• Ceremonial speeches are intended to praise, pay tribute to, and celebrate individuals or groups in ways that bring audience members together on special occasions. These speeches should be prepared ahead of time, brief, and occasion focused.
o In a speech of introduction, get to know the person you are introducing, say his or her name correctly several times during the speech, establish his or her credentials, and set the tone of the event.
o For a speech of welcome, welcome the audience, provide key information about upcoming events, announce any changes to the program, acknowledge sponsors and VIPs, and convey logistical information.
o When presenting an award, state the name of the award and its purpose, connect the award to the values of the organization presenting it, describe the selection process, acknowledge the winner, share his or her qualifications, and connect him or her to the legacy of the award.
o When accepting an award, be gracious and humble, thank the group presenting the award, thank fellow nominees, and thank those who helped make your accomplishments possible.
o When delivering a toast, be spontaneous and genuine, share a personal anecdote, use humor that has been approved by at least one other trusted person, and be brief.
o When delivering a speech of tribute, demonstrate why the person being honored is worthy of praise, connect to the personality of the individual, do not offer a biographical sketch, and share a “moral of the story.”
o When delivering a eulogy, prepare a well-organized speech so you can still communicate clearly and comfort others despite your own emotions.