In terms of the payment professional speakers receive for their speaking engagements and presentations, there are a variety of terms commonly used to describe these fees. While they all refer to the same concept of compensation, the specific verbiage can vary.

Speaking Fee
This is one of the most straightforward and universally-recognized phrases to describe the fee a speaker charges for their services at an event. “Speaking fee” is favored for its clarity in referring specifically to the payment rendered in exchange for the act of public speaking and presenting to an audience.

An “honorarium” is defined as a payment given for professional services that are rendered nominally as an honor rather than for a set price or established fee. The term is sometimes used when an event doesn’t have unlimited funds for paying speaker fees, with the honorarium amount essentially being a generous gift or token of appreciation.

Speaker’s Engagement Fee
Many bureaus that represent professional keynote speakers will list their talent’s compensation using the terminology “speaker’s engagement fee.” This phrasing encapsulates that the payment is for the entirety of booking and engaging that speaker for the event, rather than just for the presentation itself.

Talent Fee
In the events industry, professional speakers are often considered “talent” being hired for their skills and ability to entertain and inform audiences. As such, their payment may be referred to as a “talent fee” to group speakers together with other performers, celebrities or experts being paid for their talents.

Appearance Fee
For high-profile individuals such as celebrities, athletes or major public figures, their payment for showing up and simply making an “appearance” at an event is often called an “appearance fee.” This term signals that they are being compensated more for their name recognition and presence rather than necessarily giving a speech.

Keynote Fee
Specifically for professional speakers giving longer “keynote” presentations that are the centrepiece speaking slot at conferences or events, their compensation frequently gets termed a “keynote fee” to reflect the marquee nature of their talking points.

Daily Rate
Rather than a flat fee, some speakers charge a “daily rate” for their time when engagements require preparation, travel, and potentially multiple speeches or presentations spread over the course of a day or multi-day event.

While these terms have somewhat varied definitions and use cases, they all essentially refer to the professional payment or honoraria provided to speakers for lending their knowledge, insights and oratory skills to an event or organization.