How to write a thank you note for guest speakers

Written by janece bass
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Sincere appreciation and old-fashioned manners rule the etiquette of writing a thank you note for guest speakers at your school, business or organisation. Even if the speech was less than anticipated, properly thank the speaker for taking the time to attend and contribute to your event. Writing the note by hand is the best way to show how thankful you are to the guest speaker. Any other method, such as an e-mail or a preprinted note, takes the personality, warmth and sincerity out of the thank you.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Quality paper or card stock
  • Blue or black pen
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

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  1. 1

    Lightly draw straight lines on the paper or card using the pencil and ruler. Use your pen and best handwriting to craft the note. Write the guest speaker's name, department, organisation or company and business or official address in the top left corner. Skip a line and write the date without using abbreviations.

  2. 2

    Skip another line and write "Dear (Speaker's Name)." Open your letter with a sincere and detailed thought of appreciation. "Thank you so much for speaking at our conference last Friday."

  3. 3

    The next one to four sentences should offer specific details about the speaker's contribution, or describe what you found most meaningful. "Your presentation truly touched us all. On behalf of myself and my colleagues, I'd like to say how we are thinking about new ways we can reach out and help our community in a profound way such as you did." Note anything precise and helpful the speaker contributed, and how you and your group plan to use that information.

  4. 4

    Thank your speaker again in your closing sentence, adding a future invitation if one is warranted. Use "sincerely," or a similar word to close and sign your name. Print your name, organisation and business address under your signature.

Tips and warnings

  • Thank the guest speaker on behalf of your entire group, unless everyone is writing their own note.
  • Detail anything important you learnt from the speaker's presentation.
  • Mail the letter rather than hand delivering it.
  • Send the note as soon as possible, preferably the same day as the speech. If that's not possible, send it within a couple of days.
  • Write the note on official letterhead if available, or choose a blank card.
  • Do not note anything negative or hint at any dissatisfaction; find at least one thing that was positive and concentrate on that.
  • Do not ask for additional favours or request anything new. Write a separate inquiry for something of that nature.
  • Check your spelling and grammar to avoid appearing unprofessional.
  • Do not rush through the note. Poor penmanship detracts from the thank you letter.

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