Caleb S.
Caleb S.

Commemorative Speech Definition & Complete Writing Guide

12 min read

Published on: Mar 21, 2022

Last updated on: Mar 25, 2024

Commemorative Speech

Giving a speech can be nerve-wracking especially if it is for loved ones. You want to make your loved ones proud, but you don't know how!

Most people feel overwhelmed when they think about giving a speech. They worry that they won't be able to capture the essence of their loved one in words. 

Our helpful guide walks you through the process step-by-step, making it easy for you to create a commemorative speech that will make your loved ones proud.

So let's get started to learn the process of writing and delivering an amazing speech!

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What is a Commemorative Speech?

The commemorative speech definition refers to a type of speech delivered to celebrate, commemorate or remember an important event, person, or milestone. It's about honoring someone and celebrating their life and accomplishments with friends and family. 

When writing a commemorative speech, it’s important to create a message that reflects the individual in question. 

These speeches are sometimes filled with emotions and at other times, inspirational messages can motivate people.

A commemorative speaker will not only need an understanding of what they are celebrating but also creative ideas to make their words memorable for all.

Students in the United States are asked to deliver an inspiring and sentimental speech at their graduation ceremony. Students express their gratitude towards professors, family members, and classmates who helped them during college or school-related issues. 

A commemorative speech requires a focus on the past, present, and future aspects of a topic. For example, beauty, hope, loyalty, wisdom, courage, etc.

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Types of Commemorative Speeches

There are a few different types of commemorative speeches. Some of them are mentioned below. So have a look at their names and the purpose they serve. 

Types Of Commemorative SpeechFunction
EulogyTo memorialize and pay tribute to someone who has died.
TributeTo celebrate the life achievements of a living person
Speech of nominationTo recognize someone for an award or honor.
Speech of inductionTo officially recognize and induct a person into a group.
Inauguration speechTo recognize the start of a new organization or administration.
Retirement speechTo honor someone on their retirement from an organization, job, or career.
Graduation SpeechTo congratulate and inspire graduates of a school or college.
Speech of goodwillA formal address to the audience that focuses on the positive qualities, goals, and achievements of the speaker
Award acceptance speechThe recipient of an award or honor delivers to express their thanks and appreciation.
FarewellA formal speech is given by someone leaving a position or group.
Commencement SpeechGiven at the end of a graduation ceremony to offer advice, encouragement, and inspiration.
RoastIt is usually tongue-in-cheek and lighthearted in nature, with the intention of poking fun at the person being honored.
Dedication SpeechA formal address is given by the speaker to honor someone or something special.

Expert Tip

Want to know about other types? Check out this blog to learn about the major types of speeches!

Commemorative Speech Outline

Before starting to write, it is important to organize information by creating an outline. An outline will give your speech writing a direction which can be really helpful. 

Here is a general commemorative speech outline:

I. Introduction
- Greeting and acknowledgment of the audience
- Establishing the purpose of the speech
- Briefly introducing the subject being commemorated

II. Background
- Providing a brief overview of the subject's life and achievements
- Exploring their early years, upbringing, and influences
- Highlighting their significant contributions and impact

III. Accomplishments
- Presenting the subject's major achievements and milestones
- Discussing their noteworthy projects, initiatives, or breakthroughs
- Sharing examples that demonstrate their excellence and dedication

IV. Personal Qualities and Character
- Exploring the subject's admirable qualities, values, and strengths
- Sharing anecdotes or testimonials that highlight their character
- Discussing how their personality traits contributed to their success

V. Legacy and Impact
- Discussing the subject's lasting impact on their field or community
- Exploring how their contributions have influenced others
- Reflecting on the significance of their legacy and continued inspiration

VI. Conclusion
- Summarizing the key points discussed in the speech
- Reinforcing the subject's remarkable accomplishments and qualities
- Delivering a memorable closing statement or call to action

Check this commemorative speech outline examples to get a better understanding

How to Start a Commemorative Speech?

To make an inspiring commemorative speech, you need to plan it. If you have a good plan, then the speech will be good. To start your commemoration speech, follow these steps:

1. Brainstorm Ideas 

To start your speech, you must think of what to write. Think about what is important for the subject that you're writing about. Then, decide which topics will help make your speech more emotional or memorable.

2. Identify the Purpose

Identify why you are being chosen to pay a tribute. Then, explain the purpose of your speech. Tell all the reasons behind it and who is involved in it.

3. Gather Important Information

To make a speech, you need to have information that shows what is important and why. The most important things are your ideas, memories, stories, and the figurative language you use.

How to Write a Commemorative Speech?

To write this type of speech, it’s important to gather material about the subject and arrange it in a logical order. There are five main components that should be included in your commemorative speech. 


Begin your speech with an attention-grabbing introduction that relates to the topic. Introduce yourself and your connection to the subject. Use a powerful hook to draw your audience's attention and make them listen to you. 

