Whether it's a graduation ceremony, business conference, or special event, the guest speaker you choose to invite will be one of the primary attractions. Usually, the best speakers are often booked months in advance. Therefore, event organizers should ideally invite their chosen speaker at least a year in advance prior to the scheduled event. A well-written, formal invitation letter will ensure that both the speaker and the organizer understand the details of the event along with what's involved.
Want to Attract More People for the Event?
If your goal is to attract as many people as possible to your event, you may want to invite someone rather famous to speak. If the event revolves around a specific business aspect, invite someone to speak who has a great deal of knowledge in that specific field so they can offer the full extent of their insight and expertise to the audience. Someone who's well-regarded will add a layer of prestige and interest to the occasion. Regardless of what the event is about, the speaker must be well-versed and educated in that particular subject.
Most high-profile event speakers will likely require an honorarium or fee in addition to their travel and lodge expenses for at least one night. Create a budget based on these expenses. For instance, if the speaker lives far away and requires a round-trip airline ticket, this will cost significantly more than if they live in the same city or neighboring town.
One way to select the best speaker is based on the budget of your organization and the other way is to choose the desired individual and then raise the necessary funds in order to have them speak at your event.
Writing a Guest Speaker Request Letter
Use high-quality paper for your letter and follow standard formatting protocol for writing a business letter. Overall, the tone of your letter should be professional rather than casual as well as enthusiastic. After reading your letter, the invitee should feel excited about speaking at your event and eager to reply "yes" to your proposal. Send your letter by standard mail instead of email since emails can accidentally get deleted or be viewed as spam.
If you personally know the speaker or have briefly met with them before, mention where and when the interaction took place. Also, talk about how much you like and respect their work. If applicable, include the following data in your letter:
• Time and date of the event
• Time and date the invitee will speak
• Venue of event
• Estimated time for them to deliver their speech
• Outline the subject for invitee's speech in detail
• Include date for a response
• If applicable, list the detailed financial arrangements concerning any travel expenses, honorarium, or fee for speaker
Here is a good example of a guest speaker request letter. Also, you may need to include a response card along with a self-addressed stamped envelope in order to make is easier for the speaker to quickly respond.
Sample 1 - Guest Speaker Request Letter
City, State, and Zip Code
If applicable, Invitee Title
City, State, and Zip Code
Near (Invitee Name),
I am writing to you on behalf of Sterling High School’s student council. On (Date), we plan to celebrate our school’s Annual Day and wish to invite you to join us in the festivities and to also ask you to give a 30-minute speech regarding today’s top eco-friendly initiatives. Many members of our school’s staff as well as myself have seen you being interviewed several times on TV and have enjoyed reading your published books and articles. We are very interested in meeting you in order to learn more on how both governments and individuals are becoming more environmentally-conscious overall.
Each year, our school’s Annual Day offers a general theme that involves the school’s many diverse activities. This year’s theme, however, is all about how people can effectively reduce pollution throughout the environment. We have also invited four other local individuals who are successfully running a recycling center in the city that is making an overall positive impact on our city’s waste management.
Our city’s mayor, (Mayor’s Name), is scheduled to address our closing ceremony and our school’s principle, (Principal’s Name), intends to inaugurate our Annual Day.
Therefore, it would be a great honor and privilege if you would graciously participate in our event. Not only will we gladly pay any fee that you demand, but will also cover the expense for all your meals as well as your travel and accommodation expenses.
We are anticipating your reply and look forward to spending the day with you and listening to your knowledgeable speech. Please reply by (Date) if you can. Enclosed is a self-addressed envelope to make it very simple for you to reply. I can easily be reached at (234) 567-3333 or at email@example.com at anytime.
Organizer’s Printed Name
By Andre Bradley