Frequently Asked Questions
We sat down with Lee and asked him "what are the most frequently asked questions you get about your business as a professional speaker?"
You may find them useful too…
1. Do you speak for free?
98% of the time I speak for a fee. I do, like most speakers, sometimes choose to do a ‘no-fee’ or expenses only speaking event either because it has the right people in the room i.e some potential clients, I’m speaking for the Professional Speaking Association (aka The PSA) or I occasionally speak for a charity that is special to me.
2. How much do you cost?
Good question, but that question is like asking how long is a ball of string, unfortunately. I have a range of fees depending on the sector, the travel involved, the preparation needed, the subject and the context. E.g. if I’m doing Presentation Skills for a small local SME that is a different fee than for a Keynote speech at a large conference. But, I am open and honest about fees and I am always happy to chat, just get in touch. And, of course, if I am not the right speaker for you for whatever reason (including fee level), I will refer you to one of the dozens of other speakers that I know.
3. Do you charge expenses?
This depends on the event, for smaller events, usually, yes, I do charge standard train/car mileage, mid-range hotel/meal expenses. For bigger events I tend to include my expenses in the fee as standard to make it easier.
4. Can you speak at my event for “the exposure only”/“They'll be a nice meal in it for you”?
As a speaker, I get this kind of request fairly regularly. I don’t mind being asked, as I totally understand the pressures of putting on an event and how expensive it is, but I am sorry I most likely cannot help you, the venue will be charging you for the event and as the speaker, who the success of the event will often rest upon, I charge a fee too - please see number 1 above.
5. Do you give value for money?
Absolutely, often my clients comment on this because I will work hard to make your event a success before, during and after I have been on stage. I do social media posts, bring a conference alive, leave follow up notes and do videos that you can use afterwards too. I don't do hit and run, I turn up early, get involved and aim to make you, as an organiser, look good.
6. Do you charge less for shorter talks?
The weird thing about presentations is that a short talk is actually harder to prepare and deliver than a long one.
7. Do you host/MC events too?
Yes, a few times a year I use my skills as someone who's been to hundreds of events and host/MC/compere events for clients. It is a different skillset in some ways but great fun encouraging speakers to keep to time and keeping the show on the road. I’m happy to chat about MC-ing your event - do get in touch.
8. Can you send me your presentation two weeks in advance to our event?
No sorry. Firstly my slides aren’t my presentation, I am the presentation and I don't give out my slides to the audience as they aren't suitable for that. And to create the most engagement I often change my slides on the morning of the talk and so I always use my own laptop when I am presenting. But don't worry I have always managed to do this and I am very used to doing a quick change over plus I’ll turn up early to do a setup too. I have this all information in my pre-event information that I send to my clients. My aim is to be easy to work with and I’ll communicate very clearly before the event to make things run smoothly.
9. What style of speaker are you?
People say in their feedback that I am a down-to-earth and funny speaker, who has a relaxed non-formal style of communication. My philosophy is to get people smiling or laughing, not to take myself too seriously and give practical advice that works. I aim to create hope and those "me too" moments, where I give practical insights that people really connect with. My presentations have been honed over the years and work well in lots of different situations. I don't speak much about myself and my life, it's more about my research and delivering common-sense content that works in the here and now. Visit my YouTube channel here for loads of clips of me speaking both on and off stage.
10. What are your values as a speaker?
I aim to be respectful, engaging, easy to work with and dependable, this pretty much sums me up too, it's who I aim to be and what I aim to deliver every time.
11. Can we see you in action before booking you?
Sure, have a look at my Youtube channel here there are loads of clips of me here over the years in lots of different contexts.
12. Do you need a data projector/PA/AV stuff?
All my AV needs are on my pre-event list which I send to clients ahead of the event.
13. What kind of microphone do you prefer?
I prefer a ‘tie-clip’ or ‘discreet headset’ mic, I often bring my own Sennheiser wireless mic for use in smaller venues too. It’s like a joiner bringing his own saw!
14. Do you like to speak behind a lectern?
No, I like to use a ‘tie-clip’ style mic and roam free to help engagement with an audience. Once I go behind a lectern I’ve lost 50% of my body language and ways to keep the audience connected.
15. What is the difference between a public speaker and a professional speaker?
No disrespect to any public speakers out there, as they do a great job, but in a nutshell, a public speaker does it as a hobby or the fun of it and a professional speaker gets paid for it. My comedian and friend John Archer (a semi-finalist on Britains Got Talent in 2019) also once said to me that the difference between a professional and an amateur is that a professional does it when they don't feel like it or maybe aren't feeling too well. I’ve certainly had to do that occasionally over the years too. Basically, it is my job, it’s the main thing that I do and I work hard at it.
16. If you could sum up your talks in five words - what would those be?
Funny, honest, practical, encouraging, hopeful.
17. What do you say to new speakers?
I do get a few questions from new or potentially new speakers too, I did a talk to new speakers at the PSA conference in 2018 here is my talk with my whole “how I got into speaking” story and the advice I give most newer speakers: have a listen, it’s free, I hope it helps…
18. Do you run open events where I can come to see you speak?
Because of the nature of my work I usually do ‘in-house’ or ‘closed’ events, so most of the time it isn’t possible to take people with me, sorry. Although I do a few public events a year and so feel free to connect on social media. The info is at the top right of this webpage.
19. Do you have a long "rider" or long list of diva demands for events?!
No, that is not my style at all. It is more about the audience than me. The only thing i do say is that I won’t fly Ryanair and I try not to stay in Travelodge’s because unfortunately, I have had bad experiences of both of those companies while working. So, no bowl of blue M&M's or a dozen red roses required!
Thanks for reading. Do get in touch if we can help you more.