Speakers Bureau FAQ

  1. Do speakers get paid?
    Compensation is negotiated by each individual group. Many smaller groups are not able to offer an honorarium, though it depends on the group.
  2. Will I get assistance with transportation and/or lodging?
    Again, this depends on the organization. We will generally try to match organizations and speakers in the same general area. In some cases, though, speakers can participate in events using Skype or other similar online communications methods, meaning that travel and lodging are not required.
  3. Does AFSA pay for speakers?
    No. AFSA simply matches interested organizations with speakers based on location and desired topic of discussion.
  4. Will the information I provide be shared with outside organizations?
    Yes, if you register for the speakers bureau we will provide your name, email address and/or phone number to the inquiring organization. If you sign up, you are agreeing that AFSA may share that information in such a manner. This database will not be made available to the public, though.
  5. I live abroad. Should I register anyway?
    While we get very few requests from abroad, there is no harm in registering. Again, with the increase in the use of Skype and other electronic communications, it is not always necessary to be on site.
  6. I’m an active-duty member of the Foreign Service. Can I register?
    Although we encourage active-duty members to register, we do recognize that the clearance process for public speaking can be cumbersome. If you have a positive experience with the clearance process and are willing to try to get the go-ahead from your home bureau/office, we very much encourage you to register.
  7. How often should I expect to get invitations to speak?
    This really depends on your location and areas of expertise. We get fewer requests from very rural areas, and some topics (i.e. the Middle East, terrorism, Latin America) are more “popular” with these groups. On average, you may get 1-2 “matches” a year.
  8. What kinds of groups contact AFSA looking for speakers?
    All kinds. Everything from retirement groups to high school model United Nations and World Affairs Councils to church groups. These groups may be as small as a dozen or as large a few hundred.