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How To Write Special Occasion Speech
Giving a speech in front of a crowd is quite challenging. However, if it’s a special occasion, people may expect you to deliver a speech. You may also be asked to prepare a special occasion speech by your professor, as a part of your curriculum. It means you have no choice but to develop a special occasion speech at some point in life.
Unlike the other speeches you have prepared so far, special occasion speeches as the name suggests, is developed around a special occasion like graduation, wedding, farewell, award ceremony, welcome speech etc. If you want to give an impressive speech in an upcoming event, or have been assigned to write one for the class, you can find all the essential details regarding the task here.
Special Occasion Speech Outline
While preparing a special occasion speech, you need to structure the content around a proper outline for maximum impact. This special occasion speech outline may also vary slightly depending on the type of special occasion speech. However, the basic structure remains more or less the same. The special occasion speech outline includes the following elements:
Depending on the occasion, you need to shape the introduction of the speech in order to introduce the topic to the audience. The introduction to a wedding toast is certainly going to be different than the one given on a farewell day. However, in all the speeches, there needs to be a hook at the beginning of the introduction. Some background details regarding the topic (i.e., the occasion), and the main thesis, which is the purpose behind the speech.
- Body paragraphs:
The body paragraphs of the speech should discuss various points that support your main thesis of the speech. Depending on the length and nature of the speech, you need to decide how many paragraphs you want to add in it. Three paragraphs are ideal for the body segment of the speech. Also, it is important to introduce new points in each paragraph instead of overlapping the points in different paragraphs.
The essay conclusion needs to be equally impactful as the introduction and must reflect on how the points shared in the body segment justify the thesis mentioned in the introduction. It is recommended to refrain from inducing any new point in the conclusion paragraph of the speech. It should simply summarise the essence of all the points shared in the body segment and end on a higher note by addressing the audience or the most important person on occasion.
While developing a special occasion speech, it is better to prepare the outline first. This will help you organise the whole content in a more structured way.
Different Types of Special Occasion Speech
Depending on the occasion, there can be different types of special occasion speeches. If you are preparing one for the class, your professor will tell you what type of special occasion speech you need to prepare. However, if you are given the liberty to write a speech for any occasion of your choice, you can work on one of the following types of special occasion speeches:
A toast is a brief tribute to a person, people, or the event. This kind of speech usually allows the speaker to describe why the person or people in question are special. Such speeches need to be to the point, engaging, and entertaining. You may have already seen a few toasts at the wedding ceremonies. Sharing funny or memorable stories involving the person or people in question makes toasts all the more engaging.
A roast is similar to toast, but the tone or nature of this speech is more humourous, and it pokes fun at the honored person in a friendly manner. A roast can include tributes, admiration, comedic insults, and outlandish stories that may be true or untrue. However, the roast is not meant for everyone. The person being honored must be someone who can take a joke and show good humour while receiving humourous criticism. TV hosts such as Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert often deliver roasts on their guests.
- Speech for presenting an award:
If you are given the responsibility to present an award to someone, you need to prepare a speech for that as well. Now, this speech would not only lead to the revelation of the winner of the award but should also describe the significance of the award. You must have seen the Oscars or the post-match presentation of a cricket match. The presenter needs to be very particular with his/her words. You don’t want to repeat what Steve Harvey did at the 2019 Miss Universe contest. Also, get inspired to draft the informative speech on various topics as well.
- Speech for accepting an award:
When you are being honored or receiving an award, you are expected to give an acceptance speech. Ideally, you need to speak of those people who have helped in your journey in achieving this feat. This speech also gives you the opportunity to address a significant issue. You must have watched how Leonardo Dicaprio used the stage of Oscar to talk about the environment and global warming. It’s mostly about showing gratitude.
- Keynote address:
The keynote address is a form of special occasion speech that represents the essential or common theme of a large gathering like a convention, conferences, expositions, etc. Such large gatherings generally have a central idea. The keynote address summarises the central message revolving around the central idea. The keynote address is generally given by a reputed person in the respective professional field. If you have been to a literary festival or a company's convention, you may have come across such speeches.
- Commencement speech:
A commencement speech is quite similar to a keynote address that is given to address the occasion of a school's graduation ceremony. Such speeches are generally celebratory in nature, marking an important milestone in the lives of the graduates. It is recommended to make such speeches inspiring, engaging, and brief. Similar to the keynote address, a commencement speech should also be delivered by a person who is well-known in the community.
- Commemorative speech a tribute:
Commemorative speeches and tributes are performed to pay special accolades to a particular occasion, an event, a person, an idea, or a monument. The purpose of the speech is to reflect the emotions felt by the audience while inspiring them with the richness of language. Such speeches are generally brief length. The speech should also contain language that conveys appropriate feelings.
- Farewell speech:
Farewell speeches are given when the speaker is leaving a position or place. While it is more common among professional individuals, a student can also deliver a farewell speech on the last day of school or college. Such speeches generally highlight the memories of the speaker at the organisation or place. It is up to the speaker whether he/she wants to reveal the reason for leaving in the speech. However, the speaker also needs to ensure that no privacy or sensitive issues are violated.
There are several other types of special occasion speeches that you may come across in your life. However, if you want to write a speech for your class, you can choose from any of the aforementioned speeches to impress your professor.
Good Special Occasion Speech Topics for College Students
If you can’t think of many special occasion speech ideas, you can simply look at the different types of special occasion speeches we just discuss. You need to associate yourself with a particular occasion and think of yourself as a speaker. If you can do that, you can use the information shared above to develop a good special occasion speech on several topics.
Here are some ideas for your special occasion speeches:
- A toast for a cousin’s wedding ceremony
- A farewell speech on your last day at school
- A speech on the graduation day
- A speech for receiving an award in sports
- A commemorative speech on the independence day in your community
- A speech as an emcee at the school's annual prize-giving ceremony
- A funny roast at a friend’s birthday party
- A speech for receiving an award from the state government
Some of the best special occasion speeches are well-prepared and engaging. So, you need to spare enough time to prepare the outline of the speech and decide what you want to say in the speech. Always go through the speech before the day of the occasion. Some speakers even practice the speech in front of the mirror several times to perfect their delivery. You can also check out some great special occasion speeches on YouTube and get some ideas about delivering one.
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