Special Occasion Speeches Offer Solemn Or Entertaining Comments

Special occasion speech - Business award recipient ready to give acceptance speech

Special occasion speeches and entertainment speeches can help celebrate a special occasion, share important information, or inspire the audience to action. They are often both informative and entertaining. A talk given at a wedding by the bride’s father might include amusing stories and commemorate the occasion.

Many special occasions are marked with speeches that may be highly entertaining, motivational, or informative. Different occasions – and the person, event, or occasion they honor – call for different speech types, as the main points for each situation will vary.

Anyone tasked with giving a talk should consider what would best hold the audience’s attention and select compelling special occasion speech topics.

What Are Some Examples Of Special Occasion Speeches?

Many occasions use public speaking to inform, motivate, persuade, or entertain the audience. The speech can be the main event or part of it. For example, after a banquet, after-dinner speakers may be the high note that completes the program.

  • Awards Ceremony: A ceremony where awards are given typically involves speeches or presentations. The person giving out the award will talk about the honoree, while the person winning the speech will be given the opportunity to give an acceptance speech. The speech of acceptance is often impromptu since the person may not know they are being given an award.
Special occasion speech - novelest Toni Morrison gets award from Obama
  • Birthdays: Birthday speeches typically happen at milestone birthdays, but you can give one any time.
  • Commemorative Speech: Given at a funeral or a holiday event, commemorative speeches honor the departed or an event. Think Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or July 4th speeches.
  • Dedication Speech: A speech of dedication can be done upon the opening of a new building or park to honor the donor or some notable individual.
  • Graduation Ceremonies: At high school or college graduation, commencement speeches are as common as passing out diplomas. The ceremony can include speeches by the valedictorian, salutatorian, and other special guests who speak on behalf of the graduating class or to them.
  • Memorial Service: When someone passes away, friends and loved ones often speak to commemorate the life of the individual. This takes many forms, such as a eulogy at a funeral or a more informal speech at a celebration of life.
Special occasion speech  - at funeral
  • Public Relations Speech: When a company introduces a new product or policy, officials might give a speech singing its praises or explaining its purpose.
  • Retirement Party: Celebrating a retirement can offer an opportunity for coworkers to give a farewell speech to honor the work life of the honoree in a tribute speech or even give a roast, where friends tell embarrassing stories about the roastee.
  • Wedding Speech: Weddings are another opportunity for many important people to speak. Often the parents of the happy couple, the best man and matron of honor, and even the groom and bride give a speech to thank those who came to support the couple. A wedding toast may end up replacing a full speech. A toast is a mini-speech where you ask others to join you in raising a glass to the bride and groom.
Special occasion speech - Best man speech example for best friend

What Is An Entertainment Speech?

An entertainment speech is meant to capture the audience’s attention and keep them engaged. Obviously, there is often an intended message, such as with a retirement roast where the intent is to talk about the retiree or the best man speech where the best man talks about his friendship with the groom. The speaker’s topic will change depending on the tone they are going for.

What Is The Purpose Of A Special Occasion Speech?

The purpose of a speech differs based on the situation and occasion where the speech is heard, as well as the audience present. A speaker must always consider the group of people they will have in the audience or attending the celebration before outlining the speech’s content. This speech

For example, a retirement party is an appropriate place to give a humorous or entertaining speech. A eulogy can include fun stories but is not intended to entertain. Graduations and motivational speeches go hand in hand, as the keynote address is meant to inspire and motivate.

How Do You Start A Special Occasion Speech?

Determining how to start a speech depends on whether there was an introductory speech before you. If there was a speech of introduction, someone has introduced you, and everyone knows who you are; you do not need to state that. When you speak without introduction, the first necessary task is to state who you are and why you are speaking. You also want to thank guests for coming, if no one has done that.

“Friends, family, graduates, and faculty, welcome to the class of 2023 commencement ceremony. As the class president, I was honored to be one of the commencement speakers and am excited to talk to you about the highlights of our class’s experience.”

A keynote speaker has an introduction speech before them, so they can plan to jump right into their speech.

What Is The Structure Of A Special Occasion Or Entertainment Speech?

Although there are many types of special occasion speeches, and while they are all unique, they should have an introduction, body, and conclusion. The intro is where you state who you are, as well as explain why you are speaking, if appropriate. This is also your opportunity to hook the audience so they are motivated to keep listening. The body of the speech is the majority of the speech, where you say all the fun things you want to get across to the audience. Of course, in the conclusion, you wrap everything up.

Entertainment and special occasion speeches should include four considerations:

  • Preparation: All good speeches require planning and preparation. This can include brainstorming sessions, creating an outline, writing the speech, and practicing.
  • Adaptation to the Occasion: Keep the occasion in mind as you write. Special occasion speaking requires a thoughtful approach to why everyone is there.
  • Adaptation to the Audience: This is multifaceted. First, you need to tailor your speech to the intended audience. But if you are speaking to entertain and the audience does not respond to your humor or speech, you might shift tactics on the fly to improve audience engagement.
  • Mindfulness of the Time: Most speakers will be given a timeline for speaking. Keep this in mind as you prepare and practice. If you are asked to give a very brief speech, that should be what you plan for (and ask the person to define brief).

What Are Some Examples Of Special Occasion Speeches That Are Meant To Entertain?

This roast of Denzel Washington by Morgan Freeman is an amusing example of a roast.

Pam Berg

A former English teacher and currently an elementary principal in a rural school, Pam has honed her speaking skills in the classroom and before professional groups. Pam enjoys sharing her insights about public speaking almost as much as she enjoys running, which she does daily.

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