How to Write a Thank-You Note to a Guest Speaker

by Kimberley McGee - Updated August 21, 2018
Young man working on laptop and taking notes

A well-crafted thank you note to a guest speaker after an event does many things on a few significant levels. It’s more than manners because it’s an extension of your professionalism. When the guest speaker leaves the event on a high note, a thank you note can continue those positive feelings toward the institution, company or social group. It can also elevate a weak relationship if the guest speaker’s appearance didn’t go exactly as planned.

Why Send a Thank You Note

Aside from sharing your gratitude, a thank you note carries a sense of professionalism. It extends the relationship after the event has come to completion. This can leave a good impression on a guest speaker and expand on their positive feelings they had from the event, or create a stronger bond between the institution, event planner or marketing department.

What a Thank You Note Accomplishes

A well-written thank you note to a guest speaker allows for additional reasons to contact them. They may have contacts for future guest speakers that they can reach out to and vouch for your professionalism and confident event planning. Written succinctly and peppered with compliments based on the guest speaker’s speech or anecdotes, a thank you note reinforces you in a positive way in the memory of the speaker and opens doors for future contact.

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How to Write a Great Thank You Note

While the salutation should include the speaker’s full name and not any nicknames, unless they were adamant you use that, and the sign-off end with a professional sincerely or regards, it needs to convey the affect the speaker’s presentation had on you as well as the audience. The note should convey how much you appreciate the time the guest speaker took from their schedule to attend and speak at your school, social club or church group.

Thread the subject of the guest speaker’s speech throughout the note. Give an example of how the speech or presentation affected you, whether it was in building confidence, understanding a piece of literature, how to grow your business or whatever the main point the guest speaker hoped the audience would walk away with. Be as specific as possible, such as if it helped you write a letter, ace an interview or otherwise made a positive affect on your life. Include how the speaker affected the group as a whole. If any anecdotal moments that can further imbue you to the speaker’s good graces happened, such as a comment they made about the organization, the accommodations or refreshments supplied, those can be noted to wrap up the letter in a personal way

About the Author

Kimberley McGee has written for national and regional publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and more. The award-winning journalist has covered home decor, celebrity renovations, and sat down with reality HGTV stars to discuss the latest trends.

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