23 Things to Consider Before You Speak For Free

23 Things to Consider before you speak for free

You were just asked to speak at an upcoming event and you’re so freaking excited. You know that speaking is the fastest way to grow your platform and increase your influence… so, heck yeah, you want to speak at this event. However, the organizer just notified you that there is no budget for speakers and they will not be able to pay you for your time or travel. Yikes! That means you will be PAYING to speak at someone else’s event.

Before you tell me, “But Jess, they said this is a great opportunity for exposure!”  Let me give you a little reality check.

You will not be the best fit speaker for every event and every event will not be the best fit for you.

When you’re first getting started with speaking, yes - you should absolutely be speaking for free. I mean, how are you suppose to refine your craft and work on your delivery if you haven’t spoken before?! You need to roll up your sleeves and put in the work before you start demanding a speaker fee. But just because you’re building your platform and developing your expert status, that doesn’t mean you should speak for free at every event that comes across your desk. The trick is to be selective of where you spend your time (and money).

Before you say yes (or no) to an unpaid speaking opportunity, take the time to calculate the costs and benefits.

Some costs to consider:

  • Where is this located?

  • How much time will you have to take off of work to make this happen?
  • How much will the time away from work cost you?
  • Do the math. How much will this trip COST you? (Travel, food, lost wages, lodging, child care, etc.)


Some benefits to consider:

  • Will you be serving your dream clients?
  • What impact will you have on the audience?
  • Are there non-monetary benefits being given (photos, video, travel, etc.)?
  • Do you know anyone else attending this event?


When you start putting all of number on paper, you take control of the situation. This allows you to weigh your options and make a decision based on facts rather than emotion.

Have a free speaking opportunity coming up? Don’t worry! We’ve created a worksheet to help you weigh your options. Download the worksheet: 23 Questions to Ask BEFORE You Speak for Free to make sure that unpaid speaking opportunity is a good fit for you by dropping your info below. There are more than enough opportunities for you to speak. Just make sure that you’re speaking at events that light you up, serve your clients, and move your business forward.



Jessica Rasdall is your secret weapon to achieving the speaking success you desire. As a professional speaker and coach for female entrepreneurs, she is dedicated to partnering with women business owner to craft stories and presentation that connect with their audience and help them stand out in a saturated market. 

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