Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Small Business Questions, Ideas and Advice
sally_in_wales

What's the going rate for a WI talk?

I keep getting enquiries from WI and similar type groups to go in and give a talk. The price that I can get no problem from a museum or academic audience for a talk appears to be too much for this audience to consider, but I can't get any of them to tell me what they are used to paying for a talk, often with an activity, that also involves driving usually quite a way to get to them. Typically I expect a talk to essentially eat up at least half a day regardless of how long one actually stands up and talks for.

Anyone in the know, what is the going rate for a WI talk these days?
wizz

I have no idea really - but judging from the sort of thing that my OH gets given when he does such stuff as part of his work (he's a community archaeologist) they might be anticipating paying for travel plus a bottle of wine...
(Obviously for him that sort of thing is a part of his work that his employer can just about support..)
mochyn

I used to charge £30 plus 30p/mile travel about 10 years ago. That was for gardening talks with slides.
Jamanda

I did one about six months ago. They offered me about £20, but I didn't take it.

Having listened to their meeting and their finances, they needed every penny they had.
sally_in_wales

I get the feeling this is what they are angling for these days but won't say. Its all very well, but doing a talk is usually more or less a day's work by the time you've written it, got ready, got there and got home again. £20-£30 just isn't viable unless you can get there by walking and its a topic you already have so ready it takes no prep work Sad What they want from me usually is a full hour talk with slides, followed by an hour's hands on activity with me providing all the materials- something like 'making Tudor washballs' for example, and they tend to want me to drive about 2 hours to get to them (and back). I just can't do that for £30. Does that make me a horrible person?
alison

No of course it doesn't make you nasty.

Even if you don't charge your enough for your time, the fuel and materials should be paid for.

I wouldn't expect someone to pay for my hobbies, so you shouldn't be expected to pay for someone elses.
Lorrainelovesplants

I charge £25 for an hour. This covers my fuel and setting up time and packing away time also - around 2 hrs in total.
I always give value for money - a powerpoint and also something practical - this winter Im doing fruit trees - so will be taking some pasteurised juice from our different varieties of apple along with actual apples which Ill slice on the night to show the difference between varieties. Its a bit different.......
I always get asked back.
Nick

Nope. Say it can't be done for below cost.
sally_in_wales

that might be a good way to do it, by the hour. Not charge for prep, but log it from leaving home to returning home assuming you do no detours on the way. Will probably work out more than my half-day rate though for a lot of them Confused I've had a couple of enquiries recently that have left me feeling as if I'm the worst sort of mercenary fraudster for daring to suggest that they pay a realistic rate for a specialist, well researched and lots of extras session.
Lorrainelovesplants

Sorry Nick, perhaps Ive worded this badly...
The charge is £25 for the night, but although Im only 'speaking' for an hour, I have other costs such as fuel & ppreparation (which are included in the £25).
I can always use the same 'thing' again on another night for a different group....
wizz

Not at all - you are self employed. It's up to you. It all depends whether you want and are able to invest your time and effort.

If by doing such talks you think it might "drum up custom" it might be worth considering. But if that's not appropriate or it won't work in that way, you just have to make a decision about whether or not a particular organisation is one that you want and are able to support in a charitable way.

But there again I'm not self employed and don't run a business... so I have the "luxury" of being able to comment from the sidelines with no real experience of such dilemmas Very Happy
Nick

Sorry Nick, perhaps Ive worded this badly...
The charge is £25 for the night, but although Im only 'speaking' for an hour, I have other costs such as fuel & ppreparation (which are included in the £25).
I can always use the same 'thing' again on another night for a different group....



No, you didn't. Smile I crossed posted, and was replying to Sally's question if she's bad.
sally_in_wales


I can always use the same 'thing' again on another night for a different group....


Can you though? I do some of my talks many times, but they always need re-tweaking to suit the specific audience, more or less academic, with some pre knowledge, totally new to the subject. age, etc. I don't think I've ever gotton away without having to do two or three hours prep before any talk, no matter how often I've done it before, because every group is different so matching the information to their specific requirements takes time
Nell Merionwen

life long learning expect to pay around £60 for an hour. sally_in_wales

life long learning expect to pay around £60 for an hour.

do they cover set-up, pack down and travel costs? Thats sounding better than the WI even without though, realistic at least to cover some preparation as well as the session
Nell Merionwen

life long learning expect to pay around £60 for an hour.

do they cover set-up, pack down and travel costs?

nope, just £60 flat fee. Fortunately they were all relatively local. I did suggest expenses for going further afield though and she seemed fine about it.

