It’s the word that sends chills down the spines of professional speakers…exposure. Well, apparently it’s not just speakers who are being asked to pay for play, but now the NFL is asking their half-time artists to pay for exposure too. The multi-million dollar entity hasn’t paid half-time performers up to this point, but now they are actually even asking them to pay for the opportunity to perform, stating that the exposure the artists get is worth cold hard cash, and they want a piece of it.

It’s known that the NFL doesn’t pay performers, but now they say that they want to profit from the post Super Bowl tours the artists go on after appearing on the most watched sporting event in America. This is drawing a chilly response from Katy Perry, Coldplay, and Rihanna, the three artists who have been contacted. It isn’t known whether the NFL will go outside of those picks and find an artist willing to agree to the terms.

Professional speakers have been going through a similar situation in the past few years. I recently spoke to a meeting planner who said, not only did they not pay speakers, but the speakers had to come up with brand new material just for the conference, then they had to spend time working to customize it, pay all of their own expenses, pay for the registration for the conference, no selling from the stage, no book selling, no sponsorship, and no networking. I thought it was a joke.

Not only was I told that it wasn’t a joke, but that they have professional speakers lined up to agree to whatever terms they lay out, including sweeping the floor after their speech. Okay, so it didn’t go that far. But where does it end? It looks like as long as speakers and artists are willing to pay to play that the trend will continue.

Have you been asked to pay to speak, and what are your thoughts on the topic?