Barbara P
Barbara P

How to Write a Special Occasion Speech: Types, Tips, and Examples

19 min read

Published on: Nov 6, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 6, 2023

special occasion speech

Have you ever been asked to give a special occasion speech and felt completely lost on where to start or how to make it truly memorable?

The pressure of the moment, the eyes of the audience, and the importance of the event can be overwhelming along with the speech writing process. 

Your speech needs to be perfect, but how can you ensure that it touches hearts and leaves a lasting impact?

In this blog, we have the answers you need. 

We're diving deep into special occasion speeches, providing you with the insights and techniques. 

These tips will not only conquer your fear but will help you craft speeches that will be cherished for a lifetime.

So why wait? Let’s dive in!

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Special Occasion Speech Definition

Special occasion speeches are the type of speeches given to mark the significance of a specific event. The particular events include a wedding, a birthday party, graduation ceremony, funeral, farewell, award ceremony, etc.

These speeches are brief and specific to the event. Some special occasion speeches are informative, and some might be inspirational.

What is the Purpose of a Special Occasion Speech?

Special occasion speeches are given on some special occasions according to the context of the event. For example, a toast is given at a wedding, and a eulogy is delivered at a funeral. Hence the purpose of a special occasion speech is determined according to the event.

These speeches use pathos to persuade a group of people by appealing to their emotions. Pathos may be intended to make the audience laugh or make them reflect at a memorial service.

Watch this video to become more familiar with the special occasion speech.

Types of Special Occasion Speech

There are many events, and each event has a particular type of speech to be delivered. People show their gratitude, appreciation, and condolence through their speeches. As the list of events grows, the list of speeches grows simultaneously.

The list of special occasion speeches is very long, so for simplicity, we have grouped them into two different categories:

  1. Ceremonial Speaking
  2. Inspirational Speaking

Let’s discuss these special occasion speech types in detail. 

1. Ceremonial Speeches

Ceremonial speeches are given at ceremonies by the observance of formality and decorum. The ceremonies are special occasions that people arrange to celebrate something. There are eight common types of ceremonial speaking. Let's examine them one by one.

  • Speech of Introduction

    An introduction speech is a mini-speech given by the host of an event to introduce the upcoming speaker. This speech is very precise and short, given only to familiarize the audience with the speaker going to deliver a speech.

    A good introduction speech could be like this:

    “Have you watched Marrie Jhonson’s recent interview about depression? She has done tremendous research on the causes of depression and how the United States people deal with depression. You need to listen to her because she has some incredible facts to share about depression.”

    This introduction creatively introduced the speaker and her topic while making the audience interested in her speech.

  • Acceptance Speech

    The speech of acceptance is given by a person who has just received an award, a prize, or an honor. The speaker usually starts by thanking everyone and ends with expressing appreciation. The speech of acceptance basically has three main components:

    1. A special thanks to the prize or award giver.
    2. Other special thanks to those who have helped in achieving the goal
    3. The prize or the award needs to be put into perspective.

    When you prepare for an acceptance speech, you need to think of the people you want to thank. List down their names in the order you want to thank them.

    Take a look at the acceptance speech example given below:

  • Presentation Speech

    The presentation speech is given while presenting an award, prize, or honor. The basic purpose of the presentation speech is to recognize the person’s accomplishments about the honor or award.

    These speeches provide the following components:

    1. Highlights the award’s significance that is being given
    2. Highlights the merits of the award recipient
    3. Enhance the credibility of the award and the event by personalizing the speech

    Have a look at the following presentation speech example and learn to make the award/prize and the person being honored center of the attention.


  • Dedication Speech

    A speech of dedication is delivered to dedicate something to someone. It is usually given at an inauguration ceremony, a building named after someone, a new shop opens, and so on.

    The dedication speeches are intended to highlight the importance of a project and to whom it has been dedicated. When preparing for a dedication speech, you need to consider the following factors:

    • How you are involved in the dedication
    • Explain what is being dedicated
    • Explain who was involved in the project
    • Explain the importance of the project

    Here is a dedication speech example for you.


  • Toast

    A toast is a kind of brief tribute to a particular person or a specific event. It is designed to appreciate and congratulate the people being toasted. It allows the speaker to recognize the person’s achievements and give the best wishes for the future.

    While delivering a toast, keep these key points in mind:

    • Keep it brief and specific to the event.
    • Focus attention on the person being toasted
    • Avoid any inside joke which is not accessible to all of the audience as toasts are public.
    • End the toast by praising the person being toasted

    Check out this amazing toast example.


  • Roast

    A roast is an interesting and funny speech because it is designed to praise and humorously insult the person being toasted. It is usually delivered at the end of a banquet to honor a person's life achievements.

    Follow these tips to write an interesting toast:

    • Think about the person who is being roasted.
    • Look for any amusing story or a strange habit of the person being roasted.
    • Poke fun at them but avoid targeting a specific person.
    • Avoid the things that are truly private or might hurt the specific person’s emotions.
    • Choose the jokes and stories that work best with all of the audience.
    • Make your speech as humorous as possible.
    • Leave with a positive note and appreciate the person.

