Of all the various types of speeches and presentations we hear, that which stirs the most emotion, that which expresses the most passion, is the commemorative speech. For the sole purpose of paying tribute, the commemorative speech is dedicated to people, places, institutions, or ideas.

Today, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is regarded as the best speech ever given by a President. He easily could have started his speech with the words 87 years ago, but instead he opened by saying, “Four score and seven years ago”…. While the use of the word score was certainly more common in the 19th century than it is today, it was not on the tip of everyone’s tongue. That particular opening was incredibly effective for 2 reasons:

  • Lincoln was referring to 1776, a date in America history that is more important than any other;
  • His choice of words was much more expressive than simply saying 87 years ago.

When you are asked to give a commemorative speech, create your script by using words that paint a picture. While I am a strong advocate of painting a picture with your voice when you speak, in this particular instance, it is just as important to choose words that invoke passion, that stir one’s emotions, that strike one’s heart.

Whether it is to dedicate a plague commemorating a new building that has been erected by the hard work of a group of people who gave of themselves tirelessly, whether it is a eulogy for someone who was indeed very special to you, or whether it is to talk about or praise the actions of a hero in your town, the commemorative speech is neither informative or persuasive in nature.

The beauty of this type of dedication is intangible which is why your thoughts, your feelings and your emotions are so invaluable to your delivery. Your words should only be in praise and are a reminder of why the person or persons, the building, the location, or the idea is being honored.

When you practice this type of speech, concentrate on your words, the beauty of your words, and how they sound out loud. I do not advocate practicing any speech or presentation by going over it in your mind because in doing so, you are unable to listen to the flow of your words.

If you feel you are not good at creating this type of speech, seek help. The commemorative speech leaves a lasting impression. Honor that or whom you are talking about by presenting the best speech possible.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To get started improving your presentation skills, click Voice Training and Presentation Skills for Nancy's free ebook.