15.4: Types of Special Occasion Speeches
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Many entertaining speeches fall under the category of special-occasion speeches. All the speeches in this category are given to mark the significance of particular events. Common events include weddings, bar mitzvahs, awards ceremonies, funerals, and political events. In each of these different occasions, speakers are asked to deliver speeches relating to the event.
Speeches of Introduction
- A mini-speech given by the host of a ceremony that introduces another speaker and his or her speech.
- Find something that can grab the audience’s attention and make them excited about hearing them.
- The body of your introductory speech should be devoted to telling the audience about the speaker’s topic, why the speaker is qualified, and why the audience should listen (notice we now have our three body points).
Speeches of Presentation
- A brief speech given to accompany a prize or honor.
- First, you should explain what the award or honor is and why the presentation is important.
- Second, you can explain what the recipient has accomplished in order for the award to be bestowed.
Speeches of Acceptance
- A speech given by the recipient of a prize or honor.
- There are three typical components of a speech of acceptance: thank the givers of the award or honor, thank those who helped you achieve your goal, and put the award or honor into perspective.
- Tell the people listening to your speech why the award is meaningful to you.
- A toast is a speech designed to congratulate, appreciate, or remember.
- The goal of a toast is to focus attention on the person or persons being toasted
- A eulogy is a speech given in honor of someone who has died.
- Tell the audience about who this person was and what the person stood for in life. The more personal you can make a eulogy, the more touching it will be for the deceased’s friends and families.
- The eulogy should remind the audience to celebrate the person’s life as well as mourn their death.
- Designed to both praise and good-naturedly insult a person being honored.
- Generally, roasts are given at the conclusion of a banquet in honor of someone’s life achievements.
Speeches of Dedication
- A speech of dedication is delivered when a new store opens, a building is named after someone, a plaque is placed on a wall, a new library is completed, and so on.
- These speeches are designed to highlight the importance of the project and possibly those to whom the project has been dedicated.
Just like any other speech, ceremonial speeches should be a complete speech and have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion—and you should do it all in under two minutes. When preparing ceremonial speeches, it’s always important to ask how long the speech should be. Once you know the time limit, then you can set out to create the speech itself.
The goal of an inspirational speech is to elicit or arouse an emotional state within an audience.
Speeches for Commencement
- Designed to recognize and celebrate the achievements of a graduating class or other group of people.
- Place the commencement speech into the broader context of the graduates’ lives. Show the graduates how the advice and wisdom you are offering can be utilized to make their own lives better.
- Overall, it’s important to make sure that you have fun when delivering a commencement speech. Remember, it’s a huge honor and responsibility to be asked to deliver a commencement speech, so take the time to really think through and prepare your speech.
Speeches to Ensure Goodwill
- Often given in an attempt to get audience members to view the person or organization more favorably and follow three basic styles:
- The speaker is speaking to enhance one’s own image or the image of his or her organization.
- Someone attempts to defend why certain actions were taken or will be taken.
- Honestly taking responsibility, apologizing, and offering restitution.
After Dinner Speaking
- The goal of this type of speech is to entertain and create an atmosphere of amusement.
- Delivered to set the underlying tone and summarize the core message of an event.
- Typically experts in a given area who are invited to speak at a conference, convention, banquet, meeting, or other kind of event for the purpose of setting a specific tone for the occasion.