171. What You Need to Know Before Signing a Speaking Contract

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One of the common questions I get asked is “What do I need to know before I sign a speaking contract?” To answer this question we are joined by Melanie Deziel today. But unlike our usual format, Melanie isn’t a guest today, she’s our first co-host!

Melanie was a student who has gone through our training programs and has become one of our coaches. Before branching out on her own in the speaking world, Melanie worked in a corporate environment. She helped brands think more like journalists and tell better stories.

She shifted to speaking when she realized how much she enjoyed the speaking gigs she was doing to represent her team. She took a course with The Speaker Lab and for the last two years, she’s been speaking and consulting full-time.

To keep things interesting and extra fun, I invited Melanie to join me as a co-host for the next four weeks. Today we’re talking about a common question we get at the speaker lab: what do I need to know before signing a contract? We’ll dig into that answer today on this edition of The Speaker Lab.



  • The two reasons to ask potential clients about the length of your speech.
  • How to be the hero for your event organizer.
  • What can you ask to find out details about your audience?
  • Why does it matter to you and your contract who the other speakers are at the event?
  • What is the one question to ask so you know what success looks like to your client?
  • What is a rider and how can you use one for logistics like travel and technology?
  • Why should you find out specifics about the venue beforehand?
  • Why does dress code matter?
  • And so much more!

Tweetable:  “You are there to make the client look good.”



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