Almost every now and then we attend special occasions, some organized by our friends, associates, colleagues, family members and some by ourselves. Most times, these special occasions would require us or other colleagues to deliver the so-called ‘special occasion speech’ or sometimes, or we might need to help a friend write a speech.
When we attend a special occasion, it is usually because we are affiliated with the hosts. They might be our friends or family. This dynamic contributes to the ‘high’ stakes involved in giving special occasion speeches; we want to impress the audience. No one wants to look like he or she is clumsy and uncoordinated in front of their colleagues, friends, and family. Hence the need to be great at special occasion speeches.
A good occasion speech should no doubt be captivating with the ability to hold its hearers spellbound for the duration of the speech. During these special occasions, chances are everyone might already be eating, discussing or doing something fun, for this purpose speeches for the special occasions need to be captivating to seize the moment and hold the attention of the audience.
An effective speech for a special occasion should be engaging, interesting and humorous.
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Types of Speech Series
HOW TO GIVE EFFECTIVE SPECIAL OCCASION SPEECH
A good speech should be long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest. Stimulating interest is a very vital part of the speech. Events where you can give special occasion speech, include birthday parties, wedding ceremonies, valedictory services, religious events, and anniversaries.
For the sake of better understanding the steps to give special effective speeches will be divided into two; The preparation stage and Delivery stage
1. SPECIAL OCCASION SPEECH – THE PREPARATION STAGE
- Practice: Repeatedly practicing for the D-day has a high impact on the overall presentation as it increases the confidence of the presenter. There is no doubt that even a novice who is giving a speech for the first time with proper training can brilliantly deliver a special occasion speech and be thought of as an expert. Building confidence for the special occasion speech can start with practice.
- Practice confidence: Slouching shoulders, fallen countenance, looking downwards during the presentation, are all signs that you’re are not confident. Act confidently by showing a steady gait as well as keeping good eye contact, and a cheerful countenance. No one wants to continually endure a speaker on a special occasion. Nothing beats a well-prepared speech matched with confidence for a special occasion. Put this into practice as you prepare your speech.
- Understand your audience: Speaking at an occasion where everyone is above 70 is different from when you’re speaking at an occasion where most people in the audience fall into the ages 20-25. The language, mood, diction, methods of conveying the information are different as the people are different. A good understanding of the audience for the occasion can help the presenter determine how best to deliver the message.
- Give occasion-specific speeches: Every occasion has its tone. In a send forth party, one is expected to hear about the accomplishments, challenges, and experiences of the retiree. Proper understanding of the occasion is key.
- Watch the time: You don’t want to be caught in the middle of your speech, that will mean not passing your message across and that will result in a distorted message. It expected you ask the organizers or the host the time allocated to that speech and kindly prepare your speech with the time in mind. It will be wise to you end 2-3 minutes before the time given to you and do not exceed the given time. Don’t forget the ear is a less patient organ.
In summary while preparing, research extensively on the audience, the occasion, the age range of the attendees, their occupation, etc. Understand the kind of occasion and be mindful of the amount of time that has been allocated to your speech.
2. SPECIAL OCCASION SPEECH – THE DELIVERY STAGE
This is the moment you have been waiting for. It is expected that at this stage, you would have carried out the necessary steps to ensure a perfect speech. That you understand the audience, have practiced delivering your speech and that proper research has been done. The delivery stage is mainly divided into three parts; Opening and salutations, the Body, the conclusion/closure.
•OPENING: Sometimes, people usually fumble when they start their speech. However, help is available. Here are possible ways anyone could start.
Ask a question: A few questions and answers can be introduced to engage the audience right from the onset, ensuring that these questions are simple enough will make things flow smoother.
Beginning with a quote: Quotes are beautiful ways to begin speeches for special occasions, however, it should not be too long and it should be straight to the point. Here’s a list of 26 inspiring and motivational quotes you can use.
Other ways to begin includes, sharing a light joke, sharing an expert opinion on topical issues, sharing statistical facts. The opening is very important because if the speech presenter gets it first here it will be easier to get it all along.
•The body; The main point to be conveyed: Now that you have gotten the attention of the attendees, it is at this point that you cheerfully deliver your message with confidence. The facts gathered during the preparation stage should be used here. Ensure that the message is simple and easy to get along with and is simple to pass across.
•Closing/Closure: At this point, it is expected that a little summary of the entire message is given. Do not forget to thank the host or organizers of the event. Thank the listeners too.
The process of giving an effective occasion speech is altogether an interesting one if you pay attention to preparation and delivery. So, next time you are called upon to give a speech at a special occasion, do your due diligence and wow the audience.
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING