Upgrade Your Speaking Menu


What is the quickest way to add zeros to your income?

Answer: Monetize the tasks you are already doing. Start by making a list of the special touches you can add to a speech, workshop or consulting program, and offer those as optional upgrades. This technique is similar to ordering side items in a fi ne restaurant. Take a baked potato, for example. It often comes with the price of the prime rib. However, if you want to substitute the twice-baked potato, there is an additional charge.

It’s a fact: When sides are monetized, they are perceived as being special and worthy of the extra fee! It is amazing what you can add to your upgrades list with some creative thought. My current à la carte menu includes 26 items that I can choose from when putting together a proposal. Because offering the entire choice list could be overwhelming to the decision maker and complicate the sale, I generally choose five from my list, add them to my premium package, and indicate they are “optional.” I do not describe the option in detail but simply list it in bullet form, which then creates a discussion point when I am closing the sale.

Here’s a taste of the many options:

• Continuing education credit hours obtained by speaker. (In healthcare, this rules!)

• Secret shopper service (Guest Encounter Audits)

• Post-event private feedback session for the board of directors or the management team

• Additional program for one of their clients at a reduced rate
• “Name Your Own Price” for encore presentations

• Marketing assistance to improve attendance level at the meeting or event

A creative and unique option list will make an impact. Consider the signature dessert served at the Top of the World Restaurant in Las Vegas. The decadent ice cream sundae, served in a special glass on dry ice, makes a volcanic impression. Plenty of restaurants serve ice cream, but none quite like this.

What do you do that isn’t quite like anyone else? Monetize those items! I offer at least three items no one else in my marketplace provides. On many occasions, prospects have narrowed their choices to several speakers and selected me. In these cases, I ask the meeting planner, “What was the ultimate tip factor?” More often than not, it was the twice-baked potato that secured the booking.

You can also find out what the meeting planner dreads doing when hosting an event. If you can make that pain go away, you have a way to make additional dollars. For example, when I learned that an inexperienced planner was fearful that her opening ice-breaker session would bomb, I incorporated this wording into my proposal: “Keynote speaker provides three options for ice breakers with proven success in your industry.” Sharing her burden was the key to this booking. Ultimately, offering unique optional upgrades will help you close deals and increase profits.

Laurie Guest

Laurie Guest

Laurie Guest, CSP, is a highly sought-after speaker who meeting planners call upon event after event to deliver top notch content with a good dose of motivational laughter. She is well-known for her imaginative ideas and entertaining style.
Laurie Guest
Laurie Guest
Laurie Guest
Laurie Guest

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