Having read Marcus Sheridan’s book: They ask, you answer I immediately got it, and understand the huge importance of being open, transparent and honest. Since then, whenever I’m asked a question, I respond to it directly to the person asking, and then add it to my FAQ’s page.
Please take a moment to read through, I’m sure you’ll find some you have already thought to ask, and others you may not ever have thought of, or considered asking!
And, if by chance you haven’t had all your questions answered, simply book a call, I’d be only to happy to chat things through with you, answer all of your questions (and if I may, add them to our FAQ!)
About Jay (11)
Most speakers now include travel in their fee and handle their own arrangements. Where as a few still like this to be handled by the client.
My preference is I will organise my own transport and accommodation for UK based engagements, advising the client if there is any additional expenses to be covered or not. I respectfully request all non UK engagement travel and transfer arrangements be arranged by the client or through a bureau.
What are Jay’s UK travel & accommodation preferences?
Ground Travel: I currently reside in Cheshire, UK. I am more than happy to drive up to 1 hour to the venue. Beyond this, I prefer to travel by train (First Class where available) and (if required) taxi from station to venue.
Air Travel: I live equidistant of both Manchester International and Liverpool International Airport. Should flight be the preferred mode of transport. I can either travel by taxi or my own transport to either airport.
What are Jay’s NON UK travel & accommodation preferences?
Air Travel: From either Manchester or Liverpool International Airport, United Kingdom.
Ground Travel: Meet & Greet to be available at the airport for onwards transportation.
Accommodation: Non-smoking, double/twin room, with late arrival guarantee, preferably NOT on the ground floor and within a quiet area (away from vending machines & elevators).
Timing: Jay likes to arrived and checked in a minimum of 12hours pre-event.
I originally qualified as a social worker before joining the British Army.
I served my country as a Rapid Deployment Advanced Trauma Medic, serving in military combat all over the world whilst supporting specialist front line deployment regiments.
Since leaving the service (Medical discharge) I have worked at boardroom / advisor level with 2 of the UK’s largest high street chains. I have also worked at both Regional and National level with a Public Sector and Third Sector organisation
Moving from Employee to Employer, I have either bought, acquired or set up 4 of my own successful businesses, as well as co-founder 2 others.
I became a professionally published author in 2015, and again in 2017
I currently sit as Executive Strategy Lead for a CIC, Non Exec Board for a management Consortium, Chair of Trustee’s for a UK registered charity and Ambassador for another.
Becoming a professional speaker in 2011, and an international speaker (winning my first global speaking award) in 2013.
and finally, I am most humbled to have been added to the UK ‘Clear Business Thinking’ Power 100 in 2017.
From 1 people to 10,001 in a single audience, as long as they can see and hear that’s fine.
I have spoken at local, regional, national and international events globally. Presented for groups of over 10,000 people and spoken for small retreats working with small groups and one-on-one coaching.
I am equally comfortable at being both opening or closing keynote, a general session or break out session speaker, and spoken at corporate away days, training events, client reward conferences, awards ceremonies and after dinner engagements across the UK and extensively oversea’s.
According to Wikipedia, a keynote in public speaking is a talk that establishes the main underlying theme. In corporate or commercial settings, greater importance is attached to the delivery of a keynote speech or keynote address because the keynote establishes the framework for the training that follows.
Most keynote addresses are 45 minutes to 90 minutes long (although there is no rule limiting it to a certain duration). In a relatively short period of time, the keynote speaker has to establish rapport, educate, entertain the audience, and leave them wanting more.
Due primarily to the intentionally short duration, a keynote is also meant to inspire the attendees to want to be at the event and stay there from start to finish. It should also give them a “call to action” to want to learn, interact, and bring home tools from the event that can improve sales, overcome negativity, or help them do their everyday duties better.
From the moment I enter stage, I get the audience engaged, they are ready to hear my message and any message to follow. I emotionally charge the audience on the premise: “They will not remember what you did or said, they remember how you make them feel.”
The keynote speaker must know their subject inside and out, and be able to offer insights or possible actions that are easy to understand and hard to forget. This is often accomplished with humour, personal stories, or unusual accomplishments.
