully for you I’ve lived mistakes and now can pass on my learnings to help.

It’s a sliding scale and it’s important to remember no two events are the same, so consider these points when being asked to quote for your next (or first!) speaking gig:

• Length: How long are you expected to talk for? Is it a keynote spot, or will you be participating alongside a panel of experts? Are you the only speaker for the day, or wedged in before lunch?

There’s obviously a level of hierarchy when it comes to speaking engagements, so think about how long and where you’ll you speaking in the timetable to gauge it’s position on the day.

• Subject Matter: What are you talking about?

Are there many people either at the same event, or in the community, who also speak about this subject? Or would you consider it a niche subject? For example, I am often asked to speak about disability awareness and engagement – something that has been spoken about and presented to by a myriad of experts. But I also get asked to discuss Accessible Tourism which, as far as I know, is quite a unique subject that I’m closely attached to.

• Audience: Who will you be speaking to? How many will be attending? Who is organising the event?

For example, I might consider charging out differently to presenting 50 students at their high school versus a large corporation or industry body event with 1,000 attendees.

• Impact on me: Will I personally get a lot out of presenting/attending this event? Is it a cause that I’m passionate about?

As you can see, there are so many variables when deciding to put a price tag on your time and skills.

However, there are some non-negotiables I’ll take into consideration no matter what the event. The include the costs associated with my preparation (how many hours it takes), travel to and from event, and any ongoing costs – media (such as photos or videos) required for the presentation, software, business expenses, etc. I find it easier to give yourself a stock-standard hourly rate to cover these expenses.

In summary, it’s important that you don’t allow others to dictate your worth. Be comfortable and confident in yourself and your abilities. Not only trust the process, but put trust in yourself.

I’ll be dropping a few more blogs covering public speaking over the next while, so if you’re interested in understanding more make sure you stay tuned!

If you had any specific questions or wanted to suggest a blog topic, feel free to drop me a line at

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