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The Guide to Finding the Best Business Speakers & Keynote Speakers

The Ultimate Guide to Booking a Keynote Speaker

Get your Customized List of Keynote Speakers Right now

Planning an event can be very exciting… and time consuming! With so many details to organize, having great partners along the way can make all of the difference.

The focal point of any event is the Keynote Presentation. Whether it is inspiring, motivating or content driven, hiring a brilliant keynote speaker is the key to creating an event that your audience will talk about for years to come. 

Finding that perfect keynote speaker can be a challenge. With many stakeholders, a budget and endless hours of speaker videos to screen, discovering a speaker that will really impress your audience can be daunting. That’s where we come in. 

We have over 20 years experience in finding great speakers for events. We personally vet every speaker that we work with and know their presentations and style inside and out, so that we can give you our feedback on what will work for YOUR audience. 

And that’s why we are here: to provide you with the information you need to find the right speaker for your event every time. 

In this post you will learn all about why you need a Keynote Speaker, what they can do for you, how you can work with us, and how you make the most of their presentation and really hit a home run with your audience. 

Download Now: The Insider’s Guide to Booking a Keynote Speaker


Our job is to help you find your next great keynote speaker.

With more than 20 years experience in helping our clients find great Keynote Speakers for their events, we are often asked the following questions.

If you need more help or want to chat with us directly, get in touch. We are here to help!

What does a speakers bureau do exactly?

Our mission is to make your job of finding a great speaker for YOUR event easier. 

We work with over 600 of the highest rated speakers covering 30 of the most requested topics, including Leadership, Communication, Customer Experience, Motivation, Change, Teamwork, Technology, & Innovation.

We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. 

Essentially, our job is to listen to your needs, and create a customized proposal for your event with the very best speakers for you, our clients.

Get your Customized List of Speaker Ideas sent right to your inbox. 


Do I have to pay you to find me a speaker?

The short answer: No.

Our clients receive our expert assistance in finding and booking a speaker at absolutely no charge to them. We are paid a commission by our speakers when we book them, so there is no fee to our clients.

Why should I work with you?

With so many speakers out there, finding the right speaker one can be time consuming. Our experience lets us do this efficiently, providing you with a Customized List of Speaker Ideas.

The Insider's Guide to Booking a Keynote Speaker

We have more than 20 years experience in finding great speakers for our clients’ events. Our expertise lies in asking the right questions to find you the best Keynote Speaker that best fits your event objectives.

At The Sweeney Agency, we pride ourselves on offering unparalleled customer service & unbiased advice. We work with the best speakers to find the right speakers for YOU, our clients, not clients for our speakers. 

You can always trust us to provide honest advice and information to make sure your Keynote Speaker is a hit with your audience. 

We are a trusted partner of Fortune 500 companies including Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Prudential, PWC, Marriott Hotel Group, Kellogg’s, GE and more. 

Download your copy of our Insider’s Guide to Booking a Keynote Speaker for all the info you need. 

I’ve never booked a keynote speaker before. Where should I start?

This is something we hear all the time and have created some great resources to help you get started.

The easiest and fastest way to book a great Speaker is to call us at 1-866-727-7555 

Our eBook – The Insider’s Guide to Booking a Keynote Speaker – is a great place to start. You can download it by clicking here.

Or take a look at this short video to see the 5 Steps to Booking a Keynote Speaker. 

You can also call us directly at 1-866-727-7555, email us right now, or live Chat with us by clicking the button at the bottom right hand side of your screen.

We are here to make booking your next Keynote Speaker as enjoyable and stress free as possible.

That’s our promise to you.


What is the lead time for booking a keynote speaker?

Ideally, you should be booking your keynote speaker 3-6 months before your event. When you book early you have more Speakers to choose from and you can get a lower fee.

This gives you lots of time to find the right speaker, meet with them and determine the best way for them to meet your needs. 

Highly sought after speakers like celebrities, CEOs, news anchors and athletes, may require longer lead times for booking. Please keep this in mind when planning your event.


