The Vote of Thanks Template

Thank You!I get a lot of inquiries asking for help with giving short vote of thanks speeches. A vote of thanks is often tough to do well because you are generally:

a. following an established ‘headline’ speaker for the event who has been hired to wow the crowd

b. the last piece on the event agenda – the audience are itching to get away

c. the last thing that the audience will remember from the event – it’s your job to make a good final impression!

So, for your delight, here’s my tried and trusted template for giving an engaging, concise and relevant vote of thanks.

Intro – introduce yourself to the audience.

Thanks for attending – thank the audience for coming along (they love being mentioned first!)

Emotion / joke – make a humorous comment on the day or give a positive personal opinion about the event. This helps to build rapport quickly.

Specific thanks – thank the speaker, highlighting three points from their speech that you felt were the most enjoyable and relevant. Explain why you felt they were so good.

Wish safe journey – wish the audience a safe journey home (they love being mentioned again!)

Soundbite / action – finish with a final point that is memorable and relevant – something that the audience will remember.

So that you can see the above template in action, here’s a short (humorous and fictional!) vote of thanks written using this very template:

[INTRO] Good evening ladies and gentlemen, my name is Rich Watts and it is my job this evening to give the vote of thanks.

[THANKS] I’d like to start by thanking you all for attending and supporting the wonderful cause that is this fundraiser for the Monkey Tears charity.

[EMOTION / HUMOUR] The highlight for me has been Mrs Jones’ cake stall and if you haven’t already, I’d urge you to try the blueberry muffins before you leave, but not the chocolate ones, because I’m hoping to take as many as possible home with me tonight!

[ SPECIFIC THANKS] I’m sure you will all join me in thanking once again our speaker tonight, Mr David Ferneybottom.

APPLAUSE.

David, I particularly enjoyed your speech. I couldn’t agree more with your points about how we should all adopt a monkey next year to help develop economic prosperity. Such a scheme truly is required if we are to get out of this recession.

I delighted in hearing about your experiences of monkeys from your school days, and it reminded me vividly of my own wonderful days of education and those long, hot summer holidays.

Finally, I’m still laughing at your joke about the banana and the monkey. I think we all are, and I shall be sharing it with my wife when I return home tonight.

[WISH SAFE JOURNEY] All that remains now is for me to wish you all a safe journey home.

[SOUNDBITE/ACTION] And as My Ferneybottom has taught us – never mess with a monkey with a banana in its hand!

Good night

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Rich Watts is the UK Business Speaker of the Year and a past JCI National Public Speaking champion. He setup and now runs Rich Public Speaking providing presentation skills and public speaking training.

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