I was invited yesterday to speak at a conference from one of those vendors who hold expensive conferences for Feds around town. They charge upwards of a Grand to attend, but use almost all Federal employees as their speakers. Of course, those who speak do so on Government time. At the end of the day, they get a sub-$25 gift for speaking and the conference organizer pockets what everyone else has paid. (Yeah, I know they rent a conference room and bring bagels.)
Since I’m retiring (and the conference in question is next April), I asked them if they paid non-Government speakers.
Guess what the answer was? No, we don’t, but maybe you could recommend someone else from your agency to speak instead (also free, of course).