Keynote Speaker Fees: How Much Should You Pay?

A keynote speaker is a professional who is hired during conferences, corporate meetings, and other similar events for a purpose. If you are planning to hire them, then you better check your budget. Make sure that it can cover the payment for the kind of speaker you want to hire.

Generally, a speaker can ask for any amount according to how much they feel their time is worth. Nevertheless, their feel will always fall into a certain rubric. Special Note: You might find yourself paying twice or thrice the amount if you talk with a speaker’s bureau instead of asking the speaker personally.


Motivational SpeakerIt should be possible for you to ask a speaker to speak for your event for free. It is especially easy for you to convince a keynote speaker to give a free speech when the latter is still new to the field and doesn’t have much experience just yet. It is also easy to convince a speaker to speak for free when they own a business model that allows them to earn revenues even without asking for a fee when they deliver speeches.

Try looking into those who offer services (consulting, coaching, etc.) that the participants may take an interest in as well. After delivering a good speech, the speaker may be able to intrigue the participants and, consequently, they may get business from it.

Another instance is when the event you are hosting is a local one. It may be a convenient speaking engagement for them so they are fine delivering a speech with or without a fee. Finding such a speaker may be a bit difficult though.


The “travel only” speaker may be a bit similar to the “free” speaker. The difference is that you are the one who will be paying for their travel expenses. You will sometimes cover both the flight fare and the hotel accommodations.

How you will pay for the “travel only” arrangement depends on what you and the speaker come to terms with. One option is for you to pay a flat amount for the hotel and flight. The speaker will book the travel personally. The travel stipend that you will provide the speaker may range from $350 and up to thousands of dollars (if it is an international speaking engagement).

$500 – $1,500

This is the range for speakers invited to deliver a speech during non-profit events and small conferences. The fee is considered to be a small amount. The said fee allows you to choose from non-popular keynote speakers in the market.

$1,500 – $3,000

This price range is another modest range that you can offer to keynote speakers. The best thing about increasing your budget to this range is that you can hire professional speakers already. However, these speakers may have less experience and accomplishments to boast of.

$3,000 – $5,000

There are already lots of keynote speakers who will agree if you offer within this price range. Do take note though that the said price range is still below what they normally ask. However, the fee is already considered real money for most speakers in the market.

$5,000 – $10,000

If you are aiming to invite one of the top keynote speakers, then you should prepare a budget that falls within this particular price range. A top keynote speaker is someone who has given numerous keynote speeches in the past. They should also have serious career accomplishments already.

$10,000 – $20,000

If the conference that you are organizing is a major one, then the fee that you should prepare must fall within this price range. Even with the popular keynote speakers, this is a fee that they rarely come across with. For a keynote speaker, being paid within this price range is probably an honorable keynoting experience.

$20,000 – $50,000

This is a price range that is reserved only for most celebrity keynote speakers. What celebrity speakers mean is that they are celebrities who are already household names. They may also be well-known category experts.

$50,000 – $100,000

So expensive! You might think that the price is already too high. Of course it would be as this price range is normally paid out to top celebrity speakers. There’s only a few top celebrity speakers out there. It is only possible to pay them this much since they can draw in massive ticket sales that exceeds the speaker fee you are paying them.

$100,000 and up

If you plan to hire someone like Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, or anyone from the Top 10 of the Forbes’ richest list, this this is the price range that you should expect to pay. No questions asked.

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