How to Write a Thank You Letter for a Presentation

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You and the members of your organization enjoyed listening to an inspiring presentation. The speaker may have delivered a keynote address or short talk at a luncheon. Alternatively, he may have spoken at a convention or conference for your industry. In any event, he carefully planned and researched his presentation, perhaps spending weeks gathering background information, interviewing other experts and/or putting together a PowerPoint presentation. Take time to compose a sincere and appropriate thank you letter to show your appreciation.

1 Decide whether to write or type the letter

Decide whether to write or type the letter. A handwritten thank you note creates the most impact. Use this format if you have legible penmanship and want to add a personal touch. If you are pressed for time or have poor handwriting, use a printed thank you note with a brief, handwritten comment and signature. Alternatively, you could use a business letter format.

2 Decide whether to use an informal or formal tone

Decide whether to use an informal or formal tone in your thank you letter. If you have met and spoken with the presenter, adopt an informal tone and her first name in the salutation and throughout the body of the letter. Alternatively, use an appropriate title -- Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., Miss --- with the surname. Double-check her title and the correct spelling of her name.

3 Use simple language

Use simple language and speak from the heart. Cite specific ways in which the presentation was informative or helpful. For example: "I am writing to congratulate you on an outstanding keynote speech. You addressed many of my organization's issues and offered unique, out-of-the-box solutions. Your PowerPoint presentation provided us with valuable statistical data and additional references. Many of us are still referring to the information contained in your handouts. Thank you for an informative and inspiring talk. You have challenged all of us to re-examine our methods and consider alternative solutions."

4 Use an appropriate complementary closing

Use an appropriate complementary closing. For example: "Sincerely" or "Kindest regards." Sign your full name.

5 Send the thank you letter thank you within 2 weeks of the presentation

Send the thank you letter within 2 weeks of the presentation. Double-check the name and address of the presenter. If necessary, telephone the receptionist at his organization to get this information.

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio opened a wordsmith business. She has been published in the "Guelph Daily Mercury," "Waterloo Record" and "Winnipeg Free Press". A retired school teacher, Guidoccio has a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and psychology from Laurentian University, a Bachelor of education from the University of Western Ontario and a Career Development Practitioner Diploma from Conestoga College.