Barter Options When You Can’t Afford A Speaker’s Fee

by Melissa Lewis

There are lots of ways you can barter with speakers if you can’t afford our fees. You just have to know to ask. In fact, you might be surprised how flexible we can be. For example, we might be willing to lower our fees if you would:

1. Book a series of programs rather than just one.

2. Offer us a complimentary membership in your organization.

3. Offer your organization’s goods or services (e.g., printing companies can provide printing, media organizations can provide airtime, airlines can provide tickets).

4. List us in any resource lists or buyers' guides your organization produces.

5. Provide free booth space if your event involves a trade show or exhibit.

6. Buy a book or tape for each participant in the audience. (Sometimes these can be paid for out of a different budget than the speaker's fee).

7. Allow us the chance to sell products at the back of the room (with no obnoxious sales pitches, of course!)

8. Offer company stock.

9. Write a nice testimonial letter on your organization's letterhead.

10. Give a video testimonial to be included in a demo video.

11. Make personal referrals to other organizations for which we might be a good fit.

12. Provide a master video of the program (if your organization is videotaping the event).

13. Give permission for us to videotape the program using our own equipment.

14. Recruit a volunteer from your organization to help run the video camera.

15. Provide a set of mailing labels for your membership for ONE-TIME use.

16. Put one or more of our articles in your organization's newsletter or website, along with contact information.

17. Provide a link to our website on your organization’s website.

18. Put a video clip from the program on your organization’s website.

19. Allow us to bring a guest, staff member or potential client to the program or conference.

20. Allow us to bring our spouse at no extra charge.

21. Include a couple of extra days at the hotel.

22. Allow us to include our information in conference bags distributed to all attendees.

Money isn’t the only option when negotiating fees, so get creative! As long as we’re exchanging VALUE everyone wins.

Copyright © 2017, Melissa Lewis

Melissa Lewis turns traditional thinking about public speaking upside down to give people more comfort, confidence, and charisma in front of groups. She travels nationally as a highly-rated conference speaker, trainer and coach. She is a former comic actress, a Past President of a chapter of the National Speakers Association and has trained as facilitator of SPEAKING CIRCLES ©, a revolutionary new approach for building speaking skill and confidence. For more information, call (828) 658-4211 or visit

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