Most attendees are looking for a “black belt” in a subject from the keynote speaker, someone that’s been there and done it, rather than simply read up and recited it!
I’m both proud, privileged and humbled to have twice been awarded Global ‘Big Impact to Business’ Awards AND listed on the UK Clear Business Thinking POWER 100.
The keynote speaker should be able to incorporate your event theme, terminology and have a strong working knowledge of the work they perform and the challenges and obstacles they face.
Before any event, I like to have an in-depth call/zoom/skype with you to discuss how we can best tailor the message to your group.
Generally, no. When I first started out, I travelled extensively sharing content on a ‘pro-bono’ basis. These days, whilst we maintain a strong and proactive charitable arm to the business, we have found the ‘value’ of what is delivered and its impact is diminished if an ‘exchange’ has not occurred. That said, it is not always money that makes the world go around, so always willing to have a conversation about working within a budget and determining other means of fair exchange should your budget not fully cover the level of investment required to secure Jay for your event.
Whilst my client list is extensive, there are some with whom I have signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and so not possible to list.
However, here is a flavour of some clients with whom I have previously worked:
- National Health Service
- Ministry of Defence
- National Housing Federation
- Care Quality Commission
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
- Chartered Management Institute
- Chartered Institute of Marketing
- Institute of Directors
- British Chamber of Commerce
- Federation of Small Businesses
- Greater Manchester Police
- Smith & Williamson
- Triform Group
- Know IT
Dependent on the numbers for the event, many speakers are happy to either arrange for copies of their books to be present and sometimes sign the books either as part of the service or at a pre-agreed discount per book; adding that little bit for delegates to take away from the event. If this is something that is of interest, it is advisable for you to make the speakers aware of this as early as possible in order logistics can be put in place to facilitate this.
I have 2 books currently professionally published (and am currently working on 2 others). Both of these published works Battlefield2Boardroom and The Road2Utopia can be pre-ordered at a reduced rate (dependant on numbers ordered) and be signed for delegates at the event.
Many speakers will agree to attend a special event at no additional charge. Some will not. It is important to make your requests known in advance and include this in the contract.
As a rule, my investment structure is for 24Hrs or part thereof. It has been known for me to host a VIP breakfast prior to the event, a FAQ luncheon during the event, provide a ‘snap shot’ presentation, a 90mins keynote, a breakout workshop and a webinar interview in a day! You’re investing in me to support your event, how you best make use of that is entirely down to mutual agreement.
Some speakers do allow taping at no additional charge. Some do not wish to be recorded at all, and others agree to for an extra fee. It is important to make your requests known in advance, prior to booking the speaker. Photography, filming or marketing should be discussed and agreed with the Speaker, so that all requests are included and agreed within the contract.
To remain transparent, my policy is that video/photography is accepted for internal Non-commercial use by prior agreement, on the proviso I also get a copy of all footage prior to any editing. I very much support the use of video/photography for the promotion of the event, and happily provide a bespoke promotional video for clients shortly after booking has been confirmed.
However, having worked extremely hard to create content specifically for each audience, I take great pride in my work, as like yourselves have a business brand to protect. Therefore, I have an ongoing commercial relationship with a specialist Intellectual Property Law firm, with whom provides a legal framework around the content I deliver. I therefore, do not agreed to any unauthorised recording of my presentation or the commercial use of such footage however gained without prior consent.
This is very much up to you, and either the speaker or the Bureau. For myself, I’m grateful if any of my UK clients include travel arrangements and expect it for any NON UK engagements. If you’ve chosen to work with a Bureau, they will encourage you to leave this to them to make the travel plans and advise you of the arrangements.
Other things to consider:
It’s not just about the travel. Whilst a speaker is either preparing bespoke content for you, in a taxi, on a train or in a plane, they are working for YOU (They are not available to do anything else). Therefore, expenses MAY also include a fee for travel time (especially if this is required a day prior to or post event)
As a rule, these are my preferences:
I currently reside in Cheshire, United Kingdom. Within 1 hour’s travel, I shall arrange my own transport and accommodation. Outside of 1 hour’s travel, I’d prefer the client to arrange this, however happy to take it on and add it to my expenses invoice if they prefer. Outside of the UK, I expect either client or Bureau to make all necessary arrangements.
