Speakers Bureaus: A Complete Guide for Public Speakers
June 18, 2023
8 min read
Are you a public speaker who’s looking for speaking engagements? Do you wonder what to charge and what venue to use? How can a speakers bureau help you reach your career goals?
If you’re a professional speaker or aiming to be one, you should consider joining a speakers bureau. We’ll address each of the following issues that can help you determine whether this is the right career move for you and, if so, how to advance in that direction.
What is a speakers bureau?
Types of speakers bureaus
The benefits of speakers bureaus for speakers
A list of speakers bureaus worth considering
How to choose a speakers bureau
How to join a speakers bureau
How to make the most of your speakers bureau experience
So, let’s get started on this exploration of speakers bureaus that’s designed for public speakers.
What Is a Speakers Bureau?
A speakers bureau is an organization that represents professional speakers. They help event planners find the right speaker for their event, negotiate fees, and handle logistics. Speakers bureaus typically have a database of speakers in a variety of fields, including business, entertainment, education, and politics.
Types of Speakers Bureaus
There are many different types of speakers bureaus, each with its own focus and specialties. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common types.
General Speakers Bureaus
These bureaus represent a wide range of speakers, from celebrities and politicians to business leaders and thought leaders.
Industry-Specific Speakers Bureaus
These bureaus represent speakers who specialize in a particular industry or field.
Executive Speakers Bureaus
An executive speakers bureau specializes in providing speakers for corporate events. These speakers are typically high-level executives with a wealth of experience and knowledge in their respective fields. They can provide insights and advice on a wide range of topics, from business strategy to leadership development.
Boutique Speakers Bureaus
These bureaus represent a small number of high-profile speakers.
Online Speakers Bureaus
These bureaus representent speakers who are available to present virtually.
If you’re a professional speaker, it will be to your advantage to be a member of a speakers bureau. Let’s explore some of the benefits of speakers bureaus.
Increased bookings: Speakers bureaus have a wide network of event planners and organizations that are looking for speakers. This can help you get more bookings and reach a wider audience.
Higher fees: Speakers bureaus typically charge a fee for their services, but this fee can be offset by the higher fees that you can command when you’re represented by a bureau.
Less work: Speakers bureaus handle all of the logistics of booking a speaking engagement, such as negotiating fees, scheduling travel, and setting up sound and AV equipment. This can save you time and stress.
Increased exposure: Speakers bureaus can help you get your name and message out to a wider audience. This can help you build your brand and grow your business.
Professional development: Speakers bureaus can provide you with opportunities for professional development, such as workshops and trainings. This can help you improve your speaking skills and become a more effective speaker.
If you’re interested in becoming a speaker or expanding your influence, working with a speakers bureau is a great option.
A List of Speakers Bureaus
We’ve put together a list of speakers bureaus that are the most well known. Take a look.
Premiere Speakers Bureau is one of the largest and most respected speakers bureaus in the world. They represent a wide range of speakers, including celebrities, politicians, business leaders, and thought leaders.
The Lavin Agency is another large and well-respected speakers bureau. They represent a wide range of speakers, including celebrities, authors, and experts in a variety of fields.
The Harry Walker Agency is a smaller speakers bureau that represents a more exclusive group of speakers. They’re known for their high-quality speakers and their personalized service.
The Speaker Booking Agency is a speakers bureau that helps event planners and organizations find and book speakers for their events. They have a wide network of speakers, including celebrities, politicians, business leaders, and thought leaders.
The Creative Artists Agencyis a large talent agency that also represents a number of speakers. They’re known for their high-profile clients and their ability to secure top-tier talent for events.
How to Choose a Speakers Bureau
Next, let’s go through some tips for finding a speakers bureau that’s a good fit for you and your career goals. Then, we’ll review some things you should consider during your search.
Do your research. Not all speakers bureaus are created equal. Do some research online to find a few that you think might be your match. Read reviews, compare fees, and look for bureaus that represent speakers in your field. Also, consider the type of events you want to speak at, your target audience, and your budget.
Get referrals. Get input and recommendations from other speakers who have personal experience working with different bureaus.
Interview multiple bureaus. Once you have a few potential bureaus in mind, schedule interviews with them. This will give you a chance to learn more about their services and how they can help you achieve your goals.
The bureau’s reputation: Do your research, and find a bureau that has a good reputation in the industry. You can check online reviews, ask other speakers for recommendations, or contact the bureau directly to ask about their experience and track record.
The bureau’s reach: Make sure the bureau has a strong network of event planners and organizations that are looking for speakers. This will help you get more bookings and reach a wider audience.
The bureau’s fees: Speakers bureaus typically charge a commission on speaking fees. Be sure to factor this into your decision when comparing different bureaus.
The bureau’s services: Some bureaus offer additional services, such as marketing and promotion, that can be helpful for speakers. Make sure to find a bureau that offers the services that are important to you.
The bureau’s commitment to quality: Look for a bureau that’s committed to providing high-quality speakers and events. This means that they should have a thorough vetting process for speakers. Also, they should demonstrate a commitment to providing excellent customer service to both speakers and event planners.
Once you have considered these factors, you can start narrowing down your choices and ultimately choose a speakers bureau that will help you reach your professional speaking goals.
Joining a Speakers Bureau
Joining a speakers bureau is a great way to share your expertise and passion with a wider audience. Before you seek to join a speakers bureau, make sure you have a strong online presence. Speakers bureaus will look at your website, social media, and online reviews to get a sense of your credibility and popularity. Make sure your online presence is professional and up-to-date.
While each bureau has its own membership process, we can go through the typical steps.
Submit your application. Once you’ve found a few speakers bureaus that you’re interested in, it’s time to submit your application. This will usually involve providing your bio, headshot, speaking topics, and fees.
Get interviewed. Once your application has been submitted, a representative from the speakers bureau might ask to do an interview. This is their chance to get to know you better and see if you’re a good fit for their roster.
Sign a contract. If you’re offered a spot on the speakers bureau’s roster, you’ll need to sign a contract. This contract will outline the terms of your relationship with the bureau, such as your fees, exclusivity, and obligations.
Start booking gigs! Once you’re signed with a speakers bureau, they’ll start working to book you gigs. They’ll reach out to event planners and organizations who are looking for speakers, and they’ll negotiate your fees and other terms.
Make the Most of Your Speakers Bureau Experience
If you decide to join a speakers bureau, you’ll want to get the most out of the relationship. Here are a few tips:
Market yourself. Once you’re on a speakers bureau’s roster, you’ll still want to market yourself to event planners and organizations. Attend industry events, network with other speakers, and promote yourself on social media.
Be flexible. Speakers bureaus need speakers who are available to travel and speak on short notice. Be prepared to travel and speak on a variety of topics.
Be professional. Speakers bureaus represent their speakers to event planners and organizations. Be professional in your interactions with the speakers bureau, potential clients, and clients.
Offer your best. Continually improve your speaking skills by taking advantage of any training and resources your speakers bureau offers. Also, you can engage Yoodli’s free AI-powered speech coach. With Yoodli, you can practice each speech and receive immediate feedback and analysis on your word choices (e.g., filler words, repetition, weak words) and delivery (e.g., eye contact, pace). Yoodli also offers games that will help you practice impromptu speaking, using metaphors, and more. Lastly, Yoodli’s interview coach will help you prepare for your interview with a speakers bureau.
If you’re ready to take your public speaking to the next level, joining a speakers bureau could be the right step for you. You have a great message to share, and it deserves to reach a big audience. A speakers bureau can help.
Note: This post was created in partnership with artificial intelligence.
Start practicing with Yoodli.
Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.