Special Occasion Speech Examples & Writing Tips


How to write an awesome special occasion speech: Tips & Example

Special occasion speeches are given in a variety of situations: weddings, awards ceremonies, political events, retirement, and many more. Their purpose is to mark the significance of an important event. Usually, they take no longer than 10 minutes, and most such speeches serve the entertainment purpose, though, some of them also have an informative message. In this article, our speechwriters will share the secrets of writing great commencement speeches for college and for important events in your life.

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Examples of special occasion speeches

If you are not sure where to get started with your speech, take a look at two examples for different types of special occasions:

Awards acceptance speech


Source: https://www.examples.com/education/special-occasion-speech.html

This speech uses a formal tone, it starts and ends with gratitude. Although the main purpose of acceptance speeches is to thank the committee and those present for an award, this speech is also informative - the speaker expands on the theory of relativity and asks rhetorical questions. You can use such an approach and structure for informative or persuasive speeches.

Best man's speech


Source: https://www.sampletemplates.com/business-templates/wedding-speech-example.html

This best man's speech is less formal, a bit humorous, and starts with a touch of vulnerability. It also shares personal stories about the groom and congratulates the couple on their wedding. Such speeches appeal to emotions rather than logic, and their main goal is to amuse and entertain guests. If you write a best man's speech or a toast, try to use a conversational tone and add humor.

Special occasion speech types

Although special occasion speeches share some common traits, the writing style, tone, and content will vary depending on the speech type and the event. The toast of a maid of honor will differ from a retirement speech in a big corporation. Here are the most common special occasion speaking types:

Commencement speech

The commencement speech addresses the class graduating from high school or college. Its purpose is to recognize the achievements of the graduating class, share wisdom, and inspire graduates. A commencement speaker also motivates graduates to pursue great things in life. Usually, such a speech focuses on some central theme - common commencement speech themes include overcoming challenges, maintaining friendships, uncovering your potential, staying true to yourself, etc.


Toasts honor an important event or a person during a celebration. You can deliver a toast to congratulate someone for getting an award, finding a new job, or a marriage. Since a toast signifies a big moment, use it to express gratitude, share joy, and spark emotions in people around you. This type of speech is usually brief, it focuses on a person being toasted, and you may use some humor, but make sure it is easy for everyone to understand.

Commemorative speech

Commemorative speeches pay tribute to an important event, person, or organization in your life. The purpose of this brief speech is to recognize the importance of somebody or something in your life, reflect on its importance and celebrate the moment. Commemorative speeches include retirement speeches, nomination speeches (to recognize someone for an honor), retirement speeches, and a farewell speech when someone leaves a company or a group.

Acceptance speech

Speeches of acceptance are given by a recipient of a prize or a prestigious honor. In such a speech, the speaker thanks everyone who helped them achieve such outstanding results. The keynote speaker also thanks the committee who gave them an award. If this is a political speech, the person also thanks everyone who voted for them. It is also common for the speaker to explain why an award means so much to them.

Tips to write speeches for special occasions

If writing texts for special speaking occasions is new for you, take advantage of this checklist. You can use it for a variety of special occasion speeches ranging from work anniversaries to dedications and weddings:

  1. Understand your special occasion type. An after-dinner speech will differ in many aspects from an awards speech or public relations speech.
  2. Know your audience. To deliver speeches effectively, analyze your audience. Understand their age, background, and subject matter knowledge if you plan to deliver an informative speech.
  3. How much time will you have? Practice with a timer so that you don't exceed the time limit. Being concise is important for getting the audience interested and not boring them.
  4. Is this a formal or informal event? Can you use an informal, conversational tone?
  5. What is the purpose of your upcoming speech - to thank, amuse, entertain, express gratitude, or inform? Does your speech serve this purpose? If you doubt that your speech will meet the purpose, you can show it to our speechwriters and ask for feedback.
  6. Should you speak for yourself, or represent your employer or any other organization?
  7. Does the occasion and the speech type allow humor? If possible, try to make your speech humorous, but make sure your jokes are not offensive to anyone.
  8. Make sure that your speech has a clear structure: an introduction where you introduce yourself and briefly tell what your speech is about, the body section, and a conclusion that tops off everything you've said.

Polishing your special occasion speech delivery

After you've written and polished your text, work on delivering special occasion speeches. A poor delivery can spoil even a flawlessly written speech. Special occasion speeches tend to be concise, so be sure to keep your complete speech to 10 minutes. To strengthen your public speaking skills, follow the tips below:

  • Practice so that you don't need to read from paper. Whether you deliver a speech commemorating an event, an introductory speech, or a traditional persuasive speech, reading the text won't help you grab the audience's attention.
  • Work on your vocal delivery. Make sure that you speak loud enough and practice working with a microphone, if necessary. Don't rush and make pauses so that the audience could follow you easily. Record yourself to understand how you sound and improve your delivery, if necessary.
  • Pay attention to your body language. Deliver the speech's content in front of the mirror, paying attention to your posture, facial expressions, and gestures. Use them to articulate your main points and build an emotional connection with your listeners.

Get help with all types of special occasion speeches

Whether you need a special occasion speech for your class or a real-life situation, it requires much preparation. You need to consider the audience, the type of event, and the timing, and come up with an engaging, heartwarming speech that will impress the audience.

Our website has speech wizards who can prepare a custom speech for your special life events, or help you improve the speech you already have. Contact us for a free quote, and claim your first-time generous discount!