Jonathan… or Snookie?

“Well… I’m cheaper than Snookie!”

Yeah, that’s probably not a great place to set the bar.    🙂   (more on Snookie speaking in a moment)

As most of you know, I do quite a bit of speaking and training around the country, usually not more than twice a month away from home (simply because I don’t want to be the “deadbeat dad” speaker guy). So here’s a glimpse inside the life of someone who travels speaking and training. Each of us do it a little bit differently. But two things have never changed for me in the last 10 years: my price for a training or parent workshop, and the way I book.

1. MY PRICE: For the last 10 years, I’ve never raised the price of my workshops. Gas is more, flights are more… but Jonathan is still $2,000 total for workshops, that includes all travel… everything. All that money goes 100% to our ministry and the free resources and training we provide. My board and I have made an effort to keep that price as low as possible since “equipping” is a huge part of our vision. (My “speaking” and “keynote” prices are a little more, but training is always only $2,000.)

But every once in a while I get someone who doesn’t understand the price. They wonder why I can’t fly from California to Alabama and speak for a week for $300. I’ve even been told that if I had more faith, I’d speak for free.


Well, earlier this month Jersey Shore’s Snookie was booked to speak at Rudgers for a price of $32,000… and parents were outraged. I don’t blame em.’ That’s $10,000 more than annual tuition there! (Fox News).

Even though most people actually find my prices cheap, I’ve had several experiences where people tried to book me and were surprised at why I’d be $2,000 to come in and train. I simply tell them to feel free to call some of the other people who do what I do and check prices. Usually I get a call back in a day or two with a, “Okay… you’re cheap. Let’s book you!”

2. NO AGENT: For the last 10 years, I’ve never used a speaking “agent” because I really like the personal interaction and communication with the people that I’m ministering with.

About 15 years ago I was the guy booking speakers and bands. Every time, without exception, that I had a problem with a speaker or a band… it was because of miscommunication. “Your agent said that…” or “I thought you were supposed to…”

In my book about programming events I spend a whole chapter talking about booking speakers and another chapter about booking bands. Those chapters are filled with hilarious stories of miscommunication and disaster. Let’s just say, I always want to make sure that those of us doing ministry together are working as a team together.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What are some of the experiences you’ve had good and bad with speakers/trainers?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
[Are you getting this daily blog in your email inbox?] If not, it's real easy-go here.
This entry was posted in Personal, Speaking/Training. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Jonathan… or Snookie?

  1. jon forrest says:

    so, for $34,000 I could have you both here for an event?! THAT would be awesome. The McSnookie Debate. I think I’d rather have you here 17 times.

  2. Hey now… that’s a thought. Me AND Snookie speaking!

  3. Adam McLane says:

    I appreciate that you’re “that guy” that’s easy to work with. It still cracks me up that Christians have “people.” My mantra is: If Steve Jobs can answer emails… so can I. When I run into “Christian celebrities” with people I just laugh.