My investment structure is based on 24Hrs or part therefore, and so should travel to/from venue, determine the need to be away from Cheshire for longer than 24Hrs, a further fee may well apply.
For Event Planner (15)
Jay provides breakout sessions, Workshops and Masterclasses.
Usually, these are not events where everyone attends. Instead, they are one of many sessions scheduled at the same time and participants are free to attend by choice. These break out sessions typically offer participants more of an in-depth educational experience by focusing on one aspect in more detail than a general session, which may also include handout materials, and are usually intended to provide very focused training.
Workshops are more interactive experiences where Jay facilitates learning, rather than presents. These can vary in duration; some are an hour or two hours; however Jay has conducted events where the workshops were ½ day and even full day offerings that are then duplicated so others at the conference can also attend. Most workshops include interactive activities that allow participants to work with each other at a level that is not possible during a large general session.
Masterclasses are an extension of a Workshop but often geared at a Strategic rather than operational level. They are rarely less than ½ day sessions and may be longer than 1 day. Again, they are interactive, and include handouts, but usually based towards C-Suite, Shareholders, and Senior management.
As your opening keynote, I take the time to research my audience so that as an opening keynote I am relevant, fun, and energising. That energy is then carried on by the participants throughout the rest of the conference. As your opening keynote, you can count on me to set the stage for the rest of your meeting and start your event with lots of laughter, much to think about, and make this conference one of the most memorable they have ever attended.
As a closing speaker, I work to incorporate the event theme, significant events that occurred during the conference and much more into this closing. One of his main goals in a closing is to provide the audience with a revitalised “call to action” they take back with them and implement straight away. Invite me to do your closing if you want your conference to end on a very high note with everyone glad they stayed until the very end of your event.
Most speakers now include travel in their fee and handle their own arrangements. Where as a few still like this to be handled by the client.
My preference is I will organise my own transport and accommodation for all UK based engagements, advising the client if there is any additional expenses to be covered or not. I request all non UK engagement travel and transfer arrangements be arranged by the client or through a bureau.
Yes, and no! Whilst bureau’s do not charge YOU a fee, they receive a commission from the speaker for their role in facilitating the introduction. Therefore, speakers have either pre-inflated their fee’s to incorporate this, or are taking a reduced payment to cover the cost of membership of the bureau.
It may therefore, prove more cost effective to negotiate the best rate for their services.
Again, to remain transparent, the level of investment I request directly from the client, is exactly the same level of investment I require if paid via the bureau, who therefore ADD their commission to my fee before passing these details to the client.
In some cases you can, in others not. Most top-name speakers and entertainers only work through bureaus, and for others, there are often a host of details you’ll have to deal with, including itineraries, travel, scheduling and more. In some cases, it can be a full-time job just to handle the arrangements needed to produce a large-scale event.
As you’ll see, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to hosting an exceptional event to support event managers, and gladly work with them to support the event however I can.
Whilst registered with a bureau, I am not exclusive; and so welcome the opportunity to work either directly or indirectly with you to ensure the successful delivery of an exceptional event.
Most companies book their keynote speakers months in advance of their event, but celebrities and high-demand speakers often need to be booked even further in advance and the preliminary planning steps often start a year or more before the event date. Therefore, I’d strongly recommend start this EARLY in the planning process. I often find it alarming when event planners casually call to ask if you can speak at an event next week, which they have spent the last 3-4 months planning every other detail, other than the speaker!
Personally, I work on the following premise:
The earlier you secure me as a speaker, the longer I have to research and prepare THE most bespoke and appropriate keynote for your audience and desired outcomes. Leave it until the last minute, and I’ve got little time to prepare anything other than an ‘off the shelf’ presentation (which whilst will still hit the spot) will not be as impactful as something I’ve been given the opportunity to truly work on to bespoke to you, your audience and your desired outcomes!
Furthermore, I firmly believe in value for money, and in that regard, the earlier you book, the more cost effective it is to secure me as a speaker! If, to accommodate your ‘lastminute.com’ request I need to make a number of changes to my arrangements, I’ll do it, because I’m keen to support you and the outcomes of the event. But this often deems time away from research and other commitments, all of which need to be taken into consideration in terms of reimbursement.
