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Speaker Application Frequently Asked Questions

Believe it or not, we hear from hundreds of people each year who are interested in joining the CAMPUSPEAK team! We hear all sorts of questions, and love learning about each individual’s unique topical expertise and personal story. See below for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from people interested in becoming a speaker with us.

I know the application deadline is in January, but can you review my materials now?
We are lucky to have so many talented individuals eager to join our speaking team. Unfortunately, our modest staff team cannot review applications on a rolling basis. In order to make the process simple, we review applications once annually each Spring. However, we do accept applications year-round! This helps you cross your application off your to-do list anytime, knowing that you can expect to hear back from us sometime in March or April following our application deadline.
Would you be open to considering a non-exclusive relationship with a speaker?
We maintain exclusive relationships within higher education for all of our speakers without exception. Higher education looks like college and university campuses, college-related associations and organizations, and any event where college students and/or professionals are the primary intended audience. Any event where you’re getting paid to speak to a higher education audience should be contracted and confirmed by CAMPUSPEAK.
Do I have to fill out the application, or can I just email you my demo reel?
Sometimes speakers will send over their demo reel, a resume, or even mail us a copy of their book. While we definitely appreciate having this information to consider, most of it is best captured in our online application. We are unable to accept a speaker to join our team who doesn’t fill one out because it helps to standardize our review process.
What type of video are you looking for? Do I need to have a video?
A video is the most important part of your application! While we don’t expect anyone to have a fancy video with lots of bells and whistles, we do need a video that captures you clearly speaking in a keynote format about your topical expertise (preferably in front of a live audience). Media reels and interviews are great supplements to your application too, if you have them, however, we mostly need to see you speak! We want to hear your voice, see your stage presence, and hopefully learn something in what you’re delivering. Because we review so many videos, it is unlikely that we will be able to watch more than 10 minutes of video footage of your application.
Do I have to pay a fee? What does it cover? Are there any hidden fees?
All new speakers who join our team are asked to pay a New Speaker Buy-In of $3,500 – $5,000. It covers the cost of graphic design and copy writing time, as well as the production of digital and print advertisements. A portion of your buy-in also pays for the set-up costs associated with you joining our team like our calendar and training program. There aren’t any other “hidden” costs, although it is an expectation that a speaker invests in marketing each semester, consider attending and networking at an industry conference, and register for and attend our bi-annual company meeting. We go over these costs in-depth if you’re chosen to join our team.
Do I have to attend training? What will I learn?
All new speakers must attend the New Speaker Training, typically held in June. This is a mandatory training because it helps us deliver to you all of the knowledge you need to begin a successful partnership with our team. We cover a lot of internal things to know – like how leads are generated and sales are closed, what marketing opportunities exist, how to update your availability in our calendar, and when you get paid.
Do I need professional speaking experience before I apply?
No! We are excited to review applications from individuals with all levels of experience. Some of our most successful speakers had only one or two speaking events before joining our team, while others have been speaking for years and just wanted help managing their business. Obviously those with more speaking experience have a bit of an advantage, but anyone with a great story or strong topical expertise is encouraged to apply.
What are some common reasons you don’t pick speakers?
The things some speakers will do to try to get our attention might surprise you! Speakers who let us know their first concern is about money typically will not be successful with CAMPUSPEAK. We work better with people who are primarily interested in making a difference in students lives. Getting paid is really important too, but joining our team is not a way to get rich quick. Other red flags include speakers who aren’t interested in an exclusive arrangement, have lots of special requests right away that do not fit into our low-maintenance philosophy, and have poor and/or unprofessional communication.
I’ve applied before and wasn’t selected. Should I apply again?
We always welcome applicants to resubmit their materials. Each year we do our best to provide feedback on why applicants aren’t selected so they can continue to improve. Sometimes we find that we don’t have a current need for a topic or speaker one year, but that they could be a great fit for another year. If you’re applying again, always submit your most up-to-date information so we have the clearest idea of how your speaking career has evolved since your last application.
What is your agency fee and what is my typical commission?
We realize that commission levels and agency fees are important questions to have answered. Upon reviewing your application, if we are interested in moving forward in conversations about representation, we will address our compensation model with you in-depth. Each speaker’s fee is different, and mutually agreed upon with the agency annually. We help you set your fee based on the overall competitiveness of the market, geographic location, demand for your topic, etc. Because our pricing is all inclusive, travel expenses like flights, mileage, hotel reservations, etc. come out of your program fee.