It’s fair to say that there is good money on the after dinner speaking circuit if you can get it. Of course, the fee you command depends completely on your profile and demand. If you are, however, a billionaire entrepreneur, a former state leader (or the wife of one), then expect a few lucrative offers. Here are five of the world’s most expensive speakers on the after dinner circuit.
1. Donald Trump - £750,000 ($1.5 billion)
According to Forbes, the American property mogul and TV star is worth in the region of $7 billion. After starring in the American version of The Apprentice, Trump has become even more of a household name, which has only added to his appeal as a public speaker. When Trump spoke at the Real Estate Wealth Expos, he took home $1.5 million per speech. Not bad at all when you consider there were 17 seminars at the conference. Trump must have a bit to spare, he recently offered to pledge $5 million to charity in exchange for Barack Obama's old college and passport documents.
2. Tony Blair - £157,000
The former British Prime Minister charges in the region of £157,000 per one and a half hour speaking gig. (Compare this to his annual salary as the Prime Minister of the UK, which was £142,000.) If you've the spare finances and fancy booking the former Prime Minister, be prepared for a bit of a wait: there is currently a two-year waiting list to book Mr Blair, according to the Washington Speakers Bureau. The speaking circuit isn't Blair’s only source of income since he left Downing Street either; he reportedly received an advance of £5.3 million for his memoirs, ‘A Journey’!
3. Bill Clinton - £100,000
Being the former President of the United States isn’t a bad credential to have on your CV if you’re going on the speaking circuit. Well - that's if Bill Clinton’s fees are anything to go by. According to Times Union, The University at Albany Student Association paid the former president $200, 000 to speak at their event, which might be the most expensive fee ever recorded for a single speech. To be fair to Bill, he didn’t actually pocket the earnings, it went straight into his charity organisation, The William J. Clinton Foundation. If you do book the former president, expect him to rock-up with a somewhat 'demanding' entourage. Clinton et al. turned up at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant in London and decided they didn't want to eat anything off the menu, proceeding to order steak, chicken and salmon. The Naked Chef was displeased to say the least!
4. Richard Branson - £50,000 +
Virgin head honcho and world famous entrepreneur Richard Branson is next on our list, as he commands upwards of £50,000 per appearance. A risk-taking dandy who has conquered the international world of business, it's easy to see why Branson is the top of many people's public speaking wish-lists. The man who once tried to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon also upkeeps a private island in the Carribean, so the money from public speaking certainly comes in handy!
5. Cherie Blair - £25,000
It’s not just Mr Blair who is taking home a large pay packet on the speaking circuit, his wife isn’t doing too badly either. According to the Telegraph, Cherie banks roughly £25,000 per speaking engagement, mostly at events in the United States. Like her husband, Mrs Blair has her fingers in a few pies: she’s a qualified lawyer, part-time judge and does occasional media work – all that on top of mothering four children!
Image credits: Tony Blair: World Economic Forum on Flickr Donald Trump: Gage Skidmore on Flickr Bill Clinton: The Dead Hub on Flickr Richard Branson: BBC World Service on FlickrCherie Blair: glennia on Flickr Banner: Images of Money on Flickr