SPE101 Special Occasion Commemorative Speech Manuscript Assignment

Commemorative Speech (Please prepare speech in word document so I can present in class)

Time: 4 to 5 minutes

Bring: 2 copies of your manuscript (one for me and one for you). Your manuscript should be printed in a large font and follow the format of the commemorative manuscript handout, my copy can be in regular sized font. You will definitely want to write presentational cues on yours (i.e. slow down, pause, breathe, underline for emphasis).

You must have a complete manuscript for this speech, not an outline.

Objective: Your role in this presentation is to commemorate, pay tribute to a person, a group of people, an institution, event or an idea. You will deliver a speech of praise or celebration that inspires the audience and heightens their admiration for the subject. Your goals are:

  • to address why the subject is praiseworthy (through examples, testimony, statistics, narrative),
  • to inspire appreciation in the audience (through analogy, example, vivid and evocative language),
  • to express true emotion and feelings for the subject (through language and narrative).

Topic: Pick a real-life event you might find yourself at someday, and someone you know. Be certain you know the event, occasion, and audience before you write the speech.

Audience: Because the commemorative speech is a special occasion speech, you will decide the occasion and arrange the audience in the space accordingly (at dinner tables, in a horseshoe, a circle, stadium style, etc.). The class members will participate and become the ideal audience as you have defined it. So, think about the particular needs of your audience–why they’ve attended, the time of day, their relationship to you and the topic–and be prepared to “direct” us as to who we are for this speech. Before you give your presentation, inform us, from your seat, who we are and the occasion for the speech.


  • On preparation and delivery of a commemorative speech.
  • On using language imaginatively, clearly, vividly.
  • On experimenting with the language and style.
  • On continuing development of effective and dynamic delivery.

Format: Manuscript. This speech must be carefully crafted, written and delivered from a manuscript. This does not mean reading off the page, rather it means that you are conscious that this is a carefully constructed speech, that the ideas, language and images are deliberate. Pay particular attention to dramatic pause, rate of speech, tone, repetition, alliteration, and imagery.

Submit a typed manuscript via email on the day indicated in the calendar. This manuscript is important—you must complete it on time and correctly.

Sources: If your subject is an historical figure, institution or idea, gather at least 3 sources (including interviews). Hand in the bibliography with your speech.

Common Types of Commemorative Speeches:

  • Eulogies
  • Commencement Speeches
  • Roasts or Toasts at major life events
  • Dedications
  • Any celebratory speech that pays tribute or homage to a person, institution, event, or idea