The Dos and Don'ts Of Speaker Contracts

Speaker seeking the next gig? Master speaker contracts. From leads to showcasing skills, secure your hire.

  • Release Date: 31 December 2023
  • Update Date: 15 March 2024
  • Author: Speaker Agency
Speaker Contract 690X460

If you're a speaker looking for your next gig, then knowing about speaker contracts is especially important for you. There are several steps that go into getting your next contract. You'll need to find your next lead, showcase your speaking skills, and convince potential employers that you're a good hire. If you're new to public speaking, then this can seem tedious at first. One step you might not take so seriously, is drafting your speaker contract. Drafting the perfect speaker contract is important, and it can help you set yourself up for success.

But how can you write a great speaker contract for yourself? And what should you look for when poring through your contract? Let's first look at what a speaker contract is.

What Is A Speaker Contract?

Speakers Contract

A speaker contract is either a physical or electronic document that details the agreement between you, the speaker, and your client. This document will include the scope of your work, that is, everything you will be doing for your client. If there are any specific dates on which you'll be expected to work, then it will be written down in the contract. If there is anything that might prevent you from working on the dates defined, then it should be mentioned in your speaking contract as well.

Essentially, what you're doing is trying to answer common and relevant questions that your client might ask you, through your speaker contract. Let's take an example. A common question that client might have is how many hours of speaking they'll get in exchange for your speakers fee. You could also answer questions like what would happen if you're unable to go through with your speaking obligations- will a portion or the whole amount of money paid to you be refunded?

The actual list of questions is unending, which is why you need to isolate the most common questions a client might have, and answer them yourself. When you're creating your speaker contract, it's important for you to think about the questions you usually get from clients. As you keep writing speaker contracts, you'll find yourself answering a lot of the common questions clients have. You could also start to adjust the answers you've already provided, to make your contract even better.

Why Are They Important? 

You can use a keynote speaker contract template if you're unsure about how to draft your speaker contract. But there's no denying that speaker contracts are important. Why though? Your speaker contract helps in protecting both you and your client, in case there's a misunderstanding. Even if you find yourself in the worst case, that is, in the middle of a legal dispute, your speaker contract will be able to help you.

When both you and the client sign the speaker contract, both parties agree that they understand the terms of the contract. Should the client expect more work from you, you can ask them for additional expenses. This guide takes you through everything you should include in speaker contract

What To Add To Your Speaker Contract

Speaker Agreement

You could be a diversity and inclusion speaker or a business speaker. No matter what you specialize in, writing a speaker contract is important for you. You should, by this point, already know what you want in your contract. Here are some things that you might be forgetting, but that are very important nonetheless:

Cancelation Clause 

Your speaker agreement contract should come with a cancellation clause. You'll need to define what the expectations are in case the client says that they no longer require your services. In your cancellation clause mention what the cancellation process involved. Up to when will the client be able to cancel your services. Is there a cancellation fee in case the client cancels after a certain time. Should your event be canceled, will you owe the client anything?

Add also whether there are any actions that, if performed, lead to immediate cancellation. You can also consider adding a process disclaimer to your contract. This states that if the client doesn't follow the cancelation process, then you won't be liable for any of their losses.

Decide What Your Deposit Should Be 

Your speakers contract should clearly mention what your speaking fees should be. If there are additional costs that you expect the client to cover for, this should also be mentioned in the contract. You can create a speaking package that includes not just your speaker fees, but likely additional costs as well. These include your travel fees, fees associated with hosting the event, and more.

Specify What You Need Through The Event

This is where you mention what materials you'll need for the event, as well as whether you need additional assistance or not. You might need some background information on the client before you give your talk. Will the client provide you with this information? What about your travel expenses? Will they be reimbursed to you? Can the client record you during your presentation? How long does the client have to provide you with your total speaking fee, after the event?

All these questions and more should be answered in your speaking contract. Finally, your speaking contract should detail your complete scope of work as well.


Whether you're a gender and equality speaker, a business speaker or a travel and adventure speaker, having a good speaker contract is essential. Your speaker contract is something that will evolve as you grow as a speaker. You likely won't be using the first ever speaker contract you wrote through your journey. Use this guide to better understand what a speaker contract is, and how you can start drafting a great speaker contract today.

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