Speaker Template

Congratulations – you have been asked to keynote! This is a terrific experience and a wonderful opportunity to get your work and ideas in front of a large group. Typically, you have been asked by an academic department or program, or perhaps a professional organization. Each case is different, but I have learned (through painful experience!) that setting clear expectations early is a key action to ensuring success for all concerned.

This template is adapted from an original written by Safiya Noble, a prolific and frequent keynote speaker who put her document together after many experiences made her realize the need. She can be reached at her web site, where you can access video of many of her talks.

Remember – everything is negotiable and you can and should be prepared to make concessions. That having been said, knowing what your own needs are and clearly articulating those needs to your hosts will go a long way to making the subsequent negotiations start from a favorable place. It is my hope that this template will be especially helpful to women, who frequently are offered lower (and even no) honoraria for the same events men are invited to. Conference organizers: please advocate for equity in these matters.

Did you use this template? What did you add or change? Do you feel it helped you negotiate a more successful engagement? Please leave a comment below and share your experiences. I’d love to hear from you.

And if you’d like to reach out to me for speaking engagement possibilities, please drop me a line from my contact page. Good luck!

Note: You will want to view this document within Word in order to see the many marginal notes appended to the different sections.

Template – Speaker Engagement

One thought on “Speaker Template

  1. This is good. My speaking engagement contracts always include cancellation options. If they cancel within 48 hours of the event, the full fee is due. If within a week, half the fee is due. I’ve had to activate those several times…

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