WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Casting a reality check on real-world conundrums
Free for All?
I share my successful
techniques for free. There are
more than enough speaking
opportunities in the world to
go around. We can certainly
afford to be generous with
such information. Maybe
the speakers I share with will
impact the lives of people I
never could have reached on
my own, so I will have had the
chance to help people I will
never meet and who will never
know I had anything to do
with their experience.
I would give the advice freely.
If I wanted to teach this technique
and a whole slew of others, I
would charge for it in the form of
workshops, teleseminars and one-on-one consulting programs. It’s
not an either/or question. You can
make the pie bigger and still sell
your tastiest slices.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
— Rebecca Winn
You developed a very powerful technique
to increase audience engagement. Other
speakers are impressed with your growth
and want to know how you do it. Should you
share your technique freely or charge for it?
Yes, I’d share. If they observe
it, they would take it anyway.
Why make them feel guilty
for not asking? Besides, they
might give me credit for it and
promote me. (Not all will, but
the honest ones will)
Some helpful tips are
fine to share and I would
gladly do so. But there comes
a point where the value of the
information or advice needs to
be recognized and rewarded.
In the service industry, time is
money and my time to teach,
train and deliver the technique
should be considered. So, when
the free tips start becoming too
demanding, a fee would come
I have a special technique to increase audience engagement,
but it is tied to my intellectual property. Without licensing and
teaching my speech content, it would be difficult for anyone to use
the technique successfully. It seems deceptively simple to borrow
and adapt, and the results will not be the same.
I teach my students/clients how to develop their own
techniques. And, yes, I do charge. Just as speakers work valiantly to
create their own signature stories, they should develop their own
techniques for audience engagement.
—Michael A. Podolinsky, CSP
Beverly Hill, Ca.
I would give it away. I am a
published author, which means
that anyone can spend $20 at
Barnes and Noble and read just
about everything I know. But
people still hire me to speak
because they want me, not just
St. Ives, Australia
What Would You Do? is a regular column
that presents a real-life dilemma faced
by professional speakers. NSA members
are encouraged to submit a dilemma
for possible discussion in this column.
Please submit dilemmas to ethics@nsa-
speaker.org. NSA reserves the right to
edit submissions for length and style. All
dilemmas will be anonymously attributed. Opinions expressed are those of
the individual respondents, not NSA.
If I spoke primarily to other speakers about changing
and improving their business, then I would charge. If it is just a
technique I use on the platform that helps me with my general
audience, I would definitely share it with my colleagues and
members of my mastermind.
Litchfield Park, Ariz.