When people ask us, “How much does it cost to hire a speaker?” we often counter with a question of our own: “What’s the budget for your event?”

Keynote speakers can range from hundreds of dollars per event to a few thousand, depending on how well known they are and how established they are as a speaker. Former President Barack Obama, for instance, commands $400,000 per speaking engagement—and he’s not the highest-paid public speaker in recent history, either.

What if you don’t have a six-figure budget for your event? You can still find a high-quality speaker in your niche who will resonate with your audience. High-quality keynote speakers who are experts in business, finance, personal development, and a variety of other industries are often paid from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000 per engagement.

3 Ways to Reduce the Cost of a Speaker

Take the following into consideration when comparing speakers’ prices for your event:

  • Are travel and accommodations included in the price, or will you pay these costs separately?You may be able to eliminate travel costs by booking a local speaker or one who will be in your area at the time of your event.
  • Is the speaker a well-known name?Celebrities command the big dollars when it comes to speaking engagements. But someone who is an expert in your industry, although not a household name, may have plenty of insight to provide to your audience—at a fraction of the cost.
  • How long is the speech?Most keynote speeches run from 60 to 90 minutes. You may be able to shave some costs by keeping your speech short.

A Speaker for Every Budget

A high-quality public speaker doesn’t have to break the bank. Many lesser-known speakers specialize in topics that will captivate your audience.

But don’t be afraid to spend the money to get the speaker you want—or the best you can afford.

After all, you’re paying the speaker for their knowledge, talent, and the value they bring to your event.