Merlin Mann’s great guide on how to price yourself for speaking engagements:
Things cost money. People either pay for them, or they don’t.
We are gentlemen, and we can disagree on value, but it’s unseemly to tell another gentleman what he’s worth. Learn this fast fast fast.
I only did a speaking gig for the money once, and I regretted it. I’m not sure I’ll ever do that again — even though they paid what was probably a reasonable rate for my value as a conference speaker, it wasn’t worth two weeks of stress and preparation, then four days away from home. Merlin’s right on.
After a few years of scattered conference gigs, I’ve learned that I don’t enjoy conference speaking enough, and I’m not good enough at it, to do it for the money. Getting good at it almost requires making a career of it — of the great conference speakers I’ve seen, almost all of them do it frequently or full-time, and that probably wasn’t the first time they’ve given that talk. It takes a huge amount of work and a lot of traveling, and I don’t have that in me.
So I’ve decided to conference-speak only for fun, only on my terms, and rarely. In two weeks, I’m speaking at Çingleton, which is exactly what I’m looking for (and Guy is letting me do my crazy idea). That’s it for the rest of this year, and possibly next.