A title with great responsibility
Prior to winning the World Championship of Public Speaking on August 23, 2003, I was blessed to receive excellent mentoring from several previous World Champions (David Brooks, Mark Brown, Ed Tate, and Darren LaCroix). Since 2003 was my 3rd consecutive time to make it to the Championship, I had plenty of opportunity to observe the manner in which these gentlemen consistently gave back to the organization by making themselves available to present educational sessions and keynote addresses at various Toastmasters events. I was aware that, were fortunate enough to win the Championship, I might be called upon to do the same.
True to form, within an hour of winning the World Championship of Public Speaking, I was approached by Toastmasters from multiple districts, all with invitations to be a guest speaker at their upcoming District conferences. While this didn’t come as a surprise, it was still a bit overwhelming. I began to understand that my title of World Champion affords me many opportunities, but it also comes with the responsibility to share the knowledge my mentors have imparted to me.
To date, the invitations and opportunities have not stopped. I have continued to receive invitations to speak in many exciting Districts around the world. To be honest, I hope those invitations never stop!
How to get Jim to your Toastmasters event:
Just ask! Whether it’s a conference, a TLI, or another special event, if I am available and can be of value to the members of your District, I am at your disposal. Please understand that my calendar fills quickly, so be sure to inquire early.
How much does Jim charge?
I charge every Toastmasters District the same price: $0.00.
This organization has provided an educational program and environment that has allowed me to develop my skills and given me such wonderful opportunities to use them. My way of repaying that is to donate my time and knowledge.
For comparison purposes, however, I charge $3,000 to $5,000 for similar programs for corporate clients.
While I don’t charge Toastmasters Districts for my time, I need to have my expenses covered so that I can attend your event. This includes transportation (airfare, ground transportation, airport parking, etc.) , hotel, meals, and any event registration fees. For some events, it is necessary for me to travel with an assistant. On those occasions, those same expenses of my assistant would also need to be covered. Having my expenses covered allows me to avoid incurring significant debt while still best serving and giving back to the organization.
There are a variety of ways you can cover my expenses without using District funds. Here are some methods Districts have used with great success:
Use donated frequent flier miles and “comp” hotel rooms.
Some districts have members who have accumulated a high number of frequent flier miles, and generously chose to donate miles to secure my airline ticket for minimal cost to the District.
When holding a conference at a hotel, it’s common practice for hotel management to provide one or more hotel rooms free of charge. These “comp” rooms are an ideal way to cover my lodging expense without cost to your District. If they don’t automatically offer the comp, be sure to ask your event coordinator if the number of attendees at your conference qualify you for one or more free rooms for the duration of your event.
Secure a sponsor to cover my travel expenses in exchange for promotion and publicity at your conference.
For example, if a sponsor covers my airfare, you may offer to feature them as a convention sponsor in the program and give them extra visibility with a banner or sign prominently displayed in the main assembly hall. I will be more than happy to thank them publicly during my keynote address. They will reap enormous positive publicity in exchange for the donation of one air ticket; good PR which will likely last long after your conference ends.
Help secure a corporate client for whom I can speak while I am in your District.
I speak about excellence in customer service and leadership, as well as how to become a more proficient speaker and writer. If you put me in touch with a corporation, association, or organization who hires me to present a program for them the day before or after your event, I’ll cover my expenses from their fee and stay to speak to your conference without additional cost to your district.
Got another idea?
There’s all sorts of ways your District can cover my travel expenses. Don’t hesitate to propose an alternative solution! The bottom line is this: if you can get me there, I’ll give you thousands of dollars of time, knowledge, and experience for free.