Speaker Gifts – What’s the Best way to Thank our Keynote?
“What sort of gift can we give our speaker?” This is a question we get asked a lot.
The truth is, when you’re working with a paid professional speaker, gifts are unnecessary. In fact, speakers sometime find them cumbersome (especially if they’ve traveled to your event). If you feel compelled to do it – make sure it’s transportable. Another idea would be to make a donation to charity on his/her behalf. This is a wonderful way to say thanks and also help another organization. It’s even more powerful if you donate to a charity that is near and dear to the speakers’ heart.
What’s more important than a speaker gift – is the hospitality you offer them when they come to the event and the feedback you provide following it. One of the biggest drains on a speaker is travel. So a lovely gesture in their hotel room when they arrive (fruit plate or something healthy) or anything you can do to help them feel more comfortable, like early check in on a hotel room when they arrive well before 3 pm!
If someone in your organization is tasked with the opportunity to thank the speaker immediately following the speech, make sure they have the opportunity to meet the speaker in advance. The thank you should of course be honest and sincere; include a few special highlights from the presentation and then connect it back to WHY this message was so important/valuable/motivational, etc. There is nothing that deflates a room faster than a poor thank you that doesn’t acknowledge a powerful speech. This isn’t about speaker ego… it’s a powerful reinforcement of the company or organizations’ goals and outcomes for the event. An opportunity not to be missed!
If you LOVED the speaker, offer to provide a written testimonial sharing exactly what it was about their presence and presentation that made an impact (preferably from the highest rank in the organization, but someone who was actually present at the keynote). Make sure they have permission to use this in their marketing. That’s really the best Thank You gift a speaker could ask for!