How to Write a Special Occasion Speech

How to Write a Special Occasion Speech

How did you celebrate your last birthday? Did you like all the speeches and how they were given? It was a special day for you. You still remember the speeches like they happened yesterday. This helps define a special occasion speech. It is a speech that is delivered on an important day or occasion.

We all have important events in our lives. So, what is a special occasion? It refers to any event that you attach special importance to. Your birthdays, award receiving day, wedding, or graduation days mean a lot to you. They are special occasions for you.

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There are two main types of special occasion speeches: ceremonial and inspirational. Ceremonial speeches are given during the celebration of a person’s achievements or the success of an institution. The aim is to evoke the emotions of the audience and convince them of a certain thought. Choose topics wisely to achieve the intended target. The type of occasion will determine if the ceremonial speech topics will be informative, farewell, tribute, or festive.

Inspirational speeches are meant to motivate and inspire the audience to accept or appreciate something. When writing such speeches, you can share your testimonies on experience to make the audience believe in you.

Below are some examples of how to write special occasion speech types.

Special occasion speech on graduation

The main aim is to acknowledge the value of the occasion and the graduates. The speaker thanks everyone present and especially the graduating students. They then welcome the attendees.

Students need complex structure to maintain attention throughout the occasion. You can keep them listening by citing examples that celebrate academic achievements. Use humor and a positive tone to encourage them.

special occasion speech on a famous person

It could be the easiest to write but requires a keen eye that selects which values to include. Begin by briefly describing who the person is. Introduce the speaker in an interesting manner that catches the listener’s attention. Provide background information depending on how much they know the person. Use authentic facts and spell the name correctly.

Convincingly give the speakers credibility so that the audience can eagerly wait for the speech. Your concluding remarks should alert the speaker that it is their time to rise to the podium. You can end your introductory speech with statements like,” Join me to welcome…”

Special occasion speech for a funeral

A eulogy is a difficult speech to write because both the speaker and the audience are in a sorrowful mood. However, given the responsibility, you will still struggle to write a credible speech.

Prepare a brief biography about the deceased. List some accomplishments he had made. Mention their values and achievements particularly an attribution that will be missed. Explain the mark they have left.

Narrate some important experiences that you share with the deceased. Express your feelings towards the loss.

 As a college student, a special occasion speech may be a challenge. Some take a very short time and require proper planning to deliver the message. You may need help from professional speech writers by ordering one.

When dealing with a special occasion speech assignment, you need to ask yourself these key questions:

  • What type of occasion are you planning to speak?
  • What role have you been assigned on the occasion?
  • Do you know the type of audience you will address?
  • How much time do you have to prepare?
  • What type of message should you prepare, is it a formal or informal talk?
  • What is the purpose of the speech you are writing? A speech can target many goals such as to inform, entertain or appreciate
  • Answer the above questions to get a clue of what to write. When you settle to write the assignment, consider these guidelines for a good grade special occasion speech assignment
  1. Accurate names, title, and any other data
  2. Brief information – avoid too much information
  • Positive tone – strive to use an accepted tone that is acceptable to the audience
  1. Consider audience knowledge – have prior knowledge about your listeners’ education or general knowledge of the topic or event. Do not assume their level of understanding because you might miss target.
  2. Apply humor – a joke or a relevant story will keep the audience alert throughout the occasion.

After all this planning, then comes the moment when you stand before the crowd. They are expectantly waiting to hear from you. How do you finally open your speech? Your very first action on the podium determines the success of your speech. You would like the audience to listen keenly immediately you start speaking. To win their attention instantly here are essential ways on how to start a special occasion speech.

Use of questions – get your audience on the guard by posting a question that either requires an answer or just a rhetoric one. For instance, “who among us would like to go to the moon?” or “Who would not like to have a happy long life? “Questions are a polite way of ordering the listeners’ attention.

  1. Quote – present a quote that will evoke interest in the audience. A quote like” Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast “
  2. What if questions – ramble the minds of the listeners to align with your presence, such questions as “what if we were all celebrating our birthday today, who would be the speaker?” This will make them concentrate on the scenario posed and all will eventually listen to what follows.
  3. Imagine scenario-trigger their thinking by creating anxiety, imagine you get lost in the desert, your phone goes off. Such a scenario makes the listeners alert to listen to you.
  4. Silence – a two to five seconds silence while the audience watches can automatically pull the crowd. Listeners will be curious about what next so will pay attention.

During these occasions, there is the master of ceremony who ushers other speakers. There is also one major speaker who is usually the guest of honor. The guest delivers the main speech. This means that in one event, there are many speeches.

The common special occasion speeches include the speech of introduction, presentation, dedication, farewell, eulogy, acceptance, toast, and roast speech.

