Tributes and citations
Tributes are speeches or
that honor someone for an outstanding job or contribution to
community? Such speeches differ from toasts in that they are longer and
more elaborate. A
roast is a series of short, humorous speeches.
such presentations are heartfelt and personal in tone. When you are
making an honorary speech, you should include material that is
both general and specfic:
about what someone means to others or to an
about unique experiences you have had with the
person in the spotlight.
you are preparing a written citation or a speech, you
should answer some basic questions before you begin.
- Who is
my audience and what is their relationship to the honoree?
- In general terms, what has the honoree done for
these people or this place?
- What one instance or situation describes what
this person has done for others?
- What does the audience not know about this
- What is one instance or situation that only you
know about describes this person’s character?
- If you had to describe this person to a
stranger, what would you say?
- When, if ever, did this person do something
that made you laugh?
- What quote or well-known saying applies to this
If you can answer those
eight questions, you have the
outline for a classic speech.
If you want a truly
special tribute, consider asking a lyrics
writer to compose a song tailored to the person and the
As you prepare your
remarks, remember these pointers:
in your own personality. Be energetic and lively but also be
comfortable with your own style. You're probably not an actor
or million-dollar speaker; you're a friend who knows this person well
enough to say something meaningful on the special occasion.
the topics around to make the speech flow in a way that is comfortable
- Get a
good opening line.
- Get a
zinger of a closing.
You can give an authentic speech when you know your material so well
that it's like a conversation -- not a rehearsed presentation.
Do this and your tribute
will be memorable and sited to the special occasion.
sample speech honoring a volunteer
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