How much should I pay for a Keynote Speaker

The amount that speakers charge for their keynote speaking is completely up to the individual person. Most will try to get as much as they can, and some will set their fee schedule so they can keep their calendar full and working. Here is a guide to help you determine how much you should pay for a speaker for your next event.


The only keynote speaker you are going to get for free is one with little or no experience, or if they are going to be making back of the room sales. Back of the room sales are when a presenter sells books, tapes, or other consulting packages following their presentation to the audience. This type of presentation is typically geared towards their products, and it will tend to feel like a sales pitch and not an actual keynote. Another reason a speaker might work for free is if it is for a non-profit organization or if they have a particular connection the audience and want to donate their services. Like anything, you get what you pay for.


This is also not very common that an actual professional will work for expenses only. Expenses would be airfare or mileage, and hotel and meals. This is just like the free scenario above. Unless you are going to get a speaker that is the same quality as that guy at your networking group, a professional would be making back of the room sales. Again, presentation like these tend to be all hype and high pressure sales presentations. They are not usually motivational to the audience. Expenses for these types of occasions would be from $300 to around $1000.

$500 to $1500

Keynote speaker fees in this price range would be for very small conferences and even non-profit organizations. This would be a presenter who has only done a few paid presentations and still perfecting their craft.

$1500 to $3000

This price range for a keynote speaker is someone who is likely trying to stay busy and make money instead of waiting for the bigger offers. They are probably not very experienced and also not good negotiators which is why they take such low fees for their services. Also expect to get a canned presentation.

$3000 to $5000

This is a price range that many average speakers ask in exchange for their services. Even more seasoned keynote speakers will accept this amount after negotiating with the paying customer. They are probably asking in the next price category. $5,000 for a keynote if you could stay busy is a nice living.

$5000 to $10,000

This is a very common price range for quality, seasoned keynote speakers. They will most likely also be a published author, and have spoken at dozens and dozens of events. They should have a wide range of experience and many accomplishments in their career.

$10,000 to $20,000

A large national or international conference would pay in this price range for their keynote speaker. This speaker would more than likely be a well-known published author or one or more books. It is usually a privilege for a keynote speaker to speak at these events as they can use them in their marketing efforts towards future speaking opportunities.

$20,000 to $75,000

This is a price range that a celebrity speaker would receive for a keynote. It doesn't mean it will be a quality presentation like you would get in the $5,000-$10,000 range from a professional. You are paying for a celebrity. It is star power.

$75,000 to $150,000

This price range is for the top celebrity keynote speakers. Organizations will most likely use this person to make ticket sales. You would expect to see speakers like Rudy Giulani, Howard Schultz (founder of Starbucks) or Suze Orman. These are top celebrities that enable an organization to profit from the event.


This is a very small group of individuals. Have you heard of Donald Trump? How about Bill Clinton? George Bush? You get the picture! This is a very elite group of speakers and unless you are expecting thousands of attendees and charging hundreds of dollars for tickets, this is probably not your cup to tea.

Remember, these are fees if you contact the speaker directly. If you go through a speaking bureau, you might expect to pay twice as much to cover their expenses, commissions and fees. I hope this helps you get an idea of where your speaker budget should be for your keynote speaker.

I put this information together to help you budget your event, and I hope you consider having me be your next keynote speaker. If I can be of any assistance in your search, help in making your event be a success, please contact me. Good Luck!