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The Art of Crafting An Engaging Commemorative Speech

Commemorative speeches aim to pay tribute to an individual, an event, a movement, or an organization. They are also known as ceremonial speeches that are necessary in order to show your dedication and appreciation towards people or events of high significance.

Commemorative speeches are common in all settings, including colleges, schools, universities, commercial settings, and business and non business organizations. These speeches are primarily a part of a special event or a ceremony.

If you have a commemorative speech coming up and you have no idea how to start, this blog is for you. We have gathered all the fundamentals of commemorative speech in the blog for you to craft the best speech to win applause.

What is a Commemorative Speech?

Commemorative speech is given on special events or occasions and generally aims to show gratitude and honor to a person, an organization, an idea, or an event. It’s a speech to commemorate someone who made a change and influenced the lives of many in a positive light. They are very important in terms of leaving an impression on the audience and expressing your thoughts and words.

They are usually given by University Chancellors, professors, students, alums, or employees but they are also very common among the general public. These speeches can be given at funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, award receiving ceremonies, and graduation ceremonies.

Since it must be addressed to an audience and has a significant edge of tributing someone, it must be written with so much care. It would be a huge plus if you know how to get the audience with your words, but if you can’t, you can contact a professional assignment writer to get help writing your speech.


Outlining A Commemorative Speech

How to write a commemorative speech? Indeed, it is a valid question. You have a speech to give on a special occasion and don’t know what to add to your speech and how to outline it in a way that sways the audience. The writing process begins with making an outline of the speech and keeping in mind the writing conventions.

Just like all other writing pieces, a commemorative speech also needs proper outlining so the speaker knows what to say and how to take the speech with a natural flow of events. Below are the main points that every commemorative speech should have, which will help you outline your speech.

Begin The Speech Compellingly

The start of your speech is going to determine the impact and success of it. It would help if you made your speech compelling and interesting enough to hook the reader’s attention at the very start of speech. You need to be well aware of whom you are speaking about. It might be a person, an event, or a topic you are paying tribute to. You can start your speech by telling the audience an important quote from that individual.

You can share a shocking impact or statistics if you are speaking about a movement or event. You will introduce the audience to the person or the event you will talk about and how strong their significance is. Hook them with something so interesting that they will listen to your speech to get to know more about it. You can ask the audience a question regarding your topic in order to awaken their interest and force them to listen to your speech to find the answer.

Reason of Commemoration

Next, you need to give the reason why the individual, the movement, or the event needs to be honored and remembered. State why you are paying tribute to that specific subject and what kind of gratitude you are paying. You need to create a sense of relevance between that subject and the special event you are speaking on. It would help if you determined why your subject needs to be spoken about at that special event and why they should be honored.

The reason for commemoration might also be the occasion you are speaking on. It can be a funeral where you commemorate the deceased person and highlight their deeds and accomplishments. It can be a wedding or a celebration ceremony where you have to raise a toast and give a little speech to commemorate a person or an individual behind that specific event. It can also be a formal party, an office meeting, a graduation ceremony, or an annual party where you have to commemorate the best days and honor people who were there for you throughout the years.

Highlight The Accomplishments

As you move further with your speech, you need to highlight the notable achievements that your subject has made and how significant they are in their respective field. State how your subject has influenced, inspired, and impacted the society as a whole. You need to talk about the struggles and efforts that individuals go through in order to make those accomplishments and how their efforts were valuable and worthwhile for the audience and the world.

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In a commemoration speech, where you have to speak about a family member or someone less accomplished, you can talk about their special qualities, impressive personality traits, or strong mentality. You can tell the audience how they inspired you with their constant hard work, kind-hearted personality, and always welcoming attitude. Honor them and make your speech all about how those people influenced you and how they will always continue to make a difference in your life.

Gain Empathy From The Audience

Go deep in the mind of the audience with your words. For that purpose you can also follow the persuasive speech outline to know more about influencing the audience. You need to talk about the personality traits of your subject that aided in achieving their goals and how the audience can also adopt them while working on their dreams.