Finally, (and again remaining absolutely transparent) we are all learning, developing, improving ourselves all the time. Therefore, every time I’m booked, I begin the further research, further learning, more knowledge and experience. This all adds to the value I bring to every subsequent event, and so I have a policy of reviewing the level of investment requested for my services quarterly.
That said, I HONOUR every agreement made, regardless of how far ahead the event is; therefore secure me now for an event in 24 month’s time, and still benefit from today’s level of investment some 2 years later!
Not necessarily. Whilst popular speakers are booked 1,2 sometimes 3 years in advance, they are rarely so busy speaking EVERY DAY that they would be unavailable to support a ‘lastminute.com” request.
Personally, I frequently take speaker bookings 12-18months ahead, however, rarely accept more than 2 speaking engagements a week. (allowing for travel and preparation time for each engagement). This therefore, does allow the opportunity to ‘help out’ and support lastminute.com requests as and when I am able.
The best thing is always to call and ask, the best that can happen is you get the speaker you are seeking and the entire event goes ahead without a hitch. The worst that could happen, is they are unable to help on this occasion, but offer you a string of other colleagues within the profession to try, many of whom you may not even be aware of!
If you know WHO you want, and they are not ‘tied’ or ‘exclusive’ to a Bureau, you may wish to liaise with the speaker directly. Most speakers are welcoming of the opportunity to work directly with the client, to get to understand ‘first hand’ their requirements and desired outcomes for the event and tailor a presentation specifically for them.
This can also reduce cost for you as a hirer and ensures no communication is mis-read or interpreted by removing a link from the chain.
Once the speaker accepts the invitation it would be normal for the speaker (or the Bureau) to issue a contract and confirm details regarding the event. A deposit is usually required, with the balance due either just before the appearance or directly afterwards. A separate invoice for any expenses incurred would be issued directly after the event.
You (and/or) the speaker may well wish for either a conference call or a pre-event meet, to confirm all detail of the event, the logistics and the desired outcomes. It is expected that the event booker will either be or delegate a point of contact (POC) for the speaker to liaise with should they have need to do so, and that this person be available to meet them as they arrive at the venue.
That all depends on whether expenses have already been built into the cost of the fee quoted, and if this also covers travel time? For myself, my investment structure is based upon 24Hrs or part thereof. However, you will notice I have both commercial and non-commercial fees and that I donate up to 30% of my fee to a registered charity, and so by booking me, your also contributing to a great cause!
Generally, yes. Speakers set their own fees – so there is no real rule-of-thumb. Some speakers will charge a base fee for 1-hour presentation, which increases for half and full days. Others will charge the same whether it’s an hour or all-day seminar.
My fee’s (Jay Allen Investment Structure 2019) are based on time, not content. Although there may be an additional resources fee, If I’ve been asked to provide an interactive masterclass whereby it is necessary to print resource for every delegate.
However, presenting isn’t all that you need to consider…
I wrote a blog regarding everything that’s involved in preparing a speech, you can read it here.
The other thing to consider is travel time! It doesn’t matter if the time on stage is 9minutes or 90minutes, if to get there takes 3 days! (OK maybe not quite that long) however; I reside in Cheshire, United Kingdom. I’m equidistant be Manchester and Liverpool International Airports, and less than 15mins from the National Rail Station taking me either North to Scotland or South to London.
But, if you need me to open the conference at 10am at the Four Seasons in Dubai, I’ll need flights, transfers, accommodation (pre/post event) and a return! ALL of that prevents me from speaking elsewhere, and so all of that needs to be taken into consideration when considering fee’s.
Personally, I charge approx. 40% for travel time for NON-UK engagement. I do not charge for UK based travel time which is incorporated into my day rate fee.
