Whether for a school assignment, an award ceremony, or a wedding or anniversary honouring a loved one or friend, you may be asked to make a tribute speech about a person that you admire. Prepare in advance, finding the right words to express your reasons for admiring your subject. Structure your written speech for the greatest impact and to make it memorable.
Write an outline of your key points. Make a list of why you admire this person and others should too. Note their values, actions or accomplishments. For example, record ways your grandfather managed to become one of the first successful businessmen in his community or how your mother and father have stayed happily married together for 50 years while raising you and your siblings.
Write an introduction. Keep your audience in mind and adjust your level of formality depending on the situation. Start with an effective attention grabber - a question, anecdote, or joke - that introduces the subject of your speech. Use an attention grabber that your whole audience will understand and appreciate. Avoid inside jokes or obscure references.
Move along steadily. After the attention grabber, move into introducing your subject and giving some general overall reasons why this person deserves praise and recognition. Use a transition to bridge your introduction and body paragraphs, such as: "And therefore, I want to briefly mention a few reasons why I hold Mr. King in such high esteem."
Develop your general ideas in the body of your speech. Use your outline to guide you through your key points when writing your body paragraphs. Offer concrete supporting examples for each of your points. For instance, if you were talking about your English professor and wanted everyone to know how amiable he was, explain how on numerous occasions you would bombard him with concerns about your work and how he took the time and effort to help you, always with a smile. Be brief in your examples.
Add a conclusion. Don't re-list all your reasons, but briefly touch on your key points to reinforce them to your audience. Conclude your speech with as strong an impact as possible. For example, "Mr. King has been an invaluable resource to this company because of his many years of dedicated and loyal service, his incredible work ethic and innovative approach to generating exciting and new ideas for this company. It is with deep respect and gratitude that we honour him here tonight."
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images