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Event Speakers

Ideas and Templates to Thank an Event Guest Speaker

A2Z Team June 17, 2024
Table of Contents
10 min read


Guest speakers are critical for many events, particularly if guests are invited to learn or engage on a deeper level with a topic. These speakers are expected to deliver speeches that draw the audience in, whether it’s through suspense, humor, or curiosity. 

When they agree to take on an event, they often do so without always knowing how much time they’ll need to prepare. They may need to be briefed on the audience’s expectations so they can tailor the speech to the group. All this to say that their efforts are often the bread-and-butter of the event and the right thank you note can make the speaker feel appreciated for their work. 

Here, we explore how “Thank You” emails build trust with your speakers and how they can help you improve your professional network.

What Is a Post-Event Thank You Note for Guest Speaker?

The post-event thank-you email is a small but powerful way to follow-up with a guest speaker. While the templates may vary, the essence is the same. Not only are you expressing gratitude for their presence and preparation, you’re reminding them of the value that they provided to the guests. 

People come to hear guest speakers for any number of reasons. Whether the speech sparked laughs, tears, inspiration, or all three, you’re telling your honored guest how their work was received by the community. 

Why Follow-Up Matters

Your speakers have busy lives, and they don’t always have much time to reflect on the many events they do. A well-written thank you email can engage, inform, and remind them. 

Engaging Speakers

When you follow up with a speaker, you’re engaging them on a deeper level. They have the time to read the words and digest them, rather than just hearing them in a rush of praise directly after the event. This is an opportunity to infuse your gratitude with details, acknowledging their unique talents and commanding presence. 

Engaging speakers makes them feel seen on a different level. Obviously, they’re used to taking center stage at events. Still, it would be easy for people to dismiss just how much physical and mental commitment the speaker has to make to put on a convincing show for the audience. Even the most genuine speakers can’t always muster up enthusiasm on cue, and it doesn’t hurt to express gratitude via a short thank you note for guest speaker.

Raising Awareness

Events can get very hectic very quickly, and it’s easy for large conferences to split off into subgroups. This can lead to speakers having very different experiences at the same event. In a thank you email, you can clarify more about the event and the speaker’s larger impact. You can even go so far as to provide metrics or data if you were able to collect them.

For example, if you’re hosting a work conference for green energy and the speaker addresses the science of climate change, you might let them know that 20% of all attendees intended to utilize the speaker’s research when designing their newest products.

Or you might let the speaker know that you’ve posted recordings of the other speakers on the event’s website, so they can learn more about the presentation topics of fellow speakers. This helps them know how their talk ‘fit’ into the larger conference.

Building Trust 

Timely and personalized communication has long been a powerful way to build trust with people, and this is as true yesterday as it is today. In fact, perhaps it’s even more true now that we’re swamped with distractions from all sides. If the speaker has only worked with you once, these thank-you emails can be a building block in a long-lasting relationship.

It’s not easy to find compelling speakers for an event, especially if you’re working on a limited budget or you cater to a niche group. If you can find someone who can work with you and your attendees, it’s important to foster trust between you. 

Future Collaborations

When you put on events, you’re forced to solve a number of problems on any given day. However, the more people you have in your network, the easier it is to work out the answers. If you send a prompt follow-up thank you emails, you remind speakers of who you are and what your event was out to accomplish. But you also send a more subtle message that should the speaker choose to work with you again; they’ll work with an organized, competent, and appreciative team. 

When you reach out to them, whether it’s to speak again or to recommend another speaker for a different topic, they’ll be more likely to show you the same attention that you showed them. Event planning, like many other industries, is built on reciprocity. It’s important to uphold your end of the bargain if you want to stay in touch.

Best Practices for Writing “Thank You” Emails

A thank you email doesn’t have to be difficult to write, but it should follow the standard practices. Once you have all the basics down, it will get easier to regularly send emails without having to agonize over every comma. Here, we’ll look at the major components and why each one matters. 

Follow Up Within 24 Hours

You might think that you should wait to send an email after an event. After all, sending it a week or two after the event might help the speaker remember all those details that were starting to fade.

However, if you wait to send the email, it’s more likely that the speaker will think that you were disorganized and simply forgot. Following up within 24-hours conveys to the speaker that they are a priority for you. Plus, it gives them a chance to respond to the email with their thoughts about the event, which can lead to a longer discussion about what went well and how the event might improve the next year. 

Express Gratitude

Expressing professional gratitude is a careful balance. Too formal, and the thank you letter is liable to come off as still or forced. Too informal, and the thank you letter may start to sound unprofessional and potentially even phony. While you should have a few different templates that you can tailor to different kinds of speakers, the goal is always to find a warm and genuine way to address the speaker and how their words enhanced the event. 

Reinforce the Content

What do you really want your speaker to get out of the thank-you letter? If it’s simply to feel good about their work, thenyou may want to rethink how you structure the email. 

The speaker may specialize in their niche but don’t forget that they shared their expertise in context with a larger event. You want them to know what their impact was, which isn’t always easy to summarize in a short note. 

