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How to Thank a Keynote Speaker

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 @ 10:52 AM

guest speaker thank you

A guest speakers willingness to share their time and expertise is critical to the success of the event. A warm and meaningful post-speech thank you will make the speaker feel proud while the audience feels fulfilled.

How to Write a Speech Thank You

Meeting planners often say "thank you" after a speech, but usually, it is just a brief thanks before making announcements for other workshops and keynote speakers. Generally, event organizers want to move on with the schedule and direct people to their next session. However, a great speech thank you will help the message stick and make the speaker feel good about their contribution to the event. 

To properly appreciate a guest speaker, stay away from cliches like thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule. Keep the thank you short and meaningful. Tie in some of the essential takeaways from the talk without repeating the speech. Mention any surprises or special effort the speaker made and tie the content to the group. 

A meaningful thank you speech will further reinforce how the audience will use the advice and how it is fundamental for people in the room.

I was recently a keynote speaker for a franchise conference where the meeting planner did a fabulous job of thanking me. Her thank you was warm, personalized and very meaningful. I went away feeling elated and genuinely appreciated. I hear many thank you's after a speech and this one stood out to me.

The elements that went into this meeting planners genuine praise were:

-It was personalized. Francine, the meeting planner for the franchise conference, picked me at the airport and we had dinner together the night before my speech. We got to know each other on a personal level, and this went a long way in helping her personalize her remarks. She tied in my personal qualities on stage and off.

- It was specific. The meeting planner incorporated vital elements of my speech, how it motivated her and would support other delegates. She was very specific about the key message and take away points and even tied it to the industry. She suggested the franchise audience had a tough economic year and how some of the speech takeaway points would help them stay buoyant and energized.

-It was genuine. Francine discussed the key speech concept and how she felt after the speech. She used adjectives like motivational, informative, funny, memorable and entertaining which brought her message alive.

When thanking a funny motivational speaker, you could close with a humorous thank you message that ties in the theme.

A part of your thank you speech, you may choose to present a gift.  If there is any meaning or history to the offering, briefly explain it to the speaker and the audience. For instance, one group presented me a gold medal. The medal had a special meaning to the group.  The organizer thanked me and gave the back story and why it 's presented to all keynote speakers.

I think this was a nice touch as it creates continuity to the ceremony and it personalizes the gift to the guest speaker.

If the thank you is genuine and personalized the gift will be a reinforcement but not a necessity.

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Tags: motivational speech, meeting planner, keynote speaker for franchise conference

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