When you honor an event or movement, talk about how they struggled and how they kept on pushing through it until they achieved their goals. You have to extract the inspirations and motivation of your subject and give that to the audience so they can make a change as well.

Summarize the Speech

At the end, summarize everything you have discussed in your speech and answer all the questions you have left to answer. Share a short story of how your subject inspired you to achieve something bigger in your life and helped you through tough times. Lastly, clear the impact and influence of the subject and how their contributions made the change in the world. Don’t forget to add your thoughts on how you are inspired by them and how they made a change in your life as well.

6 Ways To Start A Commemorative Speech

How to start a commemorative speech? Starting a speech is the crucial part that determines the overall success of the speech. It is also one of the biggest challenges in college graduation ceremonies. The compelling start of the speech will define whether people really want to keep listening to you or not. Following are some ways you can start your commemorative speech.

Tell A Fascinating Story

It’s quite hard to find someone who doesn’t like stories. It is one of the oldest and most effective ways to engage the human brain. Stories help hook your audience to the speech and help them learn about morals and important lessons about the subject. Make your listeners connect with the subject through an interesting story. You can also share stories of your personal experiences and life stories to show relevance to the subject.

Tell a Compelling Quote

Don’t start your speech typically by diving right into telling the audience about the subject. Try to hook the readers with an interesting and popular quote by the subject. Introduce them to the subject through their most popular analogy, ideology, and what they had worked hard for.

If you are paying tribute to a popular figure, you will find lots of their quotes in books and interviews. If you are paying tribute to someone less popular in the mainstream, like your professor, a vice chancellor, or an alumni, you can also quote their inspirational words or message in your speech.

Ask Them A Question

You can create a sense of curiosity by asking the audience some questions in order to spark their interest in the subject you are speaking about. Asking questions will help you interact with the audience and get them to participate in your speech. Questions help generate interest in the audience in the subject and compel them to want to know more. You can also start your speech with an important question that will compel the listener to be attentive to your speech to find the answers.

Starts with an interesting fact or Statistic

Start your speech by telling the audience some interesting facts or statistics to make them interested in and attentive to the topic. Make your audience surprised and shocked while revealing something they don’t know. The subject you have chosen must have accomplished something that no one has ever done, or the obstacles and struggles they went through were something that makes them distinctive. You can tell the audience about those facts to awaken their interest and curiosity in the speech subject.

Get The Audience To Laugh

It has been said by professional speakers that if you get your audience to laugh in the first fifteen seconds of your speech, you will be able to keep them invested, intrigued, and interested in listening to everything you have to say. Humor in speeches brings a sense of relatability, closeness, warmth, and understanding. It will help you lighten the formal environment of the venue. But always keep the humor appropriate, kind, non-degrading, relevant, and respectful. Don’t ruin your speech with some sexist, racist, and inappropriate humor and slang that risk your integrity.

4 Tips for a Successful Commemorative Speech

Not every commemorative speech wins applause; some are boring and dull, and everyone sighs with relief when they end. To write an impressive speech, you need to select an interesting topic. In the below section, we’ve discussed the four important tips to select a potential topic and make your speech impressive and worthy of applause.

Online Research

Don’t just go off the rostrum for speech with no idea of how commemorative speeches have evolved over the years. Go through the websites and other online sources to get ideas for an interesting speech. There are plenty of sources that help you pick a topic from different commemorative speech examples.

There will also be videos of the commemorative speeches given at your college. You will also find plenty of new topics from the videos of graduation speech ideas, inspirational speeches from celebrities and world leaders, or the speeches from the individual you are honoring in your speech.


After research, sit alone for a while and brainstorm. You need to come up with a speech topic that is relevant to you. Come up with something that has the potential to hook the audience alongside expressing your thoughts and ideas. You need to brainstorm meaningful things about your subject that you want to share with the audience. You need to make an outline of how your speech will move further without sounding too rushed or too slow.