Dependant on a number of things, including the individual speaker (or their agent) the audience, the timing of the event, and ‘what else’ may be included. However, on the whole, I would suggest the fee quoted is what they are worth, and any negotiation should take this into consideration. If you don’t have the budget, but really want the speaker, then it’s worth a conversation (After all, it’s not just money that makes the world go round)
I have NOTHING to hide regarding my own investment structure, which can viewed here: Jay Allen Investment Structure 2019
How long is a piece of string? Although I’ll happily answer this, I’ll start by suggesting this might not be the right question to ask!
I know of relatively new speakers to the circuit (perhaps still working their speaking career around a job) who are happy to ‘test’ their material of an audience, for as little as their expenses! All the way through to some of the top professional speaker and celebrity fees being hundreds of thousands of pounds. Therefore, perhaps the right question is, what will be the VALUE the speaker brings to the event, which lasts beyond the final curtain? And
What budget do I have to deliver this?
Further consideration also needs to be applied to: Travel, accommodation, timings, meals and any out of pocket expenses for the speaker, all of which would be in addition to their speaker fee.
However, I’d like to advise you, there are also a number of ‘other’ factors you may wish to consider before reviewing a speaker’s fee’s!
How ‘bespoke’ will the keynote be? You see, there are a number of speakers who have ‘their story’. A highly emotive, informative and impactful speech, that will have a emotional impact on any audience. This has been delivered hundreds if not thousands of times, perhaps with some (the occasional) reference to you and your company.
Other speakers opt to start with a blank canvas. Take a brief from the speaker booker (that’s you) as to what you are hoping to achieve, and then start the research in order to put together a motivational keynote specific to you and your audience.
Therefore, when considering fee’s perhaps it may be best to determine if they are actually a like for like? Does the fee represent 45-90mins of the speakers time, or the 40, 50, 60+hours research they have put into THIS 45-90min keynote?
Again, to be transparent, I am a hybrid of the two. I do have 1 or 2 speeches around ‘my own story’ to which I can deliver an emotional, impactful and inspirational keynote, where all the ‘prep’ has already been done.
However, the majority of my keynotes, are created, by putting together a bespoke slide deck based on conversations with you as the event’s organiser (to understand the desired outcomes of the event) and my own research into the company, the people, the mission, goals, aspirations, challenges etc (and by attending ALL DAY to observe, listen and absorb the ongoing dialogue and ambiance of the room)
I believe in transparency, so happy to share with everyone my current requested levels of investment which can be found here: Jay Allen Investment Structure 2019
Some internal speakers can be superb and work particularly well. However, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your MD or other senior management may be, a quality external speaker will simply add another dimension to your event. When asked what has the most impact at a conference – video, catering, accommodation, speakers, recent research has shown that over 70% of conference audiences described guest speakers and performers as ‘the most memorable aspect of an event’.
And the reason for this is simple “You don’t know, what you don’t know”
It doesn’t matter how engaging, informative, comical or popular an internal speaker is, the fact remains they only know what THEY know, and this deems they will only ever bring to a life an internal perspective.
In contrast, an external speaker, knows nothing of the internal dynamics, politics or facets of the company. What they do bring is years of experience gleaned from hundreds (often thousands) of ‘snapshots’ of other companies. This, combined with their own knowledge of business, is more than sufficient to ‘take the temperature’ of any audience and determine which stories, examples, anecdotes to share in order to leave the most long-lasting impression.
First determine your event audience, budget, date, and location. Only then will it be time to start researching speakers, either directly or through a speaker bureau, but either way, they will guide you through the process.
As a professional keynote speaker, our mission is to ensure your conference leaves the RIGHT lasting impression, and you the hero, by providing world-class resources and exceptional service (with some fun thrown in along the way).
Have you yet downloaded my Guide to planning a Successful Event? It’s free, there’s no hidden agenda, simply a desire to ensure you’ve got everything covered.
You might also wish to book a call? Again, NO hidden agenda, on more occasions than not, I’ll recommend at least 3-4 other speakers to every enquiry, based on my extensive knowledge of the speaker industry and the many speakers within it.
During the call I’ll help you to identify your exact needs. Only then can I help you find not only the right speaker on any given subject…but the best speaker for the event for your audience.
Selecting a speaker is a daunting process and choosing the right person from the thousands who claim to be amazing can seem impossible. Clearly knowledge and understanding of who’s who is key.