How to Give a Vote of Thanks at a Seminar

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You are giving a vote of thanks at an upcoming seminar. You may have a few butterflies as you contemplate getting up and speaking in front of an audience. Unlike your other speeches and presentations, you cannot prepare the entire vote of thanks beforehand.

Proposed as a motion at a meeting, ceremony or other event, this brief formal expression of thanks must be based on the actual speech or presentation given by the previous speaker.

Research the speaker before the day of the seminar. Check out his website or blog and read a few of his recent articles. Write any interesting points in a small notebook that you will bring with you to the seminar.

Listen carefully to the introduction of the speaker. Do not repeat any of these points in your vote of thanks.

Focus on the speaker's presentation and the audience response. Select two to three main points that captured everyone's attention. Jot these down in your notebook and think about how you can incorporate them into the vote of thanks.

Wait for the applause to die down before starting the vote of thanks. Deliver a variation of the following initial statement: "Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of Gordon Enterprises, I wish to extend a heartfelt vote of thanks to David Robinson for his inspiring presentation, 'Spectacular Second Acts.'"

Insert the two to three main points after the initial statement. Do not repeat parts of the presentation verbatim or discuss whether you agree with the speaker's views. Instead, focus on the positive audience response. For example: "Along with everyone else present, I was impressed by Susan's ability to simplify financial jargon. We will return to our workplaces with a renewed vigour and determination to attack those pesky numbers."

End the vote of thanks with an appropriate concluding sentence. For example: "Thanks, again for an outstanding seminar. I would now ask the audience to express their appreciation in the usual way."