Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Rick Smith’s speaking tour:
Q – Which types of venues will you appear at?
A – There are just a few logistical requirements: it must be a location where I can project my show on a screen and the audience can hear the audio. In other words, I have to have electricity. An indoor location is best but if an outdoor space can meet these needs then it could be considered. I have presented my show in libraries, schools, museums, city council chambers, county auditoriums, courthouses… you get the picture.
Q – Is there a fee for your show?
A – Yes, I ask a modest fee. That is typically $600. There is a reduced fee for multiple bookings and for public schools. Please realize that public speaking is a business with a lot of expenses. For example, I live in California and fly to Florida, rent a vehicle, pay for fuel and those frequent Florida tolls, stay in hotels, buy restaurant meals, etc. for up to two months at a time. I invest considerable time to develop the show, purchase the projection and sound equipment… it gets expensive, so I have to ask a speaking fee.
Q – How long does the show last?
A – I can tailor it to different audiences and needs. Normally it runs about 75 minutes, but can be shortened if needed. For schools that operate on a 50 minute class period I have a shorter version that leaves time for questions. I can tailor it to just about any situation. With every show, I am happy to take questions at the end.
Q – My organization doesn’t have any money to pay for the show. What can we do?
A – Most libraries get their Friends of The Library to fund it. There are also mini-grants available from the Florida Humanities Council. They have funded a number of my shows. See http://www.flahum.org. Additionally, some organizations choose to charge admission. This has ranged from $5.00 to $15 per person. Some organizations feel uncomfortable charging admission but we have seen many times when an organization does charge they will get a full house, not only paying for the speaking fee but making a profit as well. Schools have asked the PTA or local businessmen to fund it.
Q – Do we need to provide a hotel room for you?
A – No. It is certainly appreciated when possible but it isn’t required. The speaking fee is all I ask.
Q – Will you have books for sale?
A – Yes, we have books for sale. Even though my father is the author I have autographed thousands of his books. At least my given name is Patrick D. Smith, Jr., so it’s close. I am happy to autograph books and this is very popular with my audiences.
Q – How long do you need to set up and take down?
A – I like to arrive about 90 minutes before a show but we can set up in an hour. People usually want to buy books, have them autographed and talk to me after the show. Figure about 45 – 60 minutes to clear out after a show. My wife, Kim, handles book sales. We are prepared to take cash and credit cards.
Q – I am a teacher. How many classes can I bring to your show?
A – As many as you wish. Schools usually invite several grade levels and I really enjoy the interaction.
Q – What if I want you to do more than one show?
A – I can do 2 and even 3 shows in a day, depending on whether there is travel required between shows. Also, I can give a discount to an organization like a library system or school district that books me for multiple shows within a day or two.
Q – I’m not a marketer. How do we promote your show?
A – We want you to be successful so we put a lot of effort into making that happen. We build a web page which you can promote, we provide a file that you can use to print flyers, we notify our Facebook group and email lists when we’ll be at your location. This is why we see about 80% or more sold out shows.