    Here are a few funny special occasion speech topics for you:

  • Roast of the Office Prankster
  • A Funny Tribute to the Family Tech Guru
  • A Roast for the Coffee Addict
  • Roast of the Social Media Star
  • A Tribute to the Eternal Latecomer


Make sure you follow all these tips so that you can easily write an amazing toast.

  • Eulogy

    A eulogy speech is a special occasion speech given in honor of a person who has died. It is delivered to pay tribute to the departed soul. It is given by the priest, imam, or any other religious leader.

    When preparing a eulogy, the speaker needs to do the following things:

    • Get a lot of information about the departed soul. It will help to personalize the eulogy.
    • Remind the audience about the deceased person and his/her life achievements
    • Tell the deceased’s story.
    • Celebrate the deceased’s life and mourn their death

    Eulogies can take various forms, and they often encompass three main types:

    Praise Eulogy: Celebrates the achievements, qualities, and positive impact of the deceased, aiming to inspire and uplift.
  • Lament Eulogy: Expresses grief, sorrow, and loss, providing a cathartic outlet for those in mourning.
  • Console Eulogy: Offers comfort and hope to the grieving audience, often with religious or spiritual elements, for strength and healing.

Look at the eulogy speech format in this eulogy example.


  • Farewell Speech

    It allows you to say goodbye to a current part of your life as you are moving to another part. The speeches are very common at college and university farewell parties. The graduating class says farewell to the institute as they are moving forward.

    The goal of the farewell speech is to thank and appreciate the people who are currently a part of your life. As you move forward to the next position, pay tribute to the people who have helped you achieve your goals. A farewell speech gives you a chance to commemorate and remember the good times you have had.

    Here is a farewell speech example for you.

  • After Dinner Speech

    After-dinner speech is directed toward a specific group. It aims to entertain yet inform the audience about a particular issue. They are quite tricky because of their dual role, but with practice, anyone can deliver an effective speech.

    As the name suggests, these speeches are delivered at dinners after when they are done. A dinner speaker makes a serious point by efficiently using humor to make a significant mark on the audience and occasion.

2. Inspirational/Motivational Speaking

The goal of the inspirational speech is to inspire the audience to believe something or act upon something. It aims to inspire the audience to take a particular action regarding personal or professional growth.

There are two types of inspirational speeches. Let's review each of them.

  • Goodwill Speech

    Goodwill speeches are delivered to build a goodwill relationship with the audience. These speeches seek to introduce an entity or a person to another group, organization, or country. These speeches are informative as well as persuasive in nature.

    There are three types of goodwill speeches:

  • Public Relations Speech - intended to enhance the speaker’s or the organization’s image.
  • Justification Speech - attempts to defend why a particular action has taken or will be taken.
  • Speech of Apology - given to accept the mistake, apologize, and ask the audience for forgiveness.

All of the goodwill speeches not just inform the audience but attempt to persuade them at the same time.

  • Commemorative Speech

    Commencement or commemorative speeches are usually given at graduation ceremonies during which the degrees are being awarded to the students. It is a kind of celebration that marks an important milestone in graduates’ lives. It is usually given by a well-known person who is recognized by many i.e. the president of the country.

    The commemorative speech has four basic components:

    1. Highlight the importance of the day in the graduates’ lives
    2. Count the accomplishments of the graduating class
    3. Gives best wishes for the future endeavor
    4. Put the light on future goals.

    Here we have a good commemorative speech example for you.

Special Occasion Speech Topics

As special occasion speeches are event-oriented, you might know about the topic already. Yet, it’s essential to ensure that you choose the best idea and turn it into a memorable talk. 

Here are some amazing special occasion speech ideas for you:

  • Prepare a eulogy for a famous person and remind the audience about his accomplishments.
  • Give a maid of honor toast at your best friend’s wedding.
  • Deliver an acceptance speech for winning an award.
  • Present an employee of the year award.
  • Give a roast when your best friend is leaving the organization.
  • Deliver a keynote address at a company’s annual convention.
  • Deliver the best man speech to a wedding couple
  • Deliver a commemorative speech to mark an essential milestone in graduates’ lives.
  • Give a good introduction to the new president of the United States.
  • Prepare a farewell speech for your exit party.

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Ideas for Special Occasion Speeches

Here are some basic examples of special occasion speeches you can use:

IdeaDescription
FarewellIf you are retiring or leaving, thank your co-workers and management for their help and support. Tell them how much you have enjoyed working with them and share some of your great ideas. Then wish them all the best for the future.
InformativeGet started by introducing your topic and then tell of an occasion or reason for the gathering. Make a strong argument backed up with research from case studies; mention opposite opinions.
Festive

When giving a speech about someone's birthday, it is important to make it both funny and entertaining.

If giving a speech about someone's birthday, focus on what makes that person unique.

