How to Cite a Personal Speaker in APA

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Computer (Optional)

The official citation style of the American Psychologists Association (APA) is commonly used in university, college, thesis and research papers in order to correctly and uniformly cite sources used during research. Because conclusions in scholarly papers are drawn using these sources as evidence, it is important that the citations are as accurate as possible so that audiences are able to independently verify the information. Personal speakers and other personal communication can be used in scholarly research as long as it is properly cited as such.

Gather all of the pertinent information on the personal speaker and their speech. For personal communication citation, you need to include the speakers name, the title of the speech (if it had one) and the date that it occurred.

Put the personal speaker information in parenthesis after the cited information within the body of the paper, such as "(King, S., personal communication, January 1, 2000)." If the speech had a title, it can be included after the speakers name and before "personal communication."

Do not place the personal speaker citation in the reference list. Because it is an unpublished work, there is nothing that can be physically looked up to verify the information.


These recommendations are for the most current APA citation style, the sixth edition. Citation styles are never set in stone and are often slightly updated and modified every few years. Check the APA website (see Resources) for information on the most up-to-date citation style to ensure your papers are always cited and referenced correctly.