How To Write An Occasion Speech, Types & Examples


Everyone at some point in their life will be asked to say a few words at their best friend’s wedding, their boss’s promotion, or a beloved aunt’s funeral. Well, what is really happening is a speech on a special occasion, and this is nothing more than a speech delivered to commemorate a special event or person. That is why it is crucial to learn how to write an occasion speech all the time.

If you’re chosen as a master of ceremonies it’s an honor, so you’re writing the speech doubling down on the pressure that comes with the job. Like the master of ceremonies, master of ceremonies, a good speechwriter must craft succinct and punchy text that conveys the occasion, while also entertaining the audience. A feel for words and language is equally crucial to success on the job.

However, if you have the verbal flair, writing a good presenter speech doesn’t need to feel intimidating. With a little organization and a good understanding of the basics, her intervention will keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

While being in front of friends, family, or colleagues seems simple enough, there are a few things you need to know:

  • Consult with the master of ceremonies in advance, if possible, to find out which ones are addressing them, the type of occasion and the reason for their appearance. Even minimal knowledge of these factors makes having none at all a drawback and greatly increases your chances of writing a good, memorable speech.
  • Keep the speech short; less than ten minutes is a long time
  • Keep it light and relaxing
  • Address it to the audience

Sounds pretty simple, huh? Well, it really is. This is mainly because you must already be quite familiar with your audience and the person or event you are honoring. Now, let’s take a look at various types of speeches for special occasions.

The Praise

First, let’s go to one of the not-so-fun special occasion speeches. The eulogy is a speech that honors a deceased person. This type of speech is usually written and delivered by a family member or close friend of the deceased. Think of a eulogy as a reflection of a person’s life. You may want to start by introducing yourself to the meeting.

Then move on to some stories, anecdotes and memories. As you prepare, don’t be afraid to ask family, friends, and co-workers for help. While it’s standard to keep the eulogy between three and four minutes, include as many statements of honor as possible.

Let’s practice: ‘Dear brothers, we are gathered here today to remember Uncle Rufus. He lived a good and humble life. In his 109 years, he was best known for his sense of humor. A man of strict ethics, he played a fair game of ping pong. In fact, it was at the Asheville Ping Pong Championships that Uncle Rufus threw his last pitch.

Now, there are also speeches for special occasions that really celebrate happy events. Let Uncle Rufus rest in peace as we move on to some happier occasions.

The Toast

A toast is when we offer a drink to wish someone good luck. A toast is usually given at a wedding or some other celebratory occasion.

There are a few things to think about when making a toast:

  • Make sure all glasses are full and ready to toast
  • Gather everyone around
  • Be brief

Let’s see how Jane gives the toast of her life to her friends, Mary and Steve, on her wedding day: ‘Come on, gang! Raise your glasses to Mary and Steve. Have a wonderful life together. Just remember, Steve, happy wife means happy life! Give them a hand.

Sometimes a simple line or two with a funny or touching statement is enough.

The Introductory

At a more professional event, you may need to give an introductory speech. This is really simple. It means to introduce someone to the audience. You may need to do this to introduce a new employee, a keynote speaker, or even a special guest. Although it is quite simple, there are still some tips to follow. First, keep it under two minutes.

In that short time, include:

  • Keep the person you’re introducing a secret until you’re ready to take them onstage.
  • Highlight the person’s achievements.
  • Include a few personal tidbits, if possible.
  • Never read from a biography; condense it into your own words.

Try it on for size: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, our speaker today is an accomplished ham radio dispatcher, a skilled macramé designer, and a good father and husband. Without further ado, here is Mr. Stanley McPeebles. Give him a round of applause.

Just like in an introductory speech, you may be asked to honor a person in a speech.

The Tribute

A tribute or memorial speech is nothing more than a speech designed to honor someone or something. They are performed for various occasions such as anniversaries, retirements, memorial services, or even reunions.

Consider these tips:

  • Show admiration.
  • Highlight the best qualities of the person.
  • Use his contributions to society as a lesson to others.

If set in motion, it might look like this: “It seems like just yesterday that Pickles was chasing cats and biting the tires of moving cars. He was a good dog, a faithful friend and a great seeker.

Our example is brief, but I think you get the idea. Hey, on a different note, have you ever been handed an award?

The Acceptance Speech

Well, if you’ve ever been honored with a special commendation, you probably gave an acceptance speech. What you did was accepting an honor or award and thanks those who presented it to you in front of an audience.

Here is the explanation on how to take the prize with grace and ease:

  • Ask the person introducing you questions about the audience, the venue, and the award.
  • Keep it under five minutes.
  • Thanks to all those responsible for the award.
  • Show gratitude for the award.

Sound simple? Well, it’s not too difficult. Let’s see what Samuel did when he was introduced to the Employee of the Day: ‘Hello, dear and attractive colleagues. It is a great and humble honor for me to accept the Employee of the Day award. I am not the one who deserves the award; to everyone at the company for making working here so enjoyable.”

Not so bad, huh? There are times when we talk about motivation.

The Inspiring Speech

Inspirational speech is written to motivate people to think differently or act. It seems intuitive that if something inspires you, you will be able to speak without thinking about it.

But, there are a few things to remember:

  • Use real stories
  • Keep it just to a few points
  • Quote some important people
  • Have a strong conclusion

And don’t forget, just because the topic inspires you, you may have to convince your audience. Think of persuasion here.

Let’s try one: ‘I’m here to tell everyone about the importance of positive self-affirmation. The great motivational speaker Krantzberg once said, if you can’t congratulate yourself, no one else will. So whenever you get the chance, tells someone else how great you are.

Look, the speaker is using a strong quote and conclusion to get to the point.

Lesson Summary

To tie it all together, a special occasion speech is nothing more than a speech delivered to commemorate a special event or person.

There are several types of speeches for special occasions:

  • Praises are given to recognize the dead.
  • Toasts are used to deliver a wish for good luck.
  • Introductory speeches introduce a special person.
  • Tributes or memorial speeches honor a person for their work or actions.
  • Acceptance speeches are given to thank someone for an award or recognition.
  • Inspirational speeches are used to motivate people or call them to action.
  • In any case, a speech on a special occasion should be sincere and genuine, and your audience will enjoy it.

Learning Outcomes

After viewing this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Define special occasion speech
  • Identify examples of a speech for special occasions
  • Explain what each example should include so that it remains genuine and sincere.