Signing a Contract

Are you an event planner looking to hire a speaker for your event? It is important to sign a contract to protect the speaker and the client once you both agree on the terms. If you are a speaker, it is crucial to know the necessary details to include in the contract. Likewise, when hiring one, you need to ensure that there are no loopholes that will cause you embarrassment or lead to losses, especially when a speaker breaches the contract.

How the content will be shared or distributed

Speakers share their intellectual property when they speak during events. If you're looking to Book a Change Management Keynote Speaker, for example, you may wish to record the speech to use for yourself at a later date. Your speaker may be happy for you to do this, but you may be asked not to share any recordings on social media. Ultimately, speakers make their money by sharing information not otherwise available in the public domain, so if any part of their speech were to become public and freely accessible, the information would lose its value. As a speaker, you need to ask how the information you are giving will be used or shared. Will the session be live-streamed or filmed? Will it be shared on social media? Will the recordings be used for marketing, and in what format?

It is also vital for you to discuss the design and branding options and if you are comfortable with your PowerPoint template being used. Including all these details in the contract will ensure your brand is protected and only used based on the guidelines you find agreeable. This also means the organizers of an event you are scheduled to speak in only use your brand and footage as a marketing tool only for the stipulated period.

Payment and reimbursements

It is necessary to have the payment terms outlined in the contract. The speaker and client need to agree on how much will be paid, when, and how any expenses paid out of pocket will be reimbursed. For example, a clause stating, “We will cover travel expenses of up to $1,500” is not enough. It is essential to include the need for receipts, when they should be remitted, and the turnaround time for payment.

Date, time, and duration of speech

The contract needs to note when the speaker is required. This will prevent confusion should the organizer change the date and time without notifying the speaker. This clause also protects organizers from rogue speakers who take on more gigs on the same day and time. It is also critical to include the time the speaker needs to arrive at the event to ensure everything goes as planned. The duration of the session also needs to be clearly outlined.

Presentation resources to be provided

Items the organizer will provide, and those the speaker is expected to bring also need to be included in the contract. For example, does the speaker bring his laptop? What other resources should he carry, and what will the organizer provide? If you are a speaker or organizer, you need to determine the necessary preparations. Assuming a speaker will bring particular resources is a mistake an organizer of an event should not make. It is always best to have a list of things the speaker expects the organizer to have, and the resources the speaker will be bringing. As a speaker, if you provide the resources, you have a better chance of bargaining for better pay.

A contract between a speaker and the event organizer does not necessarily mean one will take legal action against the other, even though one has the right to sue for breach of contract. It, however, shows professionalism and creates confidence that both parties will come through to the commitment made.