Be Aware of Your Audience

To make your commemoration speech even more impactful, you must be well aware of the audience you are addressing. You should clearly understand what your audience perceives as a good speech. If you are speaking to an audience that consists of your classmates, professors, and your institute staff, you must have an idea of what they would like and what might not be relatable to them. Knowing your audience helps modify the content accordingly and increases the chance of leaving a great impression.

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Leave A Message

Commemorative speech will be pointless and dull if it doesn’t have a purpose or meaningful message to take away. You need to understand that the purpose of commemorative speech is not only paying tribute to an individual or an event but also extracting the message behind it.

So better know “how to end a commemorative speech” too. Your speech should have a message or a takeaway quote at the end that will magnify your subject’s contribution or impact on society. Try to highlight that message throughout your speech and try to make it relatable to the audience.

Challenges of Commemorative Speech

Let’s take a look into the major challenges of commemorative speech that many speakers face and make such mistakes. 

  • Underprepared: On many occasions, the speaker is underprepared, knowing nothing about the subject and their achievement.
  • Unaware of the Audience: The speech will not be able to make an impression if the speaker doesn’t even know whom they are addressing.
  • Inappropriate Speech: One of the biggest mistakes speakers make is that they try to fit some inappropriate phrases in the speech in the name of humor. Such speeches are offensive and not welcomed.
  • Dull and Boring: The speeches with only information and no engagement with the audience are boring and dull. Speakers are always encouraged to add videos and images that will help them hook the audience.
  • Lack of Interaction: The speech might be great, but if the speaker isn’t fully interacting with the audience, all efforts will go in vain.
  • Irrelevant: Many speakers make the mistake of writing a speech that is completely irrelevant to their subject or the audience they will be addressing.
  • Lack of Confidence: Some speeches, despite being written very well, failed to create the desired effect due to the speaker’s lack of confidence. Low confidence will ruin the overall vibe of the speech.

Overcoming the Challenges of Commemorative Speech

Let’s take a look into the potential solutions to overcome the challenges of Commemorative Speech.

  • Write a Speech Carefully: To avoid all the uncertainties, you need to write the speech carefully while avoiding offensive speech, inappropriate humor, and controversial topics. Be respectful and thoughtful of all demographics in your audience.
  • Be fully Prepared: You should be prepared to speak about your subject. Have your research about the most important aspect of your subject’s life and their achievements complete.
  • Know Your Audience: You need to know who will be listening to your speech and at which specific events you will give your speech. Knowing your audience and occasion helps in modifying the speech accordingly.
  • Stay Relevant: Try to be more relevant to the subject and also to the audience. Make your speech relatable so that listeners can relate to the subject. Learn how to improve your presentation skills in order to present your thoughts and ideas perfectly.
  • Interact with Audience: To make your speech more engaging, you need to interact with the audience. Ask them little questions to spark their curiosity, add some funny comments in order to get a laugh, and keep your audience fully immersed in the speech.

Commemorative Speech Topics

Commemorative speech can be addressed on different occasions in order to pay tribute to someone important or highlight a special event. Following are some of the most popular and interesting commemorative speech topics you can choose for your next speech session at a ceremony.

Speech to honor a family member

Honoring Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Celebrating The buddhist values

Pay respect to the teachers

Eulogy for the favorite professor

Remembering the women who spoke for their rights

Celebrating the greatest travelers who shaped the world.

The World without Greek Philosophers and Scholars

Honoring my younger self for never giving up.


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Summing Up

Commemorative speeches are popular addresses that aim to pay tribute and honor to a person or an event. To give a powerful speech, the speaker needs to open the speech compellingly, address the inappropriate language, and engage the audience with humor, interaction, stories, and questions.

Frequently Asked Questions
How do you write a commemorative message? What is the structure of a commemorative speech? What is the saddest type of commemorative speech? How to start a commemorative speech?
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