Why not quote them a sensible amount? If they turn it down you won't lose anything as you wouldn't do it for less anyway.
sally_in_wales

Its more about knowing how to approach it, if it does turn out that 'everyone'' else in the country only gets £30 for doing a session, then maybe I have to learn to lump it, but I'd like to feel that I'm not being entirely selfish when I say I really do need to charge about £60 for a talk that equates to a half day session including localish travel (say 30 miles), and a bit more if its a good distance away Nick

You're an expert. You've done this a million times. I suggest you don't plan the next one, more than 4 post cards with some pointer words on them. Take no more than 20 minutes, and wing it. I *BET* you're fine, and you'll then be able to justify the cost.

You might be stressing too much...
Jamanda

I think it depends what you offer. I would get paid that for a lesson to teenagers out of hours. I don't mind doing the WI for free because I don't get paid for doing Commons stuff and thats what I talk to them about.

They did give me a big bag of beans.
Went

You are not a hobbyist, this is your profession and therefore you have to make a living. Charge appropriately, if it is too much then it is not your audience. judith

We generally pay £40 - £45. We have paid more, but that was when no one bothered to check what the speaker charged and it was a bit too late to quibble after they had given their talk.

For hands-on demonstrations, each member would normally pay a couple of quid for materials on top of the speaker's fee.
Jamanda

You are not a hobbyist, this is your profession and therefore you have to make a living. Charge appropriately, if it is too much then it is not your audience.

This is true. I'm now feeling bad because i didn't charge Sad As I totally understand not undercharging because you need to make a living.
Mary-Jane

...with slides.

How delightful... Very Happy
Nick

...with slides.

How delightful... Very Happy

Hey, you still think PowerPoint is acceptable.
Mr O

Silly me, I would have thought it would be done for free. kirstyfern

I asked the local WI for £25 - and then never cashed it.
I drove 5 miles there / 5 miles back and was there about 2 1/2 hours.

I do 2 talks - 1) why keep chickens? for WI / gardening clubs and 2) chicken keeping beginners session - for schools / nursing homes etc (who are buying a starter kit / hens).

Talk 1 - £25 plus milage (generally private clubs / charities / WI)
Talk 2 - £60 plus milage (commercial)

I always take the same handouts to the talk (I print and take 40-50 copies and tend to have 10 or so taken away) but then tweak the actual talk on the day depending on the group of people / what questions get asked.

I certainly don't spend hours preping as most knowledge is in my head Wink

But I also don't have powerpoint slides. I take pictures of hens / hen houses / etc with me, also some live hens (if I'm allowed at the venue).

My sessions are informal / interactive and fun!
gil

In my experience, doing WI talks is cheapskate stuff, and they don't pay realistic amounts for you to do it properly. Ideally they'd like you to do it for free, or petrol money.

The more local you are, the more they expect something for nothing and don't value you. Further afield, you can charge more. But the max I've charged in this region was £30, which wasn't 'just down the road', but not that far. The least was £15.

I'm afraid that under the £15 circumstances, I don't do much / any preparation, and I don't much care how the talk turns out (but then I am no longer running a business, so no ulterior motive for being nice to them). It also depends on how big / significant the WI branch is, and whether I know them.

Sally, if you can't give the talk for less than £60, that's fine.
They will just even it out by getting 'cheaper' speakers for other months.
I suspect a lot of WIs work like that - cheap locals who can fill in months, or serious stuff that they expect to pay for.
Mr O

I must be missing something here. I thought that WI talks and the like were advertising for free. Alas I must be wrong. Nick

I must be missing something here. I thought that WI talks and the like were advertising for free. Alas I must be wrong.

I guess so. That would apply only if the members of the WI were likely future customers.
mochyn

I must be missing something here. I thought that WI talks and the like were advertising for free. Alas I must be wrong.

I guess so. That would apply only if the members of the WI were likely future customers.

And they're usually not. The purpose of WI talks is to inform and entertain the WI members.

Sally: if I were you I'd compile a few talks on various subjects aimed at exactly that sort of group: very basic but entertaining. A few strange facts, interesting anectdotes, that sort of thhing. Nothing academic or in-depth: if they want that sort of thing they can go to St Fagan's.

When I had enquiries I used to send my list of talks with prices and requirements. Standard form with a covering letter. Then they could book me or not. If it was a group to which I belonged I might do it just for exes.
sally_in_wales

I must be missing something here. I thought that WI talks and the like were advertising for free. Alas I must be wrong.

I suppose it depends what you do, I can't see the average WI member employing me to do a study on an archaeological cosmetic, or to reconstruct a neolithic costume, or any of the other things that they want me to come and talk to them about. A talk that involves a drive of a couple of hours each way , set up, the session, pack down and smalltalk means that essentially a whole working day is eaten up by the talk, do you seriously think that people should do that for free as standard?