How much do Keynote Speakers cost?

This is a great question! The Keynote Speakers we work with start at $10,000 USD and go up as high $150,000 USD depending on the speaker. 

With our huge network of exceptional speakers, the great news is that we can always find a great speaker for your budget.

Here’s what you can expect for the various fee ranges: 

$7500 – 10,000 – Speakers who are new to the business and are getting reviews between 4.5-5. See a list here. 

$10 – 15,000 – Speakers who have at least 3 years experience and are getting reviews that are higher than 4.7 out of 5. Here are a few speakers to review in this range.

$15 – 25,000 – Speakers who have close to 5-10 years experience and, based on their reviews, are receiving 5-7 requests a month. Review these speakers by clicking here.

$25 – 40,000 – Speakers who are seen as leading voices and influencers on their topic and, based on their reviews, are receiving 10-15 requests a month. Here’s a list.

$40 – 70,000 – Speakers who are considered established Thought Leaders on their topic and, based on their reviews, are receiving 25-45 requests a month. See our most experienced speakers now.

$70,000+ – Speakers whose accomplishments have made them celebrities in their field and, based on their reviews, are receiving 50+  requests a month. Here’s a list for your review.

 See our Top 10 Lists for the Best Speakers on your preferred topic or view our the Top 10 Trending Speakers for last month. 

What does a Keynote Speaker do?

A Keynote Speaker is the person who provides a talk that establishes or reinforces the underlying theme of an event

Event organizers establish the theme of the event, and the Keynote Speaker’s responsibility is to understand the needs of the audience and provide entertainment, content or inspiration (or any combination of those things) to the audience. 

The Keynote Speaker can appear at any point during the event, and a professional Keynote Speaker will tailor their speech to both the audience and their placement on the agenda (beginning, middle or end). 

Keynote speakers can also be part of Speaker Series, presenting different ideas to your team over the course of a few weeks or even a year. Contact us to find out more about how to build out your speaker series or get started by reading this article. 


How long should a keynote speech be?

In our experience, keynote speeches are most effective when they are between 60-90 minutes long for live events, and 40-60 minutes long for virtual events.

Virtual events with interactive components, such as a live Q&A, are very effective at keeping audiences engaged.

Are you looking for some ideas to break out of the traditional Keynote Presentation format? Check out our ideas on how to Release the Keynote via Instant Insights & Hybrid Events.

Virtual Events in 2021 at The Sweeney Agency Speakers Bureau

Can’t I just book a keynote speaker directly?

You can book a speaker directly. However, many of the highest rated Keynote Speakers choose to work directly with speakers bureaus, like ours, to offer their clients the best service at the best rates. 

Working with a speakers bureau means that we take care of all the details – travel arrangements, pre-event calls, logistics and more. You can leave the time consuming work to us, and focus on the most important element: creating a fantastic event for your audience.

In the case of an emergency where the speaker cancels, we also have the ability to find you a replacement speaker at a moment’s notice, so you don’t have to be scrambling to fill your keynote spot on the agenda.


What is the difference between an exclusive speaker & a non-exclusive speaker?

Many speakers are contracted exclusively to work with one speakers bureau or agent. These agencies are required to book a certain number of events for their exclusive speakers throughout the year, and seek clients for their speakers.

Where The Sweeney Agency is different is that we don’t work with exclusive speakers. YOU are our client, not the speaker. We seek to find the best speaker for you, not the other way around.

This means that we always offer unbiased advice and guidance to help you find the best speaker for your event. We built our business on this foundation, and more than 20 years later have an excellent reputation for providing honest, unbiased customer service.

Read more about why The Sweeney Agency is different.

Put simply: Our job is to make your job easier.

We handle all of the details, from start to finish, to make your next event a huge success with a great keynote speaker. 

Did we leave something out? Get in touch with us right now so we can get started finding your next great keynote speaker. 

Get your Customized List of Keynote Speakers Right now