006. Q&A: What Should Be Included in a Speaker Contract

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Welcome back to The Speaker Lab! On today’s show I’m here with another special Q&A episode, this time with a focus on one great question: speaking contracts.

Today on The Speaker Lab our focus is on contracts in the speaking world, and all the details that go along with them. Everything from the actual details of speaking contracts to contract etiquette as well as rules to follow when communicating with potential employers.

Listen in to hear all of that and so much more on this episode of The Speaker Lab!


  • Once a job is booked, what kind of contract is exchanged?
  • How do you leave a reliable paper trail?
  • What is a “speaking agreement” and is it different than a contract?
  • What should be included in your contract and how much should you charge?
  • The different types of clauses to include in your contract.
  • How do you handle deposits and travel costs?
  • What to do in case of a cancellation or emergency.
  • And much, much more!

Tweetable: “Make it a win for you and the client.”


  • Grant,

    Great episode. Can you share a draft contract with us? I’d love to have a starting place.

  • Fantastic episode! This answered so many questions that I had for a long time, thank you. I was wondering, do you have a contract template you could share with the boilerplate language you mentioned?

    Also, I totally am on board with accepting a 50% deposit upon booking to hold my calendar space. But I have found that most conference organizers push back and agree to a deposit just three months before the conference. I’d like to know your thoughts on this because I’m still in early stages of getting paid engagements. Thank you again!

  • Kendra Dahlstrom

    VERY helpful. Curious….Did more business ever render from your generosity with the Minnesota school?

    • The lady in charge of that MN conference went on to the national office a few years later and had me come speak at their national conference 🙂

      • Kendra Dahlstrom

        Thanks, Grant. I thought that would be the case. It always pays to be fair and nice. I work in Support and Services for large Fortune 500 customers so a believer in Customer Experience = success.