3 Tips for Writing a Tribute Speech

This is the season when people wrap up projects, move on to new assignments and start retirement. And that means awards ceremonies, farewell parties, and, of course, tribute speeches. If you’re asked to write or deliver a tribute this summer, keep in mind that it’s an opportunity not only to praise the recipient for their achievement or service, but to inspire the people around them. Follow these three tips to make your words memorable and meaningful.

• Keep it short - Consider the comfort of the audience, especially if they’re standing, balancing food and drinks, or waiting to eat a meal. You can make a meaningful tribute speech in as little as two or three minutes. For really special occasions, a well-prepared speech can last five to ten minutes. Any longer than that and you’ll lose the crowd.

• Create a sense of occasion - Whether the event is a celebration, a tribute or a sad farewell, make sure your words and tone reflect the spirit of the event.

• Focus on the human interest - If you’re honouring someone for making a contribution to a project, for example, focus attention on the person and the qualities he or she brought to bear, rather than on the details of the project.