Speakers bureau

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A speakers bureau is a company which operates to facilitate speakers for clients requiring after-dinner speakers, motivational speakers, awards hosts, cabaret acts, conference facilitators and keynote speakers.

A speakers bureau will hold a database of personalities from diverse fields such as politics, sports, business, television and comedy. The speaker bureau team initiates the introduction between speaker and client, and supports both parties from the primary stages of making contact throughout the booking and logistics process. Clients requiring speakers are usually businesses, corporations, charities, educational or public institutions. A speakers bureau helps client and speaker negotiate a speaking fee. A speaking fee is a payment awarded to an individual for speaking at a public event. This fee is usually set by the speaker, or the speaker’s agent. Logistics can be dealt with by the speaker bureau. This involves fees, transport, accommodation and timing, as well as communication between speaker and client.

Speakers bureaus come in various forms and traditionally charge a commission of the speaker's fee for their services. However, with the rise of the Internet, alternative business models have found a place. For example SpeakerMatch is an online platform that allows an organization and speaker to connect with one another directly and without the need of an agency. Traditional speaker bureaus are able to provide a more hands on experience for the client as well as handle contracts, negotiations, and other issues that may arise in the booking process. For smaller less complicated events, as well as organizations with smaller budgets, however, it may not be necessary to use an agency. There are pros and cons of using one over the other.

Types of speakers[edit]

A motivational speaker or keynote speaker is a professional speaker who speaks publicly with the intention of inspiring and motivating a relevant audience. In a business context, they are employed to clearly communicate company strategy and assist employees to see the future in a positive light and inspire workers to come together as a team.


  • Lilly Walters (1999). "Speaking Industry Trends 2000: A Report on Professional Speakers, Speakers Bureaus and Meeting Planners". Royal Publishing. ISBN 0934344507.
  • BigSpeak Speakers Bureau (2015). https://www.bigspeak.com/