1.   speech of introduction

 Write a Special Occasion Speech

This speech takes a short time of about two minutes. You should be careful not to do unnecessary things like talking about yourself more than about the key speaker. Like any other speech, it has three components that are introduction, body, and conclusion.

You introduce the main speaker through a short background about them. Mention the speaker’s credibility in the academic, professional, and other qualifications and achievements. Make the audience have the interest to listen to the speaker.

Give accurate information without exaggeration. Do thorough research about the speaker. You can read publications or research from the internet. It is also important if you visit or invite them for a short talk or interview before the speech day.

Research on their personal information, preferences and cultural background. For instance, do they prefer to be addressed by their first name or their titles like Mr.?

Apart from the speaker, you will need to introduce the topic. Give a brief description without exhausting the content. Highlight briefly the striking points to arouse the interest of the audience. Show the importance of the topic to them. Create suspense in their minds.

Finally, give a preparatory sentence as you invite the audience to welcome the speaker. Involve the audience in the session. A welcome is done in many ways such as a clap or an applaud from the audience. You can even hug or handshake the speaker as a welcome.

2. Toast speech

This is a speech that is delivered when all the attendees are present and seated the speech must be captivating to have a memorable impression. The speaker must research widely on the topic’ it is also important to understand the audience. Study their cultural values and how they perceive the occasion.

Choose the appropriate tone that will appeal to the audience. Be brief and to the point.

Before the actual occasion, rehearse to assess whether you meet all the qualities. Invite a friend to be your audience. Ask them to give you honest feedback. Correct the necessary areas. If you are planning for a surprise, then you can be your audience by addressing in front of a mirror.

3. Roast speech

 A speech was given within a toast. It is directed to the guest or the most honored person in the ceremony. Though with humor, when giving a roast, mention the person’s achievements or an outstanding thing in their life,

 A roast is usually done to a person who is retiring or going for a promotion. It is also given in a ceremony to mark the success of the subject

4. Speech of presentation

This is a recognition speech to the person receiving a prize. When preparing, know the time given for the speech. Some may take a few seconds while others will last for minutes. Describe the award being given. Mention why it should be given and why the recipient is worth receiving.

 Clearly state the recipient’s achievement. If it was a competition, also recognize the other competitors. It should sound relevant and meaningful to the audience too. Finally, call the recipient to receive the award. Special occasion speech award presentation marks the climax of the whole occasion.

5. Speech of acceptance

Upon receiving the award or honor, the recipient gives a speech of acceptance. The parts of this speech are important. First, thank the award givers. Second, recognize those who contributed to your success. Thirdly, show the value of the award to you. Be gracious, thankful and very brief.

 It is unbelievable that an acceptance speech may take a very short time. For instance, do you know how long was the longest Oscar acceptance speech? It was an unbelievable six minutes only. It was given by Gree Garson upon receiving the best actor award for 1945 for Mrs. Miniver. This was during the 15th Academy Award.

6. Keynote speech

This speech addresses the common theme of the occasion, it gives a summary of the message guiding the occasion. A keynote speech will describe an institution from its founding, its successful growth, notable achievements, and its goals. Choose a person who is largely recognized in the related field to give this speech.

7. Commencement speech

This type is given during the graduation ceremony.  The aim is to celebrate the success of the graduates or any other related group. If given this responsibility, follow the theme if provided or create yours in line with the occasion. Common themes for commencement speeches are competence, confidence, commitment, discipline, ethics, and integrity among others.

 A good example of a commencement speech was given by J. Rowling during a Harvard University graduation ceremony in 2008.

8.Commemorative speech

Its main purpose is to appreciate an event. The commemorative speech reflects on the audience’s feelings and summarizes the reason for the event. Choose a language tone that evokes and inspires the audience. Be brief and target to convey the necessary feelings like joy, grief, or empathy.

9. After dinner speech

This speech targets the theme of the day. Use language and tone that recaptures the attention of the audience. Restate the thesis and its supporting evidence. Apply humor.

