I wonder if you might be willing to give the after-dinner speech at our client Christmas lunch at xxxxxx next xxxxxxx? The idea was that we get a Conservative PPC to speak, but, should you be willing, I feel you would fit the bill even better. We are a Public Affairs consultancy specialising in xxxxxx issues. At present, our clients' main concern is what a Conservative government would mean for the industry. The intention at the Christmas lunch, rather than strictly talking shop, is to have a more general, entertaining and sparky speech with a Conservative twist.
Anyway, unfortunately we can't offer a fee, but there will of course be complimentary christmas lunch and drinks in the rather splendid setting of xxxxxx.
Now, let's set you a multiple choice test. Do you think my answer was along the lines of...
a) Thanks so much for your kind invitation. Of course I would love to give your clients the benefit of my wisdom for the price of a slice of roast turkey and a mince pie.What would you have said?
b) So, er, you are inviting your commercial clients to a lunch. These clients pay you money for insight into the Conservative Party. You get a fee but I don't. How does that work, exactly?
There are plenty of people out there who will bear testament to the fact that I often don't charge for speaking (I never charge charities, Tory Party events etc, for example). But in the end we all have to earn a crust and if you're a commercial organisation and want to book me to speak I am afraid a fee is chargeable. And the very charming Daniel Rix at Specialist Speakers will be happy to talk to you about it!