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The Underbelly of Speaking

So you want to be a professional speaker? Great! There are a few things you should know going in… Like, not everyone is going to be a standup person, contracts can screw you, and sometimes, you just aren’t going to get paid.

Here’s a few tidbits:
1. If your contract doesn’t state a guarantee of how many people will be in the room, you may pay for a flight, hotel, and bring 100 copies of your product only to arrive to find 12 people.
2. When you are selling something on someone else’s stage it has to be a physical product if they are running the credit cards. If it’s your stage, and it’s not a physical product, you could lose your merchant account! Check your terms of service. Most accounts aren’t covered to take payments for someone elses future delivery of service. And if they flake after you’ve already paid them their split, guess who gets the chargeback?
3. Filling seats is hard, and the new tactic is to only charge a “Seat Reservation Fee”. But there is an official term for refunding these credit card deposits with a check… it’s called MONEY LAUNDERING! And you could lose your merchant account for that too! And maybe get a nice visit from some men in black.

Still want to be a speaker? There’s a right way and a wrong way to run your speaking business. To do it right, tune in as long time mega-professional speaker Chris Howard interviews me about how to keep your nose clean, what to look for and how to protect your most important asset – your reputation!

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Adryenn Ashley

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  1. Profile photo of Florence Dupuis
    December 5, 2014

    Haha, still want to be a speaker? Me: Uh… No? It looks like it’s a job way harder than it actually seems, say, when you assist to a conference. It looks like an easy way to make money (if you are not too shy) but reading this, I realise it must be hard and complicated. It’s basically the managing part that looks really hard. I find that contract thing and the part where you have to look for small characters really treacherous… It’s a complicated business indeed.

  2. Profile photo of Marquita
    November 30, 2014

    I was wondering if these apply toward those that are in business or if say, you’re talking for a school. Does this only apply toward selling a product that you have to the public or not?

  3. Profile photo of Scott
    October 20, 2014

    I never knew speaking could be so costly. I can see the issue with credit cards, but people really need to make sure they are doing everything legally.


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