Barbara P
Barbara P

Understanding Special Occasion Speech: Types, Steps, Examples and Tips

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18 min read

special occasion speech

Have you ever been asked to give a special occasion speech and felt completely lost?

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

But don't worry—this blog is here to help. We offer practical tips, clear examples, and proven techniques to guide you in creating a speech that resonates.

So, let’s find out how!

On This PageArrow Down

  • 1. Special Occasion Speech Definition
  • 2. Types of Special Occasion Speech
  • 3. How to Write a Special Occasion Speech?
  • 4. Special Occasion Speech Outline Example
  • 5. Special Occasion Speech Topics
  • 6. Ideas for Special Occasion Speeches
  • 7. Special Occasion Speech Examples - H2
  • 8. Tips for Writing A Good Special Occasion Speech

Special Occasion Speech Definition

A special occasion speech is a speech given to mark a significant event or moment. These types of speeches are meant to celebrate, honor, or remember the occasion and the people involved. They can vary greatly depending on the event, but they always aim to connect with the audience on an emotional level.

Special occasion speeches include toasts at weddings, eulogies at funerals, acceptance speeches at award ceremonies, and farewell speeches at retirements. Each type follows its style of speech writing according to the audience, purpose and nature of the event.

These speeches are typically concise, targeted, and customized to suit the event. They often highlight the importance of the occasion, express gratitude, and share personal stories or reflections. By doing so, they help to make the event more meaningful for everyone involved.

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

Types of Special Occasion Speech

There are many special life events that require special occasion speaking. 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. 

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 has 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:

  • A special thanks to the prize or award giver.
  • Other special thanks to those who have helped in achieving the goal
  • 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:

  • Highlights the award’s significance that is being given
  • Highlights the merits of the award recipient
  • 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

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 special occasion speech 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 they are done. A dinner speaker makes a serious point by efficiently using humor to make a significant mark on the audience and occasion.

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.

Here are the few types of inspirational speeches:

  • 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:

  1. Public Relations Speech - intended to enhance the speaker’s or the organization’s image.
  2. Justification Speech - attempts to defend why a particular action has taken or will be taken.
  3. 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 these 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.

  • Pep Talks

Pep talks are a type of inspirational speech designed to boost morale, instill confidence, and encourage perseverance among teams or groups.

These speeches are commonly used in sports, business, and educational settings where motivating a group is crucial for success. A well-crafted pep talk can energize the audience, helping them overcome challenges and maintain a positive attitude.

Here's a deeper look into what makes a successful pep talk:

Key Components:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Highlight past successes and strengths of the team to build confidence.
  • Clear Goals: Outline the objectives and emphasize the importance of each individual's role in achieving them.
  • Emotional Appeal: Use passionate language and compelling stories to connect with the audience's emotions.
  • Encouragement: Offer words of encouragement and support, stressing that obstacles can be overcome through teamwork and perseverance.
  • Call to Action: End with a strong, motivating call to action, urging the team to give their best effort and remain focused.

Pep talks are effective because they tap into the collective energy and spirit of the group, reinforcing the belief that success is attainable through effort and unity. 

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:

Step 1 - Understand the Occasion

The first step in writing a special occasion speech is to thoroughly understand the event you’re addressing. Identify the nature of the event—whether it's a wedding, retirement party, award ceremony, or funeral. 

Knowing the specific occasion helps you tailor your speech to the context. Equally important is understanding your audience. Consider who will be listening to your speech and what their expectations might be. This insight will help you connect with your audience on a personal level.

Step 2 - Decide on Your Message

Next, decide on the central message you want to convey. 

This could be an inspirational message, a celebration of achievements, or an honoring of someone’s memory. Once you know the purpose of your speech, choose a central theme that ties everything together. 

For instance, at a wedding, your theme might revolve around love and commitment, while at a retirement party, it might focus on gratitude and accomplishments. Your message and theme will serve as the backbone of your speech.

Step 3 - Gather Content

With your message and theme in mind, start gathering content that supports them. 

Collect relevant stories, memories, or anecdotes that illustrate your main points. These personal touches make your speech more relatable and engaging. 

Additionally, consider using meaningful quotes or references that resonate with the occasion and audience. These elements can add depth and significance to your speech.

Step 4 - Create an Outline

Creating an outline helps organize your thoughts and ensures your speech flows logically. 

Start with a strong introduction that grabs the audience’s attention. Introduce yourself and explain your connection to the event or honoree. In the body of your speech, organize your main points in a logical order. 

Each point should support your central theme and be backed up with stories and examples. Finally, craft a memorable conclusion that summarizes your key points and leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

Step 5 - Write the Speech

Now it’s time to write your speech. Keep it concise and to the point—special occasion speeches are typically brief. It's usually good to start with a hook, so, find something that can grab your audience’s attention.

Use simple language that is easy to understand and avoids complex vocabulary and jargon. Write in a conversational tone that reflects your personality and suits the mood of the event. This will make your speech more engaging and easier to deliver naturally.

Step 6 - Revise and Edit

Once you’ve written your speech, take the time to revise and edit it. 

Read your speech out loud to see how it flows and to ensure it sounds natural. Seek feedback from trusted friends or family members who can provide valuable insights and suggestions. 

Based on their feedback, make necessary adjustments to improve clarity, engagement, and overall impact.

Step 7 - Practice and Rehearse 

Finally, practice delivering your speech multiple times. Focus on your tone, pace, and body language. 

Rehearse until you feel comfortable and confident. Visualize yourself giving the speech in front of the audience, which can help reduce anxiety and improve your delivery. The more you practice, the more polished and effective your speech will be.

By following these detailed steps, you can write a special occasion speech that is heartfelt, meaningful, and memorable. 

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


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. 


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 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 good special occasion speech topics for you:

  • Prepare a special occasion speech on 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.

Ideas for Special Occasion Speeches

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

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 gathering. Make a strong argument backed up with research from case studies; mention opposite opinions.
FestiveWhen 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.

Special Occasion Speech Examples - H2

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.

Expert Tip

Need more examples? Find an extensive list of expertly written speech examples for inspiration!

Tips for Writing A Good 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: Research the topic and gather ideas for your speech. Set aside time to write, rehearse, and practice.
  • Think About Your Audience: Consider their interests and what resonates with them. Tailor your content accordingly.
  • Choose Your Words Carefully: Ensure your speech sounds natural and heartfelt. Use vivid imagery to enhance your message.
  • Use Humor Sparingly: Add warmth and engagement with humor, but keep it tasteful and relevant.
  • End on a High Note: Conclude with a strong, memorable closing that leaves a positive impression.

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!, your go-to online speech writing service, offers exceptional help, crafting special occasion speeches at budget-friendly rates.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Which best defines a special occasion speech?

FAQ Icon

A special occasion speech, by definition, is a type of ceremonial speaking. It involves delivering a speech specifically written to commemorate or signify the importance of a particular event, such as weddings, graduations, or funerals.

What's the purpose of a special occasion speech?

FAQ Icon

The purpose of a special occasion speech is to celebrate, honor, or recognize a particular event or individual. It aims to evoke emotions, inspire, or convey gratitude, depending on the nature of the occasion.

Why is it good to keep special occasion speeches short?

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Keeping special occasion speeches short ensures that the audience remains engaged and attentive throughout the speech. It also respects the time constraints of the event and allows for a more impactful and memorable delivery.

What is another term for special occasion speaking?

FAQ Icon

Another term for special occasion speaking is ceremonial speaking, as it often involves delivering speeches at formal ceremonies or events.

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Barbara P


Barbara P

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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