The best thing that you can do is to boil down the key elements of the event, and then provide additional resources should the speaker choose to explore the topics further. So, if a speaker at a charity event helped inspire $1 million worth of donations, then you would want to emphasize how their speech did this and then link to more information about who the donors were and why they were so connected to the cause. 

Ask for Feedback

Asking for feedback from a speaker starts a constructive dialog. However, it shouldn’t be a burden or an onus for them. Remember: you are thanking them, not creating an additional responsibility. 

Much like expressing gratitude, this is a delicate balance. On the one hand, people like being asked for their expertise because it shows that their opinions and experience are well-regarded and respected. On the other hand, no one likes to think that they’re working for free.

The best thing that you can do is make it as specific as possible to the event. For example, you might ask if they have feedback on the sound quality or the room configuration. This way, there’s a jumping off point, and the speaker is free to branch off into other topics if they see fit. You might be surprised at just how much information and insight you can get from an open-ended question.

3 “Thank You for Speaking” Email Templates to Guest Speakers

Sending thank you emails to guest speakers starts with having the right templates. When you have a few ready to go, it’s easier to make your 24-hour deadlines. Plus, as you get more comfortable with each type of email, the personalization will become more specific to the speaker (and thereby more impactful).

Here, we separate different types of speaker emails, so it’s easier to organize when the time comes. As you peruse the templates, consider both the tone and the information you want to convey. For example, if a comedian performs at a corporate event, the thank-you letter doesn’t have to be so dry. If a financial expert discusses the future of the industry, you might stick to the more formal templates.

Also, keep in mind that overdone praise will likely come across the wrong way. If you have a 10-minute presenter at a week-long trade show who speaks on one of thousands of products, you might not want to go into depth about the immense impact it had on the crowd. While all speakers want to be commended for their work, they typically have a realistic understanding of how their speeches went over with their audience.

Thank You for Speaking” Email Template for Tradeshows and Expos Speakers

Dear [Speaker Name],

I’m writing to once again thank you for your speech at [Event Title]. The material you covered was as engaging as it was thoughtful, and we are so grateful that you shared your expertise. 

After the event, I was showered with positive feedback from colleagues and attendees alike. People particularly appreciated learning more about [topic] at [organization]. Our trade shows are fueled by speakers like you and our staff knows how much time and work goes into a presentation like yours. 

Our trade show was a huge success this year, and we have you to thank for it! If you have any feedback about how we could have made your experience better, we would love to hear it! We hope you consider working with us again in the future. 

Warm Regards, 

[Name, Company Name]

“Thank You for Speaking” Email Template for Conference Speakers

Dear [Speaker Name],

My team and I were so happy that you were able to speak at our recent conference, [Conference Name].  Your speech was not only riveting, it left a lasting impression on all of our attendees. 

As you know, our conference was meant to inspire people to take action. Your speech helped wake people up to the topic, providing new context and details about [topic]. 

If you want to find more post-event content, you can find our recorded sessions and behind-the-scenes interviews (including yours!) on our website. We particularly loved the [insert speech-specific details]. 

In addition, we would love to have your feedback about the conference itself! If you want to share anything, whether it’s about check-in or payroll, we want to hear your thoughts about how we can improve! 


[Name, Company Name]

{H3} “Thank You for Speaking” Email Template for Corporate Event Speakers

Dear [Speaker Name],

We’re wrapping up [Corporate Event Name], and thanks to you, it was a resounding success!

We can’t tell you how exciting it was to hear you speak on [topic]. Your expertise was apparent to all, and our attendees were thrilled to have the chance to learn from you. As you know, our guests come to our events to become better professional versions of themselves. When they hear speeches like yours, they’re pushed to propel themselves to the next level.

We know it’s not easy to tailor your speeches so they strike a chord with everyone, but you managed to do it. We sincerely hope that you’ll work with us again next year. In the meantime, if you have suggestions about how we might improve our next corporate event, we would love to chat with you. 

Cheers to next time,

[Name, Company Name]

Last Considerations

A thank you note is just part of the overall event strategy. In reality, you have hundreds of balls in the air at any given time, and you’re likely to run around putting out fires even after you’ve put in 20+ years in the industry. This is why checklist items and tasks like thank-you emails get pushed to the side so often.

However, as you can hopefully see from our tips, thank you letters are a way to connect with speakers who took the time to connect with you. If you ignore speakers once the event is over, it will be easy for them to ignore you. This may not bother you much at the time, but it can come back to haunt you the next time you have an event.

Your most trusted colleagues in event planning, whether that’s your assistant or your circuit of guest speakers, are the ones that you can turn to when there’s a crisis. So, if one speaker drops out at the last minute, you have someone to call to either fill in or recommend another professional speaker to fill in. Without these connections, it becomes that much harder to stay at the top of your game.

Real trust and strong relationships are much more than a brief thank-you note; the practice of sending thank-you notes is a way to make network-building a way of life and not just a one-off task.