Giving a speech to present a scholarship is a significant part of an awards ceremony. Choosing the right words; connecting the recipient's accomplishments to the scholarship and the awarding organisation; and conveying a genuine sense of honour and appreciation at having been asked to present the award, while remaining brief, can be a challenge. Your goal should be to represent the awarding organisation and the award in a positive light as you recognise the recipient's achievements.
- Skill level:
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Open your presentation with an introduction that explains the significance of the day, your relationship to the awarding institution and your role in the program. Keeping your remarks brief, explain what the scholarship represents and the minimum qualifications for the scholarship.
Make your presentation personal by including some of your own thoughts, feelings and perhaps a humorous anecdote about the institution, award or recipient (if you know the individual). Fully explain the scholarship (history, previous recipients) and how and why the recipient was selected. Your remarks should characterise the scholarship as coveted and prestigious.
Introduce the recipient by name and mention his achievements and contributions. Relate those accomplishments to the scholarship and the awarding institution. Liken these achievements to those of previous recipients, but also acknowledge the recipient's unique characteristics.
Ask the recipient to come forward and join you at the podium. While the recipient is standing with you, read aloud the inscription on the plaque or document. Extend your right hand to the recipient for a handshake and simultaneously present the physical award and congratulate him.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure the audience can see and hear you and the recipient. Don't rush the presentation. If the audience applauds when the recipient's name is announced, pause so that you aren't speaking during the applause.
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