Appreciation is the sincerest form of flattery. It makes people feel seen, and their efforts feel recognized.
Any leader worth their salt knows that the key to winning the loyalties of their team is regular appreciation.
Giving a thank you speech is not just good manners but gives an insight into your character. The acknowledgement only works if it comes from the heart and rings genuine.
So, how do you give a thank you speech?
Let’s jump into it!
Table of Contents
- When is it appropriate to give a thank you speech?
- Things to keep in mind
- How to write a thank-you speech?
- Concluding your thank you speech
- Extra Tips to Keep in Mind
When is it appropriate to give a thank you speech?
You don’t really need an occasion to thank somebody. However, in a more formal setting, there may be occasions that specifically call for it. The following are the times when it is most appropriate to give a thank you speech:
- After getting a promotion
- After celebrating an achievement
- Appreciating your team after tackling a tough project
- When receiving an award or recognition
- When establishing a new venture
The list can go on endlessly as your field might have different occasions to give a vote of thanks. Make sure not to miss any opportunity to acknowledge the reasonable efforts of the people around you!
Things to keep in mind
When you’ve decided to give a thank you speech, you need to keep a couple of things in mind. This advice differs according to why you are giving a thank you speech and who is in your audience.
In a company
If your company is celebrating you for a milestone or recognition of hard work, make sure you don’t only talk about yourself.
Be generous with your words when talking about the company itself and the great work it does.
Elaborate on how much you enjoy working here and what exactly the company does the right to make it happen.
This will make sure your higher-ups feel appreciated for the work environment they’ve created.
At an award function
If you are receiving an award by a third party for your work, make sure you adequately express how honored you will be selected.
It is always a good idea to highlight what a recognized organization it is and how you are happy to be a part of it.
For friends and family
If you’re giving a speech to thank friends and family, the setting is much more intimate. You can drop the formalities and talk about how special these people are to you.
As they have gone the extra mile to appreciate you, make sure you return the favor by talking about how lucky you are to have them and their support.
How to write a thank-you speech?
There is no need to beat around the bush with a thank you speech. You can simply start off by expressing gratitude.
An award or recognition means that you can simply open by thanking the company or organization for the honor.
You don’t need to come armed with quotes. In fact, that might actually seem much more disingenuous. Your opening statement also sets the tone for the rest of your speech.
Some factors might determine how formal or informal you need to be with your opening:
In a formal setting, it is best to keep it cordial. Assuming it is a suit and tie event, most people are dressed up and expecting you to keep it classy as well.
As such, we recommend you go for something along the lines of, “I’m so honored to be taking up this renowned stage. Words cannot express how grateful I feel to be the recipient of this award.”
An informal event can be anything from an intimate gathering of loved ones to anniversary parties of a broader range of friends.
In such an event, you can express yourself more freely and don’t have to hold back.
We suggest opening with something along the lines of, “I can’t believe my luck on being able to be surrounded by such wonderful people. I’m immensely
grateful for each and every one of you and honored to be taking up the stage tonight.”
Structure of the Opening Statement
We have drafted a script for your opening statement. Feel free to customize it as per your needs.
Good evening, Distinguished [name], Honorable [name], Mr. Chairman, Respect Host/Hostess, and all our beloved guests.
It is my honor and privilege to have been given the opportunity to present a vote of thanks on this momentous occasion.
I am honored to represent [Company/Organization] on this prestigious [Event] stage.
I’d like to give a respectful nod to the entire [other supporting/sponsoring organization, team, crew, special guests present in the audience] that have stood behind me to make this possible.
My gratitude extends to all the speakers as well as organizers and hosts due to whom we’ve all come together on this eventful night.
Thanking the speakers after the Event
Another possible scenario as a host is that you might have to thank the line of speakers that took up the stage during an event. Please find and customize the script for this as follows:
Let’s hear a big round of applause for [name speaker], His/her incredible delivery on [speech topic] leaves us all leaving this Event a little more aware.
Pick up on the central theme and reiterate it as a reminder to the audience and to show the speaker that you were paying attention.
If there are more speakers, then follow suit and consider using these thank you examples:
I’d like to thank our second speaker [name speaker] for her take on [speech topic]. Her view on [central theme] was poignant and worthy of a big round of applause.
Furthermore, let’s also express a sincere appreciation for [name speaker] for gracing our stage with her strong opinions on [speech topic]. [Refer to central theme]
Following up, I’d like to thank [name speaker] for providing such an in-depth analysis of [speech topic]. [Reference]
We are grateful to [name speaker] for having the audience in stitches with her insightful yet light-hearted presentation. [Reference].
I would like to hear a resounding round of applause for [name speaker] for his/her inspirational speech that has surely revved up our drive to achieve more.
We are lucky to have the opportunity to listen to your craft and are leaving here today, all inspired by your beautiful words!
Thanking the Organization
This script is for when you need to express appreciation for the organization that is holding this event. It is usually added to the end of a speech. Feel free to edit it as required.
And last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to [organization] for allowing us to use their beautiful venue.
Our utmost thanks to the logistic support that made this Event the smooth success that it has been. Our appreciation further extends to the technical team and organizers who’ve worked tirelessly for this [fun] evening.
In the case of sponsors: I would also like to extend my thanks to [brand name] as well as [brand name] for their enormous cooperation in making this Event possible.
Mix and match these various styles so that it doesn’t get repetitive as you speak.
Thanking the Organization Team
As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Such is the case with this Event as well. There have been many people working for weeks across multiple group chats and meetings to make this possible.
Getting every detail right and lining up one after other fantastic speakers. Our biggest thank you to the dedicated organizing team for working on every tiny detail and helping create this amazing Event.
I cannot thank everyone enough for their involvement. Each and every one of you is to be credited for your dedication and the willingness to take on the completion outside the realm of their comfort zones!
Read the room and decide the degree of the flair of formality that needs to be adjusted. People will be happy that their efforts are being recognized. Just make sure not to be too ostentatious about it.
Have you missed anyone?
The only thing that is worse than not being appreciated for your work is being singled out or left out.
Make sure you think hard about all the people that have put in their time and effort. Are you sure you haven’t missed anybody? How about anybody from the following list?
- People who sent out invitations
- Special guests who made time for the Event
- People behind the technical arrangements
- The team responsible for location hunting, stage setting and lighting
- Any musicians or other performing entertainers
- People in the catering team
- People from the press and media who are covering the Event
Concluding your thank you speech
Now all your thank you speech needs is a neat bow to tie it up cleanly. Try this on for size:
Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentlemen, I would like to thank all of you for being a wonderful audience.
It has been an absolute pleasure to have such a delightful crowd presence. Once again, I’d like to give a big round of applause to all of the speakers for gracing our stage with their well-refined speeches. One last round of applause for all of us here, thank you very much!
Extra Tips to Keep in Mind
While we’ve covered most of our tips, sometimes the simple things can get away from us. And you know what they say, “Better safe than sorry.” So here they are:
Mention people by name
A handy tip for appreciation versus criticism is this: When acknowledging people for their good work, always use their name, however, when handing out criticism in front of a crowd, try to generalize as otherwise, you will end up embarrassing people.
Instead of simply thanking your team, use their names if possible in the given time limit. This will make your appreciation seem much more personalized.
Make a list of all the people you’d genuinely like to thank. If you have time, briefly talk about how they’ve helped you in your journey.
Emphasize how important they’ve been and how. Speak from the heart, and it will definitely ring true.
For phrasing, try something along the lines of:
“From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to give a special thanks to some of the amazing people without whom I cannot imagine standing up here on this stage. Name your supporters and give out your sincere thanks.
If you have extra time, you might want to add in a few lines to thank your supervisor or boss as well. It is customary to make sure they don’t feel left out.
It can be challenging to achieve this as we’re sure any crowd consists of so many people that someone is bound to feel left out.
Your goal is, don’t leave out any of the higher-ups and the important people. But don’t start listing just about everybody just because they are in the crowd. This can reduce the impact of your gratitude for people who have actually helped you.
You’ve given your thanks to so many people who’ve made you who you are. The stage has gotten quite emotional at this point, and your audience is looking at you.
You need to end on a high note. If you simply say your thanks and leave, it can feel incomplete and lacking.
Try to say something inspirational and uplifting. Suppose you’re being recognized for your work.
In that case, you can give your team a motivational boost by saying, “The journey is not yet over, but I can’t imagine being on this ride with any team that is more dedicated or competent than the one at [name].
Let’s wear these tires out and keep this smooth ride going!”
You can also go for dedication to your strongest support or mentor. Something like, “And lastly, I want to leave you with the words of my strongest support, my [name].
When I was full of doubts and insecurities, they’re the ones who said [something inspirational].
This award is for you and your belief in me. I hope I’ve made you proud. Thank you for everything!”
Get it over with
We know, we know, this is your moment on stage. After all, this is such an honor, and there are so many people to thank.
But your audience is eager to get to the catering table! Be considerate, and keep it clear but brief. You don’t want to take the audience through your entire journey.
A good thank you speech is no longer than two and at most three minutes. Use your time well and remember: It is always better to leave them wanting more than getting them to be like, “Get it over with already!”