As a speaker, I’m often asked the all important question by event planners – how much do you charge? This is my cue to end the conversation as fast as possible. Why? The person asking isn’t concerned with value. They are trying to maximize the number of events for a given price and they want to know if they can squeeze me in.

What’s wrong with that?

Conference attendees don’t evaluate speakers using this criteria. Their criteria is different and very clear – They want to have learned something and be able to apply it. What does it take to achieve this? Two things – 1. Solid content and 2. Compelling delivery. If you have solid content without good delivery – it’s a lecture. Charming delivery without content is whipped cream – tasty but of no lasting value.

If you are planning a meeting and think that your audience won’t pay for quality, that’s because you haven’t provided it. When people complain about cost – don’t take it so literally. They aren’t getting value. Here is a list of questions to get at value –

1. What are the major challenges in the industry? What should the audience be thinking about relative to these?

2. What are the implications of industry challenges for leaders?

3. Who are the exemplars in the industry and what are they doing to be successful?

4. What mistakes have others made that provide a lesson?

5. What concepts can the audience take home with them and use immediately?

If your criteria for making decisions are unrelated to your objectives, you will fail. It’s a simple as that.

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