Ceremonial   Speech   Ideas

Special occasion speeches include (but are not limited to) speeches of introduction, speeches of acceptance, award presentations, roasts and toasts, eulogies and other speeches of tribute, after-dinner speeches, and speeches of inspiration. 

Below are some suggestions of possible ceremonial speech topics. You are not required to use any of these topics and are encouraged to develop one of your own based on your own interests. Even though you can use a lot of humor in this speech, it should not be a stand-up routine. The speech situation and/or award can be fictional so feel free to have fun and be creative. I do expect that some of the speech be PLAUSIBLE, so base it in reality with a “fictional lean.”

You can do a speech accepting an award, but it was an award you were notified of before hand, not at the last moment [so it should not be a speech like the acceptance speech at the Academy Awards where you simply thank a bunch of people].  It does need to be a structured speech with main points. (Two will suffice) 

Keep in mind that eulogies can be difficult, I will not stop you from doing a eulogy (because I do not believe in censorship) however make sure that you can handle the emotional toll it may take on you in front of the class. As an alternative I would suggest that if you want to honor a person, celebrate someone still living that could attend the celebration at which you are giving the speech.  Again the topic and type of speech is up to you!

Speech of Introduction

[Remember to describe the speaker's background, preview what the speaker will be addressing, ask the audience to welcome the speaker, etc. ]

(you could introduce...)

1. The President of the United States

2. A famous basketball player (football, baseball, soccer, tennis, etc)

3. A famous actor or actress

4. Your parent (or other relative, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc)

5. Your boss (or co-worker)

6. Your best friend

7. A writer (living or deceased)

8. A local dignitary (mayor, city councilman or woman, school board member, etc)

9. Business person (large corporation, or small local business)

10. Historical figure

Speech of Acceptance

[Remember this is something you were aware of in advance, not the academy awards where you thank a list of people and exit the stage. You should react genuinely and with humility, you should thank those giving you the award, and those who have helped you, etc. ]

(you could accept awards like...)

                                1. Scholarship

                                2. Baking award

                                3. Talent award (Singing, Dancing, Painting, etc)

                                4. Athletic award

                                5. Academic award

                                6. Mother or Father of the year (daughter or son)

                                7. Student of the month

                                8. Dog training

                                9. Sexiest Man or Woman

                                10. Make something up like: hamster handler award,     backpacker of  the year, best bartender, greatest hairdresser, prettiest smile, etc)

Speech of Presentation

[Presenters of awards also need to prepare. Make sure you communicate the meaning and importance of the award and tell why the recipient is receiving the award. Sometimes the speaker may acknowledge how the winner was determined.]

(you could present any of the awards listed above but also acknowledge the award given...)

1. plaque

2. statue

3. trophy

4. memorial

Roasts and Toasts

[Generally a roast is a humorous tribute to a person. A toast is a brief tribute to a person or an event that is being celebrated. Remember to highlight traits of the person being honored, although you may be humorous it should be in good taste with a positive tone.]

(you could roast or toast...)

1. Wedding toast

2. Anniversary toast

3. Job promotion for a friend

4. Boss landing a big client

5. Coach retiring

6. Athlete who won a prestigious award

Eulogies and Other Tributes

[ If you choose to do a eulogy make sure you celebrate and commemorate the subjects life and at the same time you should be consoling the people they left behind. Keep in mind that you should control your emotions, always refer to the family, focus on their life not their death, and remember to only mention the positive qualities of the deceased.]

After-Dinner Speeches

[Remember to stay in character, this speech is usually held just before or directly after a dinner or luncheon. The function can be business, professional, or social. Generally this type of speech is lighthearted and entertaining. Remember to recognize the occasion, and the group (including purpose of function of the group). Sometimes the purpose of an after dinner speech could be agenda setting, in this case the emphasis would not be humor]

Speeches of Inspiration

[Many events call for a speech of inspiration. Remember to try and use tools that can invoke emotion such as anaphoras, alliteration, or metaphors. In this type of speech it is important to be dynamic!]

(you could do any of the following...)

1. sermon type of speech (no preaching of faiths please! - stick to concepts or ideals)

2. rallies (getting people all jazzed up for a football game, a political campaign, or a sales pep talk)

3. nomination speech (class president, president of the US, school board, PTA or even captain of the football team)

4. commencement addresses (graduations can be fun - beauty school, pre-school, or even college)

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