Jaimie: In today's episode, we're going to be talking about speaker bureaus. You know those magical entities that help speakers find gigs, and they take a cut of their hard earned money. But sit back, relax, and let's dive into the wacky world of speaker bureaus and importantly, how they can help or hinder your speaking career. So picture this you're an aspiring speaker, excited to share your knowledge and inspire audiences. But unfortunately you're a little lost when it comes to finding speaking opportunities entail the speaker bureau, your knight in shining armor, or perhaps your friendly neighborhood talent agent is the trench coat and the fedora.
So what exactly is a speaker bureau? Well, first of all, before I get into that, my paid to speak of course doors are opening and just what is it now three weeks time 30th of May the doors are opening. If you want to join the waitlist you can go to Paid to Speak.com.au Jump into the waitlist and not only will you get early access about 72 hours earlier than everyone else, but you'll also get a bonus one on one session with me and that's available exclusively to the waitlist, so can't wait to see you inside pay to speak the doors only open twice a year. But on the issue of speaker bureaus. If you join the course I'm going to give you a list of 16 of the top bureaus in Australia. I've also listed the Bureaus in the US as well for our US listeners. But I have a lot of Australian so I've gone through the top 16. It's pretty much the best ones. The biggest ones, and I've got a US list as well.
But in a nutshell, there are agencies that represent speakers and what they do is they connect speakers with organisations seeking someone to wow their audiences. And like any talent agent worth their salt. They can also help negotiate fees, manage contracts and handle logistics. Sounds great, right? Well, it's not all sunshine and rainbows, because they typically do take a commission on your speaking fee. But hey, you've got to pay the piper writers. And as I say to a lot of clients, and a lot of my students who go through pay to speak, these are gigs that you wouldn't otherwise get. So let's just say look, I've seen 35% commissions paid out with some of my students. If you're getting a $10,000 speaking gig and you're partying three and a half 1000 of that. It's still six and a half $1,000 gross, that gross income I mean, not gross, that you wouldn't have gone otherwise. So think of it in that way.
So let's dive into the nitty gritty details of how speaker bureaus can help you in your quest for speaking started. And I do encourage you to consider speaker bureaus and make that a part of your strategy as a paid speaker. So first and foremost, they provide increased exposure and credibility. So maybe think of a speaker Bureau as like your personal PR machine, working tirelessly to get your name out there and basically to make you look good. You know, Speaker bureaus have connections with event organisers, and industry insiders and that means that they can open doors that you might not even know existed. Plus, they also can help you sort of craft a speaker or speakers bio that will make you sound like the next Tony Robbins, even if you're still working on that hole walking on hot coals Tony Robbins does.
So next up, we have negotiation. As a speaker, you want to be fair, paid fairly for
your time and expertise. And let's face it, a lot of us are not master negotiators. So that's where the speaker Bureau is gold. They come in and they've been around the block a few, few times, and they know the ins and outs of the industry. So what they can do is help you to score the best possible deal. And while they may take a commission, they're also pretty motivated to get you the highest fee possible. Like a real estate agent, or a musician, musicians agent. After all, the more that you make, the more they make, so it's a win win. Now let's talk about contracts and logistics. So if you're like most people, the mean mention of the word contract is enough to make your eyes glaze over. So thankfully, Speaker bureaus are well versed in the art of contract management. So what they can do is they can help you navigate the legal jargon. Ensure your interests are protected and make sure that you don't accidentally sign away your firstborn child. Plus, they'll handle all the nitty gritty details like travel arrangements and accommodations, so you can focus on what you do best in that speaking.
But like any good fairy tale, there is a dark side, being dramatic and negative side to the world of speaker bureaus. So whilst they can provide invaluable assistance, they can sometimes be a little bit like overbearing stage parents and they might push you to take on gigs that you may not be interested in or they're trying. This is just feedback I've had from sunlight Paid to Speak students. They might try, I try to. I'm trying to say this in a good way, though, shape your brand in a way that doesn't feel authentic. And of course there's the matter of the commission. You know, they do take a big chunk, however, they're doing the legwork for you. It's a decision you have to make.