Wedding CeremonyThe key to a successful wedding toast is to keep it short and sweet. You should tell a story and mention a funny fact, but don't be too generic. Make it memorable by quoting a movie or book that is meaningful to you and your friends or family.
TributeWhen giving a tribute, it is important to explain why the person or event is special and how it has affected you on a personal level. If you are speaking in front of an audience, ask questions that will help you to explain the importance of tribute. Share what you have learned, and remind the audience that everyone can achieve great things.

How to Write a Special Occasion Speech?

It is a well-known fact that there is no universal recipe for writing a perfect special occasion speech, yet we want to provide you with the basic process that keeps you inspired.

Here is the step-by-step process of writing a special occasion speech:

1. Special Occasion Speech Outline

The special occasion speech outline is the same for all types of speeches. It has three main components: introduction, body, and conclusion. The outline is the same for every type of speech; the difference is the content it contains.

2. Consider the Special Occasion

As there are eight basic types of special occasion speeches, you need to consider the occasion for which you are preparing your speech. Each type of speech contains different content that is specific to the event.

3. Special Occasion Speech Introduction

No matter what type of special occasion speech you are giving, the introduction needs to be compelling enough that grabs the audience’s attention immediately.

Below are the steps you can follow to write the introduction:

  • Grab the audience's attention by telling some interesting facts specific to the event you are delivering a speech for.
  • A thesis statement tells the main purpose of your speech.
  • Preview the key points of your speech and transition to the body section

4. Special Occasion Speech Body

In the body section, you are allowed to talk about the topic in detail. Present the supporting evidence that enhances the credibility of your thesis statement. Share all the necessary information required to convey the complete message.

The body section could be longer, and it could be short. It all depends on the type of speech you are giving and the time you get to deliver your speech’s content.

5. Special Occasion Speech Conclusion

The conclusion is where you wrap things up. Summarize all of your main points here and close the speech with a compelling message.

Special Occasion Speech Outline Example

There is no one perfect way to write a speech for a special occasion. However, we want to provide you with an example to help you get started.

Here is the special occasion speech outline template for your reference:

Tribute Speech

Introduction

I consider myself a good writer because I was taught by a great teacher. Mrs. Jones was a wonderful lady who inspired me to be a better writer. She showed me that it takes hard work and dedication to be a good writer. I want to pay tribute to her for all of her help and support.

She cares about her students and wants to make sure they are interested in learning. She makes sure her students understand why they are writing and how their writing can affect other people. Because of her, I not only learned how to write but also how to think critically about my writing.

Main Body

She took an approachable and personable tone with all of her students, from the beginning till the near end. From asking what they thought about starting a new task or lesson to relating personal experiences while reading aloud in order to make sure everyone listens closely, this woman genuinely cared for each one individually.

She checked our assignments and discussed the flaws with us. She was frank but never hurt our feelings.

As I became a professional writer, she still treated me the same. She always remembered my childhood questions and concerns. Her attitude made me feel confident about my skills.

Conclusion

I want to thank everyone who made this award possible, including Mrs. Jones. I have learned a lot from working with all of you. I will continue to work hard and improve so that I can be worthy of such high praise.

Special Occasion Speech Examples

Check out these amazing special occasion speech samples and see how amazing they are written. You can also take help from speech examples to write your speech.


Tips for Writing Special Occasion Speech 

Whether you’re giving a toast at a wedding, delivering an address at an awards ceremony, or speaking at any other special event, these tips will help your words ring true with your audience. 

Plan Ahead

Planning is key when it comes to writing a special occasion speech. Begin by researching the topic and gathering ideas for what to include. 

Additionally, you should also set aside enough time to properly write, rehearse, and practice your speech before delivering it. 

Think About Your Audience 

When writing your special occasion speech, it’s important to consider your audience and their interests. 

What do they want to hear? What would make them laugh? Who are they rooting for? Knowing this can help you tailor your content so that it resonates best with your listeners. 

Choose Your Words Carefully

The words you choose when writing your special occasion speech can make all the difference between boring platitudes and heartfelt sincerity. 

Take some extra time to think through each phrase so that it sounds natural. Also, consider using vivid imagery throughout your speech. This will add another layer of depth while helping bring your message to life for those listening.  

Use Humor Sparingly 

Humor can add warmth to a speech, but use it carefully. Make sure the humor is in good taste and relevant to the occasion. Avoid anything that could be offensive.

End on a High Note 

Conclude your speech with a strong, memorable closing that leaves a positive impression. A heartfelt, sincere closing often works well.

Once all these elements come together effectively then you'll be well on track for creating an unforgettable moment!

All in all, writing a good speech that is specific to the event and the audience is somehow tricky. But you don’t have to worry anymore, as this guide comprehensively covers all aspects and examples of occasional speech writing.

Still feel stuck? Do not worry!

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Get essay writer help from us today and wave goodbye to the anxieties of composing a stellar speech.

Barbara P

WRITTEN BY

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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