Generally I enjoy speaking and doing talks. I usually feel honored by each invitation. However, conferences and other events have very diverse rules. So I need to figure out what type of conditions I would accept. I am not trying to give anyone a hard time, so the set of rules is rather small.
- For public events such as conferences, community events etc. these
- The organizers must not in any way make money directly from any speaker. This includes entrance fees but also indemnifications e.g. for not showing up, or trying to rent hotel rooms to speakers at higher rates than the hotel usually asks for. Rationale: Speakers provide the content for the conferences. They should not have to pay in addition. It is important to me that not just me but none of the speakers pays anything e.g. I won’t speak at a conference that asks for an entrance fee from any co-speakers. Co-speaking engagements are a great way to start are career in public speaking. We should support that, not make the people pay.
- Of course, an entrance fee for attendees is fine. But there must be no non-financial prerequisite for joining the event like e.g. a certificate. Rationale: While I totally understand that events must be economically viable I don’t see why we want to limit access to this knowledge any further. Actually I wouldn’t consider such events “public” but rather “closed”.
- It is also fine to sell speaker-slots. Rationale: Those slots might be part of the economic model of the conference. They might e.g. help product vendors to advertise their products. Organizers believe that these talks do not provide a lot of value - otherwise the slots would not be paid-for. My goal is to make sure that speakers who provide value to the organizers in their own judgement are treated fairly.
- I am more than happy to talk at any kind closed event that e.g. a company does e.g. for customers, employees etc. Such engagements would be paid-for. Rationale: This creates a value for the companies like all other services I provide (training, consulting) which are also paid-for.