Mochyn, good idea about doing a price list of talks, might help make it easier to indicate the range of things I can offer as well as highlighting just how much goes into some of the sessions that involve a vanfull of handling objects and an activity.
Nell Merionwen

Do you have copies of your book? It may be worth taking a few signed copies along to see if they want to buy one? sally_in_wales

I'm having trouble getting them at the moment, I havent even got a copy myself really after mine fell in a puddle at an event and all the pages stuck together Embarassed Nell Merionwen

I'm having trouble getting them at the moment, I havent even got a copy myself really after mine fell in a puddle at an event and all the pages stuck together Embarassed

blimey Shocked
I have a copy *happy smug dance*
mochyn

Mochyn, good idea about doing a price list of talks, might help make it easier to indicate the range of things I can offer as well as highlighting just how much goes into some of the sessions that involve a vanfull of handling objects and an activity.

It worked well for me. Looks quite professional, so thay're less likely to quibble about price.

And M-J: I mean colour transparencies, not the sort of slide you slide down...
Mr O

I must be missing something here. I thought that WI talks and the like were advertising for free. Alas I must be wrong. A talk that involves a drive of a couple of hours each way , set up, the session, pack down and smalltalk means that essentially a whole working day is eaten up by the talk, do you seriously think that people should do that for free as standard?

Yes, if you want to talk about what you do. On the other hand.........
Nick

...if you want to eat, charge for your work. sally_in_wales

I must be missing something here. I thought that WI talks and the like were advertising for free. Alas I must be wrong. A talk that involves a drive of a couple of hours each way , set up, the session, pack down and smalltalk means that essentially a whole working day is eaten up by the talk, do you seriously think that people should do that for free as standard?

Yes, if you want to talk about what you do. On the other hand.........

I'm curious- how do you think freelance people pay the rent? Am I meant to overcharge one client for one day's work so I can give another day's work away as a 'freebie'? ( I do as it happens do a fair number of free sessions for charities etc, but thats irrelevant in this instance)
welsh veg grower

Sally I think you ahve answered your own question really. I agree witht he comments about valuing what you do. I only speak for free or expenses only if
1) I have a new talk I want to try out
2) the audience is my target client group

I always take my book and try and sell that and I always ask when doing a free talk for a donation to a charity as I dont think its right for people to feel that my time is not of value.

Why not say you charge £100 for a talk and if thats too much how about they join a few groups together so they can raise the money that way. I tend to explain to organisers that its the lost of income of me being away from my workplace (ok home desk) but if I'm doing free talk for them I am loossing £xx they soon realise its not realistic.

Good luck with that, by the way i started with free talks and stuff about 8 years ago and now speak at conferences etc so it can be a great starting point (for a sensible time frame) to a relaitvely good income.
Mr O

I must be missing something here. I thought that WI talks and the like were advertising for free. Alas I must be wrong. A talk that involves a drive of a couple of hours each way , set up, the session, pack down and smalltalk means that essentially a whole working day is eaten up by the talk, do you seriously think that people should do that for free as standard?

Yes, if you want to talk about what you do. On the other hand.........

I'm curious- how do you think freelance people pay the rent? Am I meant to overcharge one client for one day's work so I can give another day's work away as a 'freebie'? ( I do as it happens do a fair number of free sessions for charities etc, but thats irrelevant in this instance)

The point I am making is. Do what you want, if you don't make enough out of it to satisfy yourself, then just don't do it. Not completly sure what rent has to do with speaking for the WI though.
Personaly I drive for at least an hour each month to give talks to groups, for free, it is about my hobby, not my business. If it is your business you should be setting the rates.
Midland Spinner

I must be missing something here. I thought that WI talks and the like were advertising for free. Alas I must be wrong. A talk that involves a drive of a couple of hours each way , set up, the session, pack down and smalltalk means that essentially a whole working day is eaten up by the talk, do you seriously think that people should do that for free as standard?

Yes, if you want to talk about what you do. On the other hand.........

I'm curious- how do you think freelance people pay the rent? Am I meant to overcharge one client for one day's work so I can give another day's work away as a 'freebie'? ( I do as it happens do a fair number of free sessions for charities etc, but thats irrelevant in this instance)

The point I am making is. Do what you want, if you don't make enough out of it to satisfy yourself, then just don't do it. Not completly sure what rent has to do with speaking for the WI though.
Personaly I drive for at least an hour each month to give talks to groups, for free, it is about my hobby, not my business. If it is your business you should be setting the rates.
It is Sally's Business - that's why she originally asked what the going rate was for the WI to work out whether or not it was economic to do talks for them.

FWIW Sally I'd second those who say only do a cheap / free talk if you can use it as an opportunity to sell things / promote future (paid!) lessons. Otherwise just walk away.
People who want something cheap / free because they are "a good cause" are often prone to expecting extras as well - just not worth it.

Just remember that keeping yourself, Gareth & Hagl fed is a very good cause (Charity begins at home!!)
mochyn

By earning money Sally is keeping herself and Gareth from having to claim unemployment or whatever. Every honestly earned penny should help to do that.
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Small Business Questions, Ideas and Advice
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home