How to earn millions as a professional speaker

White HouseThere are professional speakers who make a good living earning five- ten- or even twenty-five thousand dollars per speech. Then there are speakers who are paid hundreds of thousands for one speech and earn tens of millions of dollars annually. The former include members of the National Speakers Association. The latter are often retired political leaders.

Palash Ghosh reports in the International Business Times that ex-politicians earn huge money from making speeches.

Gosh writes that

ex-President Bill Clinton has received as much as $750,000 for one speech (before an audience of executives and employees of telecom firm Ericsson in Hong Kong) and has raked in at least $89 million (and perhaps more than $100 million) from similar appearances around the world since he left the White House 12 years ago.

He’s not alone.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani revealed that he had earned $9.2 million over the past 13 months in speaking fees alone, or about $700,000 per month. Former Vice President Al Gore has also maintained an extremely busy and profitable “retirement” from politics. Former President George W. Bush is no slouch either. Generating as much as $110,000 per talk, Bush has reeled in at least $15 million from making speeches since he left office.

Value for money?

The question is, why would any meeting or conference organizer pay such huge amounts of money for what is typically a canned speech? Organizations are willing to pay the speaking fees of leading politicians because of the prestige they bring. At the end of the day, the income these politicos can command is typically proportional to how much power and influence they once wielded.

The lesson for emerging speakers? Get elected leader of the free world and it’s a piece of cake from there on.

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I pull in $100-$200K per speech for many years. Primarily because of back of the room sales. It sounds pie in the sky, but it’s not out of reach of a speaker who has a good solid coaching / mentoring program on the back end.

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