Special-Occasion Speaking: Strategies for Before & During Your Speech

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: The Art of Persuasion in Public Speaking

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 The Special Occasion Speech
  • 0:42 Why Write a Special…
  • 1:22 Things to Know
  • 3:45 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up


Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

Special occasion speeches seem less formal, but they require the same level of research and writing as their counterparts. Accuracy when citing names, titles and events is crucial to the integrity of the speech.

The Special Occasion Speech

So, you walk into work one day and there it is! The award of awards! There is a big ole plaque sitting right on your desk. You made Employee of the Month! And, as you move towards the cool commemoration, the chanting begins! Your colleagues shout speech, speech, speech!

You oblige and thank everyone from your third grade math teacher to the office janitor. Well, what you actually did was perform a special occasion speech, and it is really nothing more than a speech given for a special occasion. Your speech, however, was impromptu. You had no forewarning and went off the cuff to deliver your appreciation for the award. A true special occasion speech goes a little deeper.

Why Write a Special Occasion Speech?

So, we know that a special occasion speech is performed to commemorate a person or an event, and there are several reasons people give these speeches:

  • To introduce a person
  • To toast a special occasion, like a wedding
  • To roast or poke fun at a person
  • To present an award
  • To accept an award
  • At a commencement or graduation
  • As a tribute to a person, place or event

From the list, it is clear that these speeches are given on, well, special occasions, and its purpose is to get the crowd excited. They are meant to stir emotion. That does not mean that they don't require a few rules. As with any presentation, there are a few things to know.

Things to Know

For one thing, this type of speech works best when kept brief. Unlike other types of speeches, a special occasion speech should not go on any longer than ten minutes or so. Otherwise, you may just lose the moment!

Always do your research. Before you even write a word, check to be sure you use accurate names, titles and other data in your speech. This means, when setting out to write a speech, check names, titles, dates and any other facts that you plan on using. Nothing is worse than giving wrong information.

Make no assumptions about what your audience already knows. What I mean is, don't suppose the audience knows who you are commemorating. Chances are, they do know, but always include a short introduction.

Let's put this into action. Suppose you are roasting your boss at a gala event. Although everyone knows the boss, start by saying, 'I know we are familiar with Mr. Biggs, our dear boss and friend, but let me introduce him to you again.'

Use a positive tone at all times. This means keep upbeat and optimistic in your language and delivery.

Now, sometimes you may be speaking about a sad event. Perhaps you are asked to give a eulogy for your best friend's Labrador retriever's untimely death. It may be difficult to keep a happy face, but there are a few tricks you can employ.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account