37 ways to Value Speaking as Branding

If you enjoy speaking, then giving presentations to a targeted audience is a great marketing and branding tool. But, writing a good speech takes time and giving a presentation also takes time. A 30 minute speech can easily turn into four or more hours of communications, planning, travel and follow up. So, when is it worth it to give a free speech?

In 2009, I spoke 29 times to over 1,000 people. Most of the time, those speeches were free. In 2010, I’m expecting to at least double, maybe triple those numbers. To help me gauge whether or not to accept an offer, I came up with 37 ways to measure the value of a free speaking engagement.

What do think? Do you speak for free – when and why?

25 Ways a Free Speech is Worth It

The speaker gets . . .
1. promoted to their target audience
2. compensated for travel and hotel or no overnight stay is required
3. a list of members or attendees
4. free membership
5. ad or exhibit space
6. opportunities to promote or sell in the presentation
7. letters of recommendation from the meeting planner or attendees
8. introductions to other meeting planners
9. assistance with back of room sales of products
10. book orders
11. free admission to the event and meals provided
12. special recognition in press and advertising
13. approval to offer paid consulting or workshops around the engagement
14. free videos, audios or photography
15. links from the event site
16. mentions in social networks
17. complimentary passes
18. thank you note from the organizers
19. compensation from an employer and does not require additional income
20. positioning: the speaker as an expert in a place they want to be
21. a donation for a charity or non-profit
22. paid speaking engagement referrals
23. contacts for their list
24. contracts with new clients
25. non-monetary compensation: fun, new friends, etc.

12 Ways a Free Speech is not worth it

The speaker is asked to . . .
1. continually leverage their personal brand and network to promote the event
2. cover their own travel expenses
3. cut their presentation because time runs short
4. understand how a profit-making event can’t afford to compensate the talent that makes it a profit-making event
5. pay for registration
6. not promote their products or services
7. produce their own handouts
8. not contact attendees after the event
9. create a new program that takes time and creative energy
10. let the event planner record and sell their presentation with no compensation
11. pump up attendance
12. come up with ways to justify, to themselves, why they are giving a free speech

Are there more? Do you have a policy about what you will do for free versus paid speeches? As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

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