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Motivational Speaker
David Newman
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Speaker David Newman

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Motivational Speaker Questions: How It Works, What You Get, Fees, Etc.

To answer these common questions about motivational speaking, I'll use my speaking business as an example. Just click on the question you want answered, or scroll through the answers below.

Q: Who is David Newman?

A: David is primarily a business author. He’s written 8 books and he also does professional speaking and seminars around the ideas in his books. David’s complete Bio is available here. You can click on that link and learn more about David’s background and credentials.

Q: What size of a group do you work with?

A: Any size. David is equally effective in small senior executive groups and large audiences of several hundred or more. Over the last 15 years, David has worked with teams of six and audiences of over a thousand.

Q: What level of people do you work with?

A: All levels from the frontline to senior executives. David has spoken to groups of CEO’s, and he’s spoken to groups of entry-level employees--and everyone in between. And often, the same group will have a mixture of people from several levels. That’s not a problem because David’s programs are designed with your exact audience in mind. He builds the program after he talks to you. And a part of our discussion will be focused on the kinds of people that will be in the audience. We want to make sure David meets their particular needs.

Q: How long is your “typical” program?

A: Most of David’s presentations fall into one of three categories: keynote addresses, half-day seminars, and full-day seminars. He also has more in-depth professional development programs, which are typically 12 weeks long.

A keynote may be anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes in length. A half-day program would last up to 3 ½ hours, and a full-day program would give up to 7 hours of contact time.

If you want David to do more than one presentation on the same day, that’s fine. Perhaps you’d like him to give a keynote address and then offer one or more breakout sessions. Or maybe you’d like him to address several groups throughout the day. That’s fine. You’re the customer, and we’ll find a way to make it work for you.

Q: Is David more of a “special event” speaker? Or does he offer ongoing, long-term professional development programs as well?

A: We do both. About half the time, an organization brings David or one of our team in to deliver a program for a select group of people. Or an association hires us to speak at a meeting they’re having.

The other half of the time David and his team are hired to conduct long-term professional development programs. One organization may want us to deliver the same program to lots of different groups throughout the company. Obviously, that’s a good idea. The more people that get the message, the more results you’ll see.

Q: How do I find out if you address a particular topic?

A: Ask. You may have a special need or a special problem you want resolved. And you may not know if David is the right person to address that situation. All you have to do is give us a call and ask. Our office can be reached at 610.716.5984.

We will give you clear and quick answer. David is extremely busy, and his speaking calendar always fills, so if he’s not the right person to work with you and your organization, we’ll tell you so - and often refer you to someone else who is excellent. David knows lots of speakers and consultants, and he knows who is good and who isn’t.

David only accepts those speaking engagements where we know you’ll be extremely pleased with the outcome.

Q: Will you customize your program for our organization?

A: Of course. Even though David has delivered more than 600 programs, he has never given the same program twice. He always customizes his programs based on the needs of our clients. You won’t get the one-size-fits-all type of program from us. There is no cookie cutter. You’re no cookie!

Q: What if we don’t like your program titles?

A: Then we’ll change them. David is quite willing to find a title or create a title that makes sense to you and your organization. It all goes back to our commitment to customizing content.

Q: How would you characterize David’s “style” of speaking?

A: High energy, high content, and high involvement. David always wants audiences to feel, know, and do something differently when they leave his program.

David is more than a “motivational speaker.” We know that people need more than motivation. They also need some specific skills that they can take back to their jobs and their lives. And they need some skills they can use immediately. So David gives out a lot of practical content in his programs.

Q: How do we make sure your program works?

A: David will help you reinforce it. We want to make sure your people keep on using the good stuff they learned at our program, long after the program is over.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with many speakers, trainers, and consultants. When they finish their programs, they “outta there” and you won’t see them again. That’s not how we operate.

In reality, after the program is when the real work is just starting. The program has to be reinforced in some way if you want the skills and concepts to stick. So David gives you three things to reinforce what he teaches your people:

  1. David’s free “Insider” website and newsletter specially designed for our seminar clients and speaking audiences.

  2. 60 days of follow-up access to David for every single audience member and seminar participant.

  3. David makes his books, CDs, and learning resources available to you and your people either individually or to the whole group as part of your program package.

Q: What if we need more help and seminar time than you can personally provide?

A: David is connected to some great resources. You may need lots of professional development in several locations. Again, that’s not a problem. We have 17 part and full-time associates all over the US and Canada. And these people are excellent, or they wouldn’t be our associates. They come from places like Stanford Business School, the Center for Creative Leadership, and leading firms like Prudential, General Electric, and Hewlett Packard.

Q: How much do you charge?

A: That’s easy to answer because we’re very consistent.

As of December, 2006, we charge $7,500 for keynote and half-day programs that finish before 1:00 p.m. -- $9,000 for full-day programs. Travel expenses are extra. (Please note that programs scheduled late in the day, preventing David’s departure that evening to his next destination, will be billed at a full-day’s fee.) There is a substantial discount for local engagements within a 50-mile radius of Philadelphia, PA.

You can rest assured that we don’t play games with our fees. We know way too many speakers who charge different clients different fees for the same service. Their fee is based on how much the client can afford. And we think that’s unethical.

Oh yes, two other things we get asked. If you need an all-inclusive fee, we can give you that. And if you want to book several programs, we can give you a more favorable rate. Just ask.

Q: What if we can’t afford your fees?

A: There are at least three things we can do about that. One of them may work for you.

  1. You may want to share the event with another part of your organization.

  2. You may want to share the cost with another organization in your community.

  3. You may want to use more of David’s time, instead of hiring several speakers.

Call our office at 610.716.5984 and we can discuss details and specifics of each of these strategies. We’d like to be able to work with you regardless of your “initial” budget and we can usually come up with a creative solution to fund your event.

Q: What else could we do to lower the cost?

A: A lot. And we’ve found that one of these options almost always works for our clients.

First, you could find a sponsor. A lot of companies love to sponsor our programs and give them as a “gift” to their customers. In return, they get their name all over David’s stuff, and they form a stronger relationship with your organization. If you’d like to pursue this option, just ask.

Second, you could make a contribution. Each year all the proceeds from five of our programs are donated to two charities – the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The client simply sends the check – which is 75% of our normal fee – to the charity. Outside of travel expenses, our office doesn’t get a dime. If you’re interested in this option, let us know and we’ll see if there is a “contribution” spot available.

Third, David would be glad to recommend a less-experienced speaker. And quite honestly, there are some good, less-experienced speakers who charge less money. But you won’t find a speaker with David’s experience and track record in our fee range. David’s guarantee is that he’s cheaper than anyone who’s better – and he’s better than anyone who’s cheaper!

Q: Where do we go from here?

A: We make a decision. Do you think this would be a good fit? Does David’s experience and expertise fit with your needs and your audience?

If it seems to make sense, we should talk. Just call our office at 610.716.5984 or drop an email to and someone from our staff will get back to you immediately.

Q: How do I become a motivational speaker?

A: As someone who has helped dozens of authors, coaches, and experts develop and build their speaking platform, I’ve developed several tools you can use to start working on your own motivational speaking business right away.

First of all, you should check out the Professional Speaking Bootcamp-in-a-Box. This will show you how successful speakers have already done it.

For a step by step guide to marketing and sales strategies to build your business, we recommend you download The Sales Science™ Manual.