Speakers Bureaus

After about a year of discussion between many of the various Bureaus and Speaker’s Agents in South Africa, and the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa, we have come up with a list of guidelines below. It must be understood that these are simply guidelines and neither the speakers nor the bureaus have agreed to be bound by these. They are, however, good principles to live by.

As in all things the best way to insure a solid business relationship between you and another party is for both to agree and sign a contract. This contract should include many of the guidelines below. It is hoped that we will have a draft contract posted on this website at some stage, but for the moment we hope you find the guidelines of some practical use.



  1. Send us the contract you send the client so that the fee charged is transparent.
  2. Use the speaker’s most recently submitted marketing material which the speaker needs to provide on a dated Word document.
  3. Get approval from the speaker when making any adjustment to the material. Ensure that the bureau undertake not to misrepresent the speaker’s expertise or subject matter
  4. Confirmed bookings must be in writing
  5. The quotation needs to provide a clear confirm or release time-frame.
  6. Provide any positive or negative post event feedback from the client to the speaker
  7. Speakers are invited to ask whether a request is specifically for one speaker or many.
  8. Negotiate a commission with the speaker on other work that may arise with that client such as coaching or consulting.
  9. When making a provisional booking provide the client name which the speaker will record.
  10. Get permission from the speaker before listing them on your website, and remove the name when requested
  11. Provide payment within a set time-frame, preferably as soon as the bureau receives payment themselves.
  12. The speaker should sign a job specific contract that governs the relationship with the bureau.
  13. The bureau should be able to provide the speaker with information about the event, so that the speaker goes into the briefing meeting with some background.
  14. If a bureau is going to represent a speaker they should find out about the speakers full speaker offering. Preferably see them live in action.
  15. The bureau’s job is not to develop speakers but they should be willing to see new speakers and point them in the right direction.


  1. The Fee quoted to Clients must be the SPEAKERS Regular Fee and it must not be inflated by the Bureau/Agent in any way.
  2. This protects the speaker and bureau/agent from embarrassment when the client finds out from web sites and other publicized places that the fee was in fact inflated.
  3. It also protects the speaker in that inflated prices to cover bureau fees may hamper the speakers opportunities for future work.
  4. The Bureau / Agents derive their income from the commission paid to them by the speaker from the speaker’s fee.
  5. This Commission percentage can range from 10% to 30% depending on the agreements between speaker and bureau.
  6.  In the event that the Bureau/Agent/PCO wants more than the agreed commission for work they may have done for the client then this should be invoiced separately  as an admin/management fee and not added to the speakers fee


  1. When the speaker is approached for a subsequent booking, the client should be referred back to the originating bureau.
  2. The speaker should ask all prospective clients how they found out about the speaker so that commission can be paid if that prospective client came through an bureau-booked conference.
  3. When an opportunity is generated through the speaker being heard at an bureau- booked function the lead is to be passed back to the bureau.
  4. When handed a business card, the speaker should pass it on to the Bureau.
  5. When working with preferred or recognized bureaus the speaker should have a single exit price policy (the client pays the same price whether they book through the speaker or the bureau).
  6. The speaker needs to record the bureau, client and date of the conference in his diary the moment they accept a provisional booking.
  7. When holding a provisional booking and another enquiry comes in for the same date, the speaker should give the first bureau the opportunity to confirm or release within an agreed time period.
  8. The speaker should update the bureau with most recent photographs, books, topics, video clips, DVD’s etc
  9. The speaker should give the bureau feedback after completion of a paid speaking engagement
  10. The speaker should show up one hour before the presentation time
  11. If the speaker is going to promote any products or services they should have the client’s permission which needs to be obtained by the bureau.
  12. The speaker should read and acknowledge receipt of all information pertaining to the conference.
  13. Should the speaker want to change timeslot, date or travel arrangements the bureau needs to do it on their behalf.