And so one thing I will also say is and this is really important, and I do emphasise this to all my clients or my students, if you are on a speaking event that has been lined up by a speaker's bureau. This happens all the time. Someone will come up to you from the audience and they'll say oh, we'd love to book you again. Can we book you for our upcoming charity event or our upcoming managers Strategic Planning Day? You have to put them back through to the speaker's bureau. If you don't, and they find out you will never get any work from them again. You just don't do that. So it's you really want to do the right thing. And they will continue they'll appreciate that. It's about developing that relationship with them. So you have to put the client back through the speaker bureau and I know that can be annoying because they'll think oh, I don't want to go back through that speaker bureau trouble here. I'll forget about it. They just want to poke you direct. And it can be really tempting because you think oh I'll just cut out the commission. But don't do it. They will find out and then you'll get no work. So think long term think strategically think about relationships and doing the right thing because you're only getting that follow up job because you're there from the speaker bureau in the first place.
So how do you find the perfect speaker bureau to guide you on your journey to speaking success? Well, if you join Paid to Speak at paidtospeak.com.au, doors are opening the 30th of May a couple of days earlier for the waitlist. I'm going to give you a whole list of the top 16 in Australia and we've got some US ones in there as well. But generally speaking, it's kind of like dating. You know, it's all about finding the right match. So start by doing your research, maybe look for some speaker bureaus that specialise in your industry or your niche and check out their roster of speakers. When you go to these websites, you will it's kind of like a menu of speakers there. And they'll often categorise it into inspirational speakers, sporting speakers, political speakers, leadership, all those different types of categories. And if they represent speakers that you admire or maybe even have a similar style to yours, that's a great sign.
Next, ask around for recommendations. I'm giving you my top 16 in Australia and we're just we're still building the US list as we speak. You're going to have a stack in there as well.
So they're my recommendations, but failing all that,, talk to fellow speakers or industry professionals who may have worked with speaker bureaus and ask them for their insights. It's always helpful to get a first hand account of someone's experience before you dive into a partnership and that's with anything I'd recommend.
Now, once you've narrowed down your options, reach out to the speaker bureaus and ask for a meeting or phone call. This is the hard part because sometimes they'll close their books sometimes. You really have to be persistent in your strategy and asking them to get on their books. They'll always wants to see generally always a video of you speaking as well. So some sort of show reel. Remember, it's a two way street. So not only are they evaluating you, but you really should also be evaluating them. Don't be afraid to ask questions about their approach to representation, their commission structure and just the types of speaking engagements that they can help you secure. You know, this needs to be worth your time as well. And after you've gathered all of that information, it's then time to make a decision. So weigh up the pros and cons. Consider whether the benefits of working with a speaker bureau, outweigh the commission I'll be taking. And remember it's just really essential to trust your gut. If something feels off or too good to be true. It probably is.
So there you have it. My list that I'll give you in Paid to Speak though is my trusted list. I've recommended clients go there and they've had huge success. They're reputable speaker bureaus. But that's my take on the world of speaker bureaus and how they can help or hinder mostly help your speaking career. Now whilst speaker bureaus may not be for everyone, right now, I'm currently not on the books of any speaker bureau. At the moment, I've got enough work coming in myself, but I probably you know, this could have been a great refresher for me I probably should reach back out and put myself on the speaker bureaus again but partnering with the right speaker Bureau can open doors, it can secure lucrative speaking gigs. I've got so many clients, so many of my students having great success with speaker bureaus because they are helping you, they help them make a name for themselves. In the industry. But just remember to do your homework, as I said, trust your instincts, and never forget that in the end- you are the star of the show.
So thanks for joining me in this episode of perfect public speaking. I hope you've enjoyed my take on speaker bureaus and gain some valuable insights into the big wide world of professional speaking doors are opening in three weeks for my Paid to Speak course they only open twice a year. So go to paidtospeak.com.au I'd love to see you on the waitlist because that means if you join from there you're going to get a one on one session with me you can take up to six months to use it. So digest all the course content. There is a lot in there. We've got a group coaching session in July. And that's just an opportunity to ask questions and then from there you get a one on one session so you get everything you need to launch your paid speaking career. As always, if you have any questions, suggestions or stories to share, feel free to reach out. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast rate and review it and you don't want to miss any of our upcoming episodes until next time, I'm Jamie Abbott signing off Keep smiling, keep speaking and never forget that laughter is the best teacher