How to get the all-important R.O.I from an external speaker booking.

If we pay for something it is reasonable to expect that we will get something in return. When a speaker is booked to deliver at an internal or external event the least that is required is for the speech to be entertaining for its duration; but what you should actually get is more than that. A credible public speaker should be able to deliver their story in such a manner that the audience take it away with them and refer to it again and again weeks, months or even years later.


  1. Whether we are paying money for a product or service we have an expectation of what we are purchasing and why we either need or want it. When you are booking a speaker think about the purpose. Do you want a celebrity with profile to attract an external audience? Do you require a speaker to deliver a specific message? Do you want a speaker who can add value to an existing organisational company focus? The answer to this question will help you to achieve ROI. If you are not looking for an immediate celebrity hook for an event you do not need to pay the big bucks for a name that you don’t need.
  2. Speak to a speaker bureau or agency for advice. They SHOULD know their listed speakers well and will be able to advise you on the best speaker for your requirement.
  3. Know what your budget is; speaker fees vary. An agency will be able to provide you with the best possible options for your budget.
  4. Speaker agencies take a commission on all bookings at an average of 20 – 25%. This is fair but don’t be afraid to make them work for their commission. After providing initial advice, securing the best speaker they can also help with transport logistics, provide further speaker information and communicate any key messages required by the organisation to the speaker or help to set up pre-event calls. Please don’t be afraid to ask an agent what their commission rate is. It is fair that you know what you are paying for. If an agency does not offer an answer move on as it is likely to be higher than the industry standard.
  5. During the speech take a note of key points raised. The best speakers will leave the stage with 2-3 key points still in the air. Key points that, if your preparation and communication with the agency has been good, should resonate with your company or event message and can continue to be used and communicated beyond the day itself.
  6. Finally ask your attendees for feedback. How did they rate the speaker, what did they take away from the talk? Would they recommend the speaker to other organisations? And if time allows follow up after another few weeks and see if any of the key points for the talk are still with them. Perhaps look at employee engagement levels after the event. Are these higher than normal?


It is difficult to measure exact return on investment after booking an external speaker but by preparing well, speaking to the agency, communicating clearly the message or theme you want to deliver on the day then there is a good chance that you will help to heighten the return.

Inspiring Women is a specialist agency providing female keynote, motivational and after-dinner speakers. For booking enquires for any internal or external event please email direct on or  contact us through our website