The 5 Highest Paid Public Speakers in the World

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Public speaking is an art form. For those lucky enough to master it, a healthy paycheck and maybe even a little fame may follow. However, if you’re a public figure or celebrity who happens to have a talent for public speaking, a pot of gold truly awaits. From Donald Trump to Bill Clinton, having a household name and being good with words nets millions—often for just a few hours of work.

5 Alan Greenspan: $250,000

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Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan is still recognized the world over as a financial genius. Although Greenspan typically commands a speaking fee in the $100,000 to $150,000 range, his highest payout to date came in 2006 when Lehman Brothers paid him an impressive $250,000 to speak at a dinner held for 15 of the bank’s most important clients. The hefty paycheck came only a week after Greenspan left his chairman post at the Federal Reserve.

4 Rudy Giuliani: $270,000

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Coming in at number four is former New York City mayor and 2012 presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. Like former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Giuliani encountered his fair share of detractors and controversies during his tenure in office. However, that didn’t stop him from raking in the big bucks on the public speaking circuit, especially in 2005. His biggest payout came that year when St. Louis-based Sage Capital paid Giuliani $270,000 for a speaking engagement.

3 Tony Blair: $573,400

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Former American presidents aren’t the only ones who command a high speaking fee. Just ask former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. During a visit to the Philippines in 2009, Blair was reportedly paid $573,400 for two half-hour speeches sponsored by the telecom company PLDT. The speeches were entitled “The Leader as Nation Builder in a Time of Globalisation” and “The Leader as Principled Negotiator.” Although Blair’s tenure as prime minister saw its fair share of controversy, those ups and downs don’t appear to have tarnished his brand one bit. Since leaving political office, he’s been commanding millions of dollars in speaking fees each year.

2 Bill Clinton: $750,000

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Love him or hate him, there’s no denying former President Bill Clinton has that “it” factor. It’s that special brand of charisma that keeps Clinton in constant demand. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, from economic empowerment and politics to AIDS awareness and social justice—audiences want to hear from him. While Clinton is routinely paid anywhere from $150,000 to $450,000 per speech, he received his biggest payday in 2011 when Swedish-based telecom company Ericsson paid the former president $750,000 for a speech he made in Hong Kong. Since leaving office, Clinton has made tens of millions of dollars in speaking fees.

1 Donald Trump: $1.5 Million

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As if Donald Trump doesn’t have enough to brag about, he is now the highest-paid public speaker in the world. The real estate mogul and host of the successful reality series, “The Apprentice,” commanded $1.5 million per speech in 2006 and 2007 while speaking at the Real Estate Wealth Expo hosted by the Learning Annex. Trump conducted 17 real estate investment seminars, each of which only lasted an hour. That means he received a total of $25.5 million for his efforts. Not shabby for 17 hours of work.

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