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What is a special occasion speech?

The special occasion speech is devoted to any person or significant event, like a birthday, retirement, granting of awards, etc. Naturally, the content of your speech will vary depending on its occasion and the purpose you have. Of course, it’s a great responsibility, so you should devote plenty of time and effort to make your speech adorable.

How to write a special occasion speech?

General considerations

The special occasion speech is quite a variational type of assignment. However, there are still some general tips to consider:

  • your speech should be personal and contain your emotions concerning any particular occasion;
  • it should be interesting – as it is designated to be proclaimed before your future audience, such special occasion speech should attract and keep people’s attention;
  • get rid of any irrelevant things and leave only important – your audience will likely not switch its attention to other matters during your presentation;
  • organize your speech well by making it sound;
  • keep it short as you will have limited time – up to 10 minutes;
  • try not to focus on the stressful side of this situation – this way, you will reduce the level of anxiety and remain calm during your presentation.

Process of preparation

Your preparation may include the following actions:

  1. Planning your work – clearly define how much time you have and divide it into separate timespans for doing your preparatory work, drafting, and revising your speech.
  2. Think about the occasion itself; gather your thoughts and feelings in this regard.
  3. Define for yourself first your attitude towards such occasion.
  4. Make some list of statements you want to express during your speech, define the principal one, and a range of other statements depending on their value.
  5. Make a preliminary draft of your speech based on the elaborated list of statements.
  6. Set aside your speech for some time and return afterward to enhance it.
  7. Give your speech to anybody else for review.

While developing ideas can be quite troublesome, there is another checklist for you to facilitate this brainstorming:

  1. Describe for yourself first the occasion of your speech, particularly any specific requirements you may have.
  2. Identify your role for this special occasion and your main goal.
  3. If you have to speak about any certain person, be aware of any preferences this person may have, clearly identify your attitude and feelings concerning this person (honor, appreciation, gratitude, etc.).
  4. Define your target audience.
  5. Clarify for yourself what things you want this particular audience to consider, support, believe, or remember.
  6. Be aware of your time, and think about the best appropriate moment for your speech.
  7. Identify the principal message of your speech.
  8. Think about any things you should avoid.
  9. Define whether you should speak on behalf of someone or yourself.
  10. Include, if appropriate, any story and funny things, like anecdotes, to your speech.

Special occasion speech outline

Preparing your outline will help to make a better speech. Usually, any special occasion speech consists of the following main parts:

  1. The introduction is a part that should attract people’s attention, contain your principal message related both to the subject matter of your speech and to your audience, and also state the main parts of your speech briefly.
  2. The main part of your special occasion speech should include supplementary statements you would like to express about your topic, arguments, examples, stories, anecdotes (if appropriate), or insights.
  3. The conclusion provides a summary of your speech; this part is designated to leave a good final impression, so think over it well.


Speeches are always specific to certain occasions. However, there are some basic special occasion speech examples:

  1. Tribute speech has a ceremonial nature as it pays praise or tribute to a certain person, institution, organization, some distinctive idea or occasion. The best strategy here is to speak about value certain person, organization, or the case has and about the contributed efforts.For your convenience, here is a sample of a tribute speech outline:TRIBUTE SPEECH OUTLINEChoose a person/organization/event that caused certain valuable impacts or made something worth speaking about. What feelings do you have concerning this person/organization/event? What things do you admire of? Made some roadmap for yourself on how you should describe such person/organization/event, so everybody in your audience could discover him/her/it from the best side.
    1. IntroductionBe cheerful to establish your contact with the audience and make it interested in your speech. Start it with a hook and express your main statement concerning the person/organization/event concerned afterward.
    2. BodyIn this part of your tribute speech, you may pay attention to the following issues related to the person/organization/event:
      • their arising;
      • achievements and accomplishments;
      • values they have;
      • difficulties they managed to overcome;
      • unique qualities they have.

      As a separate part of your speech, tell your audience about how this person/organization/event influenced you. Perhaps, they have done something certain for you or others, and you admire such contribution immensely. If this person/organization/event encouraged you to grow personally or professionally – share this experience with your audience.

      In this part of your speech, you may insert some appropriate quotes, a poem, a short story, etc.

    3. ConclusionMake a brief summary of the previous parts of your speech, emphasizing the impact and positive results this person/organization/event had. Express your gratitude or admiration.
  2. An acceptance speech is dedicated to the acceptance of any award or prize. It is a way to express your gratitude to someone who has granted you such an award. This is the exact case when you can freely express your positive emotions.
  3. An informative speech is designated to provide your audience with a certain type of information. So, start your speech telling your audience what your speech will be about, make people interested in using your positive tone and some hook. This kind of speech is clearer and more concise than for any other. Also, tell the audience about your topic providing sufficient explanations and supporting evidence, if necessary, summarize the main points of your speech in the end.
  4. A commencement speech is related to the graduation of students from a college or university when diplomas are presented to them. This is also a case to express gratitude and talk about good things, achievements, and aspirations for the future.
  5. Farewell speech refers to retirement or to an individual that leaves someplace. It is better to mention his/her contribution and achievements. Also, it will be appropriate to express gratitude for any help, support, friendship, cooperation, or simply great time spent. To be on the safe side, ensure you don’t touch too sensitive or personal matters.
  6. Toast speech should be, in most cases, cheerful and engaging. Keep it short, include any anecdote or interesting story, if appropriate, and express your thoughts freely like in case of one-to-one communication.
  7. Persuasive speech is better to start with some non-standard assumptions or interesting facts to support your further opinion. This way, your audience will become interested in the first words. Afterward, tell your main statement (your opinion), supporting facts or arguments, the results of the provided research, considerations, and ideas. To make it easier for your audience to perceive all this information, use pictures, graphics, and tables to illustrate your point of view.
  8. Festive speech is dedicated to any holiday. Therefore, it should be more informal, even funny, and entertaining. It is appropriate to emphasize traditions and customs in this case; tell about also what importance this event has for you, speak about distinctive features, special emotions this event is associated with. Focus on the best things only.

To practice a little bit and feel more confident, you may use the following special occasion speech topics:

  1. Birthday
  2. Anniversary
  3. Christmas or New Year evening
  4. Toast
  5. End of the year
  6. Farewell
  7. Graduation
  8. Thanksgiving Day
  9. Independence Day
  10. Retirement.

How to pronounce your special occasion speech

To give your special occasion speech successfully, you should know your draft well. If necessary – memorize it to feel confident. Another good idea is to make short notes with all the basic statements of your speech. A simple glance at these notes will help to cope with anxiety and refresh your knowledge. They will be especially helpful if you deal with names and titles. Memorizing your speech and making notes will also enable you to improvise during its proclamation.

While speaking, remain optimistic and send the same message to your audience. If your speech is devoted to some person, then a good speech should depict honor and gratitude.

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Final words

Giving any special occasion speech can be less stressful if you prepare yourself well. This is a way to gain more room and confidence for improvising. Simply make your own picture of the future speech, develop and organize ideas for it, add interesting or even humorous things, and give your speech confidently and cheerfully.

Good luck to you.

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