• MicAs we learn and grow as people and especially as professionals, it’s important to use discernment in everything we do.

    Often this means trusting when something is a clear YES or a clear NO (even if, at first, it seemed like a good idea). It all comes down to business boundaries.

    There are several telltale signs that something will be a good fit (or not). I’ve learned to trust my intuition, give myself permission to course correct and do so without explanation (because often the explanation is a form of coaching someone who already isn’t a good fit for your BIG vision and work-style).

    It takes time and practice to incorporate clear business BOUNDARIES. Sometimes we have to make tough decisions based on time commitments, return on investment, unnecessary hoops (i.e. business boundaries and etiquette), and reciprocal value.

    Although I’m a firm believer in collaboration, there are times when collaboration doesn’t make sense. I find this is especially true as our time becomes increasingly limited. That’s why it’s important to be precise and efficient when collaborating and considering speaking gigs (as well as other business opportunities). When choosing platforms you must be strategic and clear about your boundaries. You must also be aware of etiquette (this is true for guest and speakers alike).

    Here are three business boundary etiquette tips for being a great guest speaker

    1) Know the type of speaking engagements you want to focus on. You have many choices. You can choose to focus on keynote speaking, breakout sessions, live event presentations, training, teleseminars, telesummits, sponsorship speaking engagements (also known as pay to play) and even media interviews.

    2) Be clear about your topic and area of expertise. In other words, know your topic and material and have it prepared in such a way that makes it easy for your host to interview you or promote you. Have clear speaking topics and takeaway tips prepared in advance.

    3) Be prepared. I recommend using an online media kit as opposed to traditional, hard copy media and speakers packets. By having everything online, your host can access your information with just the click of a mouse. Your online media kit can include video, bios, speaking points and more. This saves you time and money and there is no need for multiple email messages and telephone calls. I highly recommend having on online media kit. My personal favorite is Instant Media Kit (here’s a direct link to mine).

    Here are three business boundary tips for hosts of interviews and speaking gigs

    1) Provide your guest with the details of the speaking agreement upfront. This means being clear about compensation, requirements, commitment and more. Do not assume your guest understands what you expect. Make sure you have clearly outlined the details and it’s clearly understood what the agreement will entail. It’s a good idea to have this information on your website, too. if you’re not going to pay your speakers, let them know upfront.

    2) Treat your guest like a GUEST. When you are hosting a speaker for an interview or speaking engagement don’t ask them to jump through unnecessary hoops (Like asking them to fill out duplicate info when all the information has already been submitted via an online media kit.) As the host, your staff should handle these details if you need the information in another format.

    3) Communicate clearly and directly. As the host, you and your team should make the process seamless for your guest. Provide all the details needed and clearly update your guest with any changes of information (This includes personally reaching out about changes in dates and times and not relying on social media posts to notify your guest).

    These are some basic tips and as with any situation, there’s always more to the story. You get to decide what is a clear YES and a clear NO for you.

    I found some of the tips in the article “3 Networking Mistakes You Need to Avoid” in Inc. Magazine written by Will Yakowicz interesting. He overviews events and networking and it’s also appropriate for collaborating on speaking engagements and media interviews. I’m not sure I agree that there has to be a “pecking order”, but I do agree we must value and respect the time and talent of one another.

    I especially enjoyed this point from Dorie Clark an adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She says “If I’m going to connect with someone far better known than I am, I need to give them a very good reason.” You can read the full article in Inc. Magazine here .

    When people connect with me, I really appreciate a well prepared, mutually respectful exchange that doesn’t waste time and benefits everyone involved. How about you? What business boundaries/etiquette do you adhere to when making decisions about your speaking gigs?

    What determines a clear “yes” or “no” for you?

    Do you have  questions about positioning your speaking business, branding, copywriting and marketing? Submit your questions here and I might just blog the A to your Q.  AND, be sure to grab your FREE Copywriting Action Plan to help you improve your marketing messages here.

    Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect" a content and copywriting strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the NEW marketing model for success (as seen in Inc. Magazine) that's changing the way people market today. She specializes in powerfully communicating your marketing message to increase results via Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, website copy packages and content strategies to effectively market your business. She offers a free Copywriting Action Plan and marketing resources on her award winning blog. Her consulting and coaching is known to help produce million dollar results www.writeoncreative.com/blog


    19 responses to “Business Boundary Tips for Hosts and Guests of Speaking Gigs”

    1. Sue Painter says:

      Good copy. I agree, especially if one is speaking for free, that being treated extra-well would be more than nice and should be expected. Less than that makes me not want to bother, frankly.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        I couldn’t agree more. As I like to say — we are officially in the collaboration economy and people are the true currency. As such we should treat one another with respect and dignity NOT like a dollar figure or a number.

        Write on!~


    2. Great points, Lisa!

      I especially like what you said about boundaries.


      Setting good boundaries and knowing what your personal boundaries are is essential to success.



      Katherine C. H. E.
      Author, Be True Rich

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        You would not believe the peace of mind I’ve achieved by embracing the notion that “No!” is, in fact, a complete sentence.

        Write on!~


    3. Jessica says:

      At this point in my speaking career the most important boundary I have is: it must be my target audience. I’ve given hundreds of talks and no longer need to speak for anyone who asks. I do however, advise new speakers to speak in front of as many people as possible until they get their signature down.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        I agree that it’s important to practice and it’s equally important to have a clear strategy about who you’re speaking to, what you’re speaking about and what you want to achieve. Personally I love to teach, train and transform with interactive Business Marketing Breakthrough Boutiques to women business owners and entrepreneurs. Clarity is KEY and I do custom workshops, too.

        Write on!~


    4. Mitch Tublin says:

      In a perfect world your advice is excellent.
      There are opportunities which do present themselves
      where decision time does not permit perfect.
      When this happens I go with my gut feel for the offer.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        I don’t think anything is ever perfect AND we can always be prepared by knowing our topic, having clarity about our audience and creating specific goals.

        Write on!~


    5. Thanks for covering this valuable topic Lisa. Love your simple speaker kit – I agree an online kit as well as an intro that’s 250 words and 500 words helps hosts help themselves to the info they need. I also find it is great to have a one sheet on how you prefer sound, layout of the stage and any equipment needs so people are prepared for you in advance.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        Excellent points about venue requirements and A/V equipment. The short bio for intros is important, too and should be showcased on the speaker one-sheet.

        Write on!~


    6. These are all great tips, Lisa! I especially love the instant media kit. It makes it easy for the hosts and the guests. I would also add that everyone needs to stick with their word and honor agreed upon deadlines. Setting expectations in the beginning is key to a great partnership.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        Yes, setting expectations is crucial. I am amazed at how few people focus on doing this. To me it’s business basics 101. If we don’t know where we’re going, how are we going to get there?!

        Write on!~


    7. Great advice! I’m a guest expert on many calls and do appreciate being treated well. I also deliver what I promise and don’t let the host down.

      I’m planning my first summit – The Anxiety Summit – in June and will afford the same level of professionalism to my guest experts.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        As yes, the golden rule.

        I know you’ve handle your summit with extreme professionalism as you do all things related to your business.

        Write on!~


    8. Sue Painter says:

      Thanks for lending your expertise on this topic, Lisa.

    9. These are great tips. Thank you for sharing this. I haven’t hired any speakers for events but I know how I like to be treated when I am a speaker. Obviously the golden rule applies here.

    10. Mitch Tublin says:

      In addition, I reach upwards all of the time.
      There is room at the top and as you said, just
      give them a reason to engage with you. When they do
      have your best stuff ready!

    11. I also find that being very clear on what works for you and doesn’t makes a big difference! I receive a lot of requests to speak or do an interview both online and in person … but often the invitation (if unpaid) also comes with lots of requirements and stipulations, like sending multiple solo blasts to your email list.

      Out of respect for our list — and to honor our promise to send them only what they signed up for — we have a policy that we never send solo blasts for third parties, no matter what.

      If that is a deal-breaker, then we’re not a good fit.

      Knowing these types of things makes the decision much easier!

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        I love how you respect your community and protect them. I feel the same way. I do, on occasion, promote others but only when carefully vetted.

        Write on!~


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