All these special occasion speech types have a standard format of writing. A winning speech will require that you mince all the necessary elements correctly. Consider the following elements as you plan for your special occasion speech:

  • Structure – any speech whether short or long has three common parts. There are the introduction, body, and conclusion
    • Introduce by describing how well you know the guest of honor. Express your feelings towards them. Are you happy to have them on the occasion? Also, mention the topic of the day.
    • In the body, give a short description of the main speaker. Mention their qualifications and another credibility. Wide up with a strong word of appreciation.
  • Have strong transitions – choose sentences that will connect one point to the next. Do not present an isolated list but rather have a continuous flow. You can arrange your points from the main to the least.
  • Humor – create relevant jokes or stories that arouse laughter. Such health breaks help relieve the audience’s monotony of listening which creates boredom. It also gives you time to refresh your thoughts. It makes the whole occasion careful not to give jokes or stories that might embarrass the guest or the audience.
  • Be sentimental – use sentimental words to describe the guest. Honest feelings and appreciation of the guest will convince the listeners to listen to them.
  • Theme – get a catchphrase that the audience can remember your speech. Choose a few points to make a theme of your speech. They can be topics related or things related to the speaker’s positive character.
  • Connect with the audience – choose information that is relevant
    • and acceptable to your audience. Have straight eye contact with confidence.
  • Edit your work – after you have written your speech, edit to polish all necessary areas. Rehearse your speech in front of a friend or a mirror. Re-edit it. When presenting the speech, follow the written outline to ensure you remain on track.
  • Time – before you start drafting your special occasion speech, it is good to know the stipulated time. Plan your content within the given time picking only the important and relevant points. Minimize your presence so that you allow the guest speaker enough time to deliver the content.

When you are given the task to write a special occasion speech, it is a great honor. You, therefore, need to get the right tips on how to write it. Get free special occasion speeches and read them to get an insight into the structure. Special occasion speech ideas may be found infamous speeches. Examples of a speech for a special occasion you can refer to are:

  • President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech
  • Russel Conwell – acres of diamond
  • Nelson Mandela’s Nobel peace prize acceptance speech

If you are looking for special occasion speech topics for college students ready widely as well. You will notice that some are interesting topics with a lot to write about. However, there are funny special occasion speech topics that you will only fit in occasion meant for entertainment.

Special occasion speech outline

A well-sketched outline will make it easy to write your speech. It will guide you and make your speech flow without leaving out any important detail. A good special occasion speech outline should include an introduction, body, and conclusion. Consider this structure:

  • Title – the title will be determined by the occasion itself. Here are some of the best special occasion speech topics
  1. Eulogy of a famous public figure
  2. Acceptance speech during an award like Nobel prize
  • A toast to a best man or maid at a wedding reception
  1. A roast during a retirement party of a well-celebrated employee
  2. Purpose of the occasion
  3. Thesis statement
  • Introduction: start with a sentence that grabs the attention of the listeners on the spot. You can start with an intriguing question or sentence that creates disbelief or shock. This will automatically switch on their interest to listen and find out the answer or the truth. Describe the topic in a way that creates s curiosity and desire to listen to the speaker. You can also use visual aids for elaboration.
  • Body – what are you targeting in the main part of the speech? Different special occasion speech types vary in themes. Arrange your points in order of importance. Label them properly in numbers or alphabetically. Have a connecting sentence between your points. It’s a transitional marker from one point to the next. These connectors should also be labeled in the order they appear.

All your points should be in paragraphs and should directly connect to the thesis and purpose of the speech. Every point can have 2-4 ideas followed by supportive evidence. Expound them for better understanding.

Use examples where possible to add weight to the points. Explain descriptively to create vivid pictures in the mind of your listeners. Use testimonials and statistics as factual evidence.

All these add credibility to your claims. end every point with a transitional sentence.

Be organized clear and in simple language. Define complex words so that the information is delivered as you target. Remember that you must convince your listeners of what you are telling them so that they continue listening to you.

  • Conclusion: signal to your audience that you are coming to an end. Give a summary of the main points. You can provide references and suggestions for further information. Emphasize your thesis statement to ensure that the audience has understood your topic. You can briefly explain your visual aids as a way of hammering your point in their minds. The last sentence of your special occasion speech should leave an impression in their mind and fulfill your objective in the speech.

It is very important to have your outline ready before you start writing the speech. Go through it and check to confirm every point.

How to write a special occasion speech

By now you can handle any speech writing professionally. Actual writing requires careful drafting to ensure that all the elements are included. Like any other essay, a special occasion speech essay has three parts; introduction, body, and conclusion.


Different types of speeches follow almost one format of introduction. There is a brief description of the topic or the occasion. Also, give an exciting short biography of the speaker citing why he is the best choice for the occasion.


It also depends on the type of speech. Give details of the topic or the occasion. Maintain the attention of the audience by being as engaging as possible. Apply humor and some rhetoric questions to keep the audience aligned with your speech. Follow the outline and the time allocated for that part.


Make a statement that signals the end of the speech. Drop from the climax of the speech without losing their attention. Restate the thesis statement and the main topics.

Finally, a special occasion speech requires time and serious preparation. It is a one-time speech that leaves a lasting mark in the mind of the audience and those who read it. If it is an assignment, make sure you impress your tutor for good grades. Seek help from speech gurus who will help you write a memorable winning special occasion speech. 

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