Wondering how to do this? Here are four easy tips to do this… 

Share a Captivating Story or Anecdote

Engage your audience by sharing a compelling story or anecdote that resonates with the topic. This establishes an emotional connection and captivates their attention.

Pose a Thought-Provoking Question

Start with a question that prompts your audience to ponder. This stimulates their curiosity and encourages active engagement with your speech.

Inject Humor for Engagement

Add a touch of humor to lighten the mood and captivate your audience. Authenticity is key, and even a subtle joke or witty remark can create a connection and sustain interest.

Visualize a Vivid Scenario

Paint a vivid picture in the minds of your listeners by using descriptive language. Engage their imagination, allowing them to visualize the people, places, or things related to your topic.

These are some easy ways to start your introduction. Now let’s move to learn the next steps of writing a commemorative speech…


This is the part where you will talk about the person's achievements, wisdom, and other things. You can do this in the following ways… 

Educate Your Audience

Provide information about the subject you’re talking about. Share background details that help them connect with the subject matter. Let your speech carry a personal touch, speaking from the heart.

Be Natural

When delivering a speech, it's important that you appear natural and flow with the talk instead of struggling for words. Being well-prepared is one way to do this.

Make sure that you are familiar with the applicable material and practice speaking aloud. 

Respectfully Mention Contributions

When you’re talking about a person, organization, or event, it’s important to mention their contributions and accomplishments. Give bold statements to pay tribute to them. Share anecdotes that showcase appreciation for their contributions and emphasize their lasting influence.

These are some easy ways to start your introduction. Now let’s move to learn the next steps of writing a commemorative speech… 

Use Compelling Quotes and Metaphors

Do you remember something that your grandfather told you? Were some of the lessons particularly impactful for you? So why don't you try to mention them here? 

Yes, give it a try and you will see your audience getting attracted to listening to your story. 

Using quotes or metaphors is an effective way of expressing your thoughts and feelings. Include quotes from people associated with the subject, such as family members, friends, or colleagues. 

Select quotes that are relevant and meaningful to your topic. It helps to portray emotion and can be used as a powerful tool to draw attention if your audience feels bored with your speech!


This is part of the speech where you’re allowed to share personal thoughts and feelings about the person or event you’re commemorating. This is an important part without which a commemorative speech is incomplete. 

Take the time to reflect on what the person or event has meant to you. Share your thoughts and feelings about the subject in a respectful manner. Pay tribute to their legacy and the impact they made on your life. 


Close off your speech by summarizing everything you’ve said, as well as expressing gratitude for the person or event that you’re talking about. End with an inspiring quote or a call to action. 

Don’t forget to give your audience a message that you gained from the subject you commemorated. It is important to leave them with a message for motivation. 

So, this is how you can write a compelling commemorative speech! But before starting your speech, an outline is necessary. Continue reading to learn about speech outlines.

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Free Commemorative Speech Examples

To make an impressive speech, you can get help from previous commemorative speeches written on the same or related topic. Below are some examples of speeches that you can use to get ideas for your own.

Commemorative Speech Topics

The following are some interesting commemorative speech ideas that you can choose for a quick start. 

  • Paying tribute to a teaching staff
  • Paying tribute to human courage 
  • Paying tribute to your siblings
  • Tribute to an eminent personality
  • Paying tribute to spouse
  • Paying tribute to your best friend
  • Paying tribute to a colleague
  • Paying tribute to the civil rights movement
  • Celebrating the accomplishments of a trusted leader 
  • Saluting military service and sacrifice 
  • Paying tribute to my parents for making me the person I am today
  • Overcoming adversity to achieve your goals 

These are some examples of commemorative speech topics that you can consider! If you need a better idea of how to deliver a commemorative speech, check out this video:

Factors to Remember While Writing a Commemorative Speech

The three most important things to remember when starting your commemorative speech are: 

  1. Start by stating what you want to celebrate. You can talk about how it has impacted you and others and how it will continue to be important in people's lives. You can include personal observations and anecdotes to make the speech more relatable.
  2. When giving a speech, make sure that you have all your facts straight. Speak confidently and know who your audience is. Respect the subject you are talking about and the audience too.
  3. People can usually tell when the speaker is not interested in what they are saying. It shows in their tone, body language, and word choice. When giving a speech, it is important to use your heart to express gratitude for the person, event, or place you are commemorating. Use your head to think about what you should say and how you should say it.

In conclusion, writing an interesting and informative speech can be a challenging task. But having a clear understanding of the writing process and learning from this blog can make the process much easier. 

By following the outlined steps, and taking help from the provided examples and topics, you can create a thoughtful and impactful commemorative speech. And if you still find it difficult, remember that you can use our AI essay generator to help you create a memorable speech.

Our top essay writing service helps students with all of their writing needs. Whether you need help with speech writing or any other academic assignments, our essay writers will help you out.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of events that may require a commemorative speech?

Commemorative speeches can be given for a wide range of events, such as weddings, funerals, retirement ceremