How to make money as a speaker without charging a speaking fee

I am in the process of assisting with the organisation of our Toastmasters Conference in Southern Africa. Now, because we are not for profit, we have very little money to pay our guest speakers.

However for many of the speakers, they are literally losing income by not accepting a paid gig when they are speaking to us for no cost. So for one of our speakers, we needed to figure out a way to make it work.

Then, I something that I learned in a CD course called “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week“, by Darren laCroix came to mind, and that is that there are ways to make money as a speaker without charging a platform fee.

One of the easiest of these is Back of Room Sales, or BORS. Very simply, in exchange for speaking for free, you  arrange with the conference team to provide you with facilities to sell your products after your presentation. In fact, very often you will do this regardless of your speaking fee.

So, our conference team approached the speaker with the following suggestions:

  1. We provide a high-profile table with two volunteers to assist on the day of his speech
  2. We sell his products in our “stock shop”, for the duration of the conference, and all proceeds go to him
  3. He speaks directly before a tea break, so that he has an opportunity to work the room, sign books etc directly after his speech
  4. If 20% of the delegates buy his book at R100, that is about R5000 he will be making, which is not bad, considering that he could have received nothing at all for the presentation

We took this offer to him, and he gladly accepted our proposal. This was truly a win-win situation.

So, as a speaker, are you going to do something similar? If you are approached to speak, and they cannot afford to pay you (or to pay you much), how about suggesting a similar arrangement.

Now, some of you are saying that you don’t have a product. Here is a secret from Darren. “That does not matter!” If you have a great speech, you will most likely have books and CD’s that have had an impact on you, books and CD’s that have helped determine your outlook, and influenced your message. Those are perfect places to look at useful products that you can sell at your presentations, get used to the idea of selling products, and make some extra cash. For example, I often speak on PowerPoint, and there are some great books that have helped my shape my views on PowerPoint. These are books that I believe will help anybody to give a great presentation. These are perfect starting points for products.

So, go out there, and sell products!

If you really want to learn about creating and selling products, you need to get the CD set “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week“. By the way, I paid for it in two speaking engagements!

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