How to Email Someone to Ask Them to Be a Speaker

When organizing an event, finding an appropriate speaker can be both exciting and challenging, and the first hurdle is to ask this speaker whether or not they would be willing to work with you for your event.

To ask someone to speak for you via email, you’ll want to introduce yourself and the event, tell them why you’ve picked them specifically, explain the compensation available, and offer to meet with them to discuss further details.

Here’s what you need to know about reaching out to a potential speaker via email.

What to say in a speaker request email

The first step to writing a solid speaker request email is to craft a personal introduction. You’ll want a clear subject line, then you’ll want to greet the person by name and inform them of how you’ve been connected. This helps to legitimize your email; otherwise, it may be considered spam.

Next, you’ll want to describe yourself and the event for which you’d like them to speak. Offer details about the event’s history (if it has one) and the context – what the event is about, who will be attending, and when it will be.

After this, explain why you’ve elected to reach out to this person in particular about speaking for this event. You may connect their background or accomplishments to the subject of the event. If you were recommended to them by a colleague or associate, this is the place to mention it again.

From there, you should explain what the speaking engagement would entail – how long the presentation is expected to be, what resources will be available in terms of technology and spacing, and what sort of presentation you’re looking for. You’ll also want to be clear about compensation and tell them how much you are willing to pay them to speak as well as what other accommodations might be available (travel fare, hotel arrangements, etc.).

Finally, offer your speaker candidate a way to contact you and ask further questions or confirm their willingness to speak.

Speaker request email template

Here’s what a speaker request email might look like. Feel free to adapt this template to suit your needs.

SUBJECT: Inquiry – Speaking Opportunity for [Event]

Hello [Name],

My name is [Name], and I am the [Title] for [Event]. I was connected to you OR recommended to you through [Recommender’s Name]. OR I found your contact information via [Method].

I wanted to reach out to you about potentially speaking for a block during [Event]. This event is [Describe] and will be attended by [Audience Type]. It will be held at [Location] on [Dates] at [Times].

I’ve reached out to you in particular because of your work with [Industry] and your background in [Industry]. I particularly feel that your experiences with [Subject] would be informative and exciting for our event because [Connection].

We would be looking for a [Time] presentation that is structured as follows: [Explain Structure]. You would have [Resource] available for your use, and would be presenting in [Describe Location]. In terms of compensation, we would like to offer [Compensation]. [Additional Accommodations].

Please reach out to me via [Method] at [Contact Information] if you have any questions or if you are interested in this engagement. I look forward to hearing from you.