How to Create A Speaking Contract for Virtual & Hybrid Events

It seems like a lifetime ago since we’ve been able to gather in-person to listen to professional speakers captivate us with their ideas and passion.

There’s no better way to experience a speech than in-person. But due to the recent global pandemic, these live experiences have been forced to be put on hold.

However, thanks to the wonders of virtual conferencing software, we can stay connected with audiences, share innovative ideas, and still engage in professional public speaking events – though “public” has taken on a whole new meaning.

Since lockdowns have been put in place, webinars and virtual conferences have become lifelines for the speaking industry. Conferences and speaker presentations are now hosted on Zoom, YouTube, and other various online video platforms.

With a change in how we engage audiences, comes a change in stipulations of contracts with clients.

In order to help protect both you and your clients, in this article we’re going to cover the things you need to consider when it comes to revising your speaker agreements for virtual and hybrid events.


Here Are Things You Need to Consider:

Cancellation Clauses

With a greater reliance on technology comes with it a host of potential problems that could spell disaster for a speaking engagement – in the form of technical difficulties.

As we all know, technology is unpredictable. Your contract’s cancellation clauses should be updated to account for the potential issue of having to cancel should technical problems arise.

Your internet or power going out and software or hardware not working properly, are all common problems that should be mentioned in your contract.

You should also revise cancellation clauses to remove anything related to travel as it is no longer a reason for canceling an engagement.


Compensation & Travel Costs

Reimbursements for speaker expenses become much simpler now that speakers only need to travel as far as their computer or home studio to arrive at the “venue”.

With this change, your speaker agreement should then remove any compensation for expenses dealing with travel, room, meals, etc.

On-Stage Equipment Requirements & Platform Preferences

Normal speaker contracts sometimes detail the on-stage equipment required for the speaker to present. But now that the stage is no longer a physical stage, but rather a virtual stage, there’s no longer a need to include on-stage equipment requirements.

However, including your preferred virtual platform in the contract is a smart idea as it will help avoid confusion and make your speaking engagement run smoother.

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Intellectual Property & Usage Rights

Unlike with an in-person presentation, there is a high likelihood your speech will be recorded and archived. Nearly every online video conferencing software makes it incredibly easy and simple to record an entire event.

To avoid future conflicts when it comes to usage rights, your contract needs to include clauses that address how the speech can and can’t be used.

There are many things to consider. So, decide whether you’re okay with your likeness and work being added to websites, online conference catalogs, used in advertising, for educational and instructional purposes, and so on.

What you ultimately decide needs to be clearly stated in your contract.



Though every speaking engagement is different, these are typically the four biggest changes when it comes to presenting virtually.

The pandemic may have thrown a major wrench in the speaking industry, but it has also shown the resiliency and adaptability of entrepreneur speakers.

As long as there are ideas worth spreading, the speaking industry will thrive. It is up to us to take the measures necessary to ensure we can work together to provide worthwhile experiences for audiences eager to learn and be inspired.

We hope this article proves useful in helping you navigate and adapt to this new landscape.


Note: The content in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. You should always seek counsel of your choosing.


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