How to write a formal invitation to a guest speaker

Updated February 09, 2018

Whether you're planning a conference, meeting or special event, guest speakers can enhance your program and provide valuable insight on your topic. Guest speakers are often in demand, so you'll need to issue your invitation several months to a year before your event, depending on the popularity of the perspective speaker. Issuing a formal invitation to a speaker ensures that both you and your guest have the same understanding of the requirements of your group.

Begin the letter by stating that you have admired the work of the speaker and would like to invite him to speak at your event. If you have heard the person speak before, mention your attendance at that event.

Write a one or two sentence summary of the event. Include the purpose of the event, the date, the time frame for the entire event and the place. Suggest a specific time and date for the speaker's presentation if you will be holding a multiday conference.

Mention the topic that you would like the speaker to address. Be as specific as possible when suggesting the topic. If you want the speaker to provide your audience with information on increasing real estate sales, asking her to speak about "Finding New Ways to Sell Houses" is a better approach than simply asking the speaker to discuss real estate.

Discuss financial arrangements. If you will be paying an honorarium or speaker's fee, mention the amount. Detail what expenses you will cover for the speaker, such as a hotel room, flight, ground transportation, mileage reimbursement and meals. You may want to set a daily limit on meal costs.

Ask the perspective speaker to respond to your request by a certain date. Follow up with a telephone call if you haven't heard from the speaker by that date.

Close the letter by thanking the speaker for considering your request. Provide your telephone number and e-mail address should the speaker have any questions.

Type your full name and title to close the letter. If the speaker knows you buy a more informal name, sign the letter with that name.


Send your letter through the mail rather than through e-mail. E-mail requests are more likely to become lost or accidentally deleted. In addition to your letter, include a brochure about your group and a reply card. The reply card will make it easier for your speaker to indicate if he will be accepting your offer. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope or postage paid envelope for the return of the reply card.

Things You'll Need

  • Letter
  • Brochure
  • Reply card
  • Self-addressed stamped envelope
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About the Author

Working at a humane society allowed Jill Leviticus to combine her business management experience with her love of animals. Leviticus has a journalism degree from Lock Haven University, has written for Nonprofit Management Report, Volunteer Management Report and Healthy Pet, and has worked in the healthcare field.