A woman in a graduation gownThere are moments in our professional lives when we are called to bring people together in community, celebrate proud moments, remember individuals who have left us, and show important others how much we appreciate them. These opportunities call for the development and delivery of ceremonial or special occasion speeches. These speeches allow us to congratulate, toast, celebrate, and say goodbye in creative and eloquent ways. Ceremonial speaking enables us to reinforce our group identities, to show admiration and respect, and to inspire others. The ability to give a special occasion speech is a skill that will prove valuable over the course of your entire professional and personal life.

In the first part of this chapter, you will learn the utility and relevance of ceremonial speaking in a variety of contexts—professional, social, and personal. Next, a description, explanation and example of each of the various types of ceremonial speeches are presented. Finally, you will be introduced to guidelines for developing and delivering effective ceremonial speeches.

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. ~ Oprah

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