Before thinking about how to get more money from your speaking gigs, let’s look at why people pay for speakers in the first place.


  1. People Pay for Your Expertise

One of the main reasons organisers will pay for speakers is that they want you, the speaker, to educate their audience on a particular subject. You being the expert, you’re the best person for the job.

But what is an expert exactly? The dictionary definition explains that an expert is “a person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area.”

This can look different for different industries and experts but in general, it means that you have:

  • Been immersed in your subject for many years
  • You have accrued the 10,000 hours it takes to reach the level of mastery
  • You have worked with many clients and customers. You can demonstrate that you understand not only their problems but also the solutions.
  • Inside the solution, you have evidence of results.

Therefore, when you are hired for a speaking gig, you’re not being paid for your hour-long speech, you’re being paid for your years of experience. Therefore, the better you can demonstrate your expertise in your field, the more value you bring to the table, and the more you’re able to raise your fees.


  1. What is a Thought Leader?

The second most common reason why organisers might pay higher fees is that you’re deemed as a thought leader. Thought leadership is a relatively new term that has become important for speakers to understand. Wikipedia states that “A thought leader has been described as an individual or firm recognized as an authority in a specific field.”

The main word here is ‘Authority’. A thought leader is truly someone who has the power to influence, or command thought, opinion, or behaviour in a particular area or industry. While the world is filled with experts, there are significantly fewer thought leaders. Becoming a thought leader is hard work, it involved building clout and becoming influential within your niche.

If you’re looking to become the highest-paid speaker in your field, then aiming to become a thought leader should be your #1 priority. Although this feat isn’t easy, becoming a thought leader can lift you to levels of influence, status, income, and impact beyond your expectations.


  1. How to Become a Thought Leader?

The best way to become a thought leader is to increase your visibility. You can’t be influential if no one sees you. The best way to achieve this is by increasing the number of speaking gigs you have and improving your online presence.

The more you can be found online in clips of different speeches you give, or simply by reaching larger audiences of people, the more recognizable you will become. Like famous musicians, you have to start playing at small coffee shops and local pubs before you can sell out stadiums.


  1. How Thought Leadership Can Guarantee you get Paid to Speak

One of the most credible ways to escalate your career as a speaker is to deliver a TED or TEDx talk. Getting on the TED stage is an easy way to become instantly recognizable and validate yourself as a thought leader. People listen to TED and TEDx talks to learn about a topic, which is exactly the job of thought leaders.

If you consider yourself an expert in your field or a thought leader, you should highly consider getting yourself on the TED stage. Here, experts are turned into thought leaders, and thought leaders expand their influence.


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