Tribute Speech Examples To Inspire Your Next Celebration

Tribute speech

A tribute speech honors an occasion, person, event, thing, or idea by recounting its significance. The content includes both facts and feelings. As these tribute speech examples show, the speaker might focus on a person’s best qualities and successes and then tell how they influenced the speaker and others.

Tribute speeches, also called commemorative speeches, are given in honor of someone. They are used for many occasions, and the tone changes depending on the event and where it is given. A graduation speech might have a somewhat serious tone, whereas a 50th-birthday speech could be more fun. Retirement speeches often involve some gentle ribbing by coworkers. The event and the person you are honoring determine the tone.

What Is The Purpose Of A Tribute Speech?

A tribute speech honors someone through public speaking to those in attendance. The event can be anything from a milestone birthday to honoring a retiree. Usually, someone close to the individual is asked to enumerate their attributes through personal stories, quotes, or summarizing their life. Another common tactic is to talk about the positive impact the individual has had on others.

How Do You Start A Tribute Speech?

The first thing that needs to be done anytime you are speaking in front of a group is to introduce yourself and your connection to the event. When honoring your best friend as you pay tribute, tell those listening about your relationship.

Next, you want to hook the audience. There are different ways to do that. It could be by using a famous quote or a carefully chosen story. You may want to share why the special occasion is so important to everyone assembled to honor the honoree.

Tribute speech to parents

Some ideas for hooking the audience are:

  • Ask the audience a question that is sure to pull them in.
  • Describe your loved one using three words without connecting them at first. Then enumerate why these words are so accurate to describe that specific person.
  • Get the audience to laugh.
  • Guided visualization as you get the audience to imagine something you will describe.
  • Tell a great story.
  • Share a quote.

What is The Content Of A Tribute Speech?

The content of a tribute speech does depend on what type of speech you are giving.

  • Anniversary Parties: When a couple reaches a milestone anniversary, it is common to celebrate with friends and family members. Someone, either a child of the couple or perhaps a member of their wedding party all those years ago, may give a speech about the couple’s life together.
  • Birthday: The same is true of milestone birthdays. Family or friends assembled could simply offer a toast, but sometimes, a loved one is invited to say more than a few words. This is especially popular as individuals get up in age. Why wait until someone is gone to say wonderful things about them? Say it while they are living.
100th birthday deserves a birthday tribute speech
  • Memorial Service: A eulogy is a type of tribute speech given at a funeral or celebration of life. These usually either take a chronological approach to summarize the person’s life, or the speaker chooses a few stories depicting some aspects of their life.
  • Retirement Speech: When speaking at a retirement party, it is common to tell stories about their work life and work ethic. One could undoubtedly discuss personal traits that loop back to their employment as they leave that portion of life. Sometimes the speaker talks about their plans for the next stage of life, whether that is golf or gardening.
Retirement speech

How Do You End It?

You can end a tribute speech in many different ways. If you have gone the chronological route, it will have a natural conclusion as you near the end of the story. For those linking some stories around a common theme, summarizing the theme is an excellent way to wrap things up.

Sometimes people end a speech with a quote as parting words. Reminding the audience why you are all assembled is another excellent tactic. For example, you could finish a retirement speech by saying, “Poor Ann. Like Chi Chi Rodriguez says, ‘When a man retires, his wife gets twice the husband but only half the income.’ But we know Ann and Robert will figure that out and enjoy their time together.”

How Long Should Your Tribute Speech Be?

Although there are no hard time limits on speeches like these, the commonly accepted practice is around 5 minutes. Most tribute speeches are roughly 4-6 minutes long. Rarely should a tribute speech extend to 10, so try to say everything you want to before that.

What Are Some Tribute Speech Examples?

Mom’s Birthday

Looking to write a tribute to Mom for her birthday? Consider these ideas:

  • Ask others to share wonderful qualities about your mother.
  •  Describe some of your favorite memories.
  •  List the things you love about Mom.
  •  Thank your mom for the things she has done for you.

Parent’s 50th Anniversary

How about helping your parents to celebrate their 50th anniversary? How do you go about writing a tribute speech for them?

  • Interview people at the wedding and incorporate quotes from them into your speech.
  • Share your top memories of your parents loving one another unconditionally.
  • Talk about stories that make their marriage special.
  •  Prepare a slideshow of milestone memories to accompany your speech.
50th anniversary party tribute

Family Reunion

Getting a large family together is the perfect opportunity to create a tribute speech for the family.

  • Ask questions of the oldest family members to include some of their thoughts in your speech.
  •  Invite all family members to put together some memories around the family unit.
  •  Weave those pieces together to paint a picture of the extended family unit.

Awards Ceremony

If someone you know is honored, it is lovely to be asked to speak about him or her before the award.

  • Learn about the award to connect your knowledge of the person to that.
  • Enumerate the person’s strengths in the speech.
  • Explain why you think the individual is special and deserving of the award.

Celebration of Life

A different type of funeral speech, a celebration of life, focuses on the life well lived rather than the person’s death. You can take a chronological approach to their life, but you don’t have to. Sometimes it is far more interesting to tell a few fun stories and tie them all together.

Ask questions of others to be sure you can create a thorough picture of the person’s life. Since this is a celebration, your stories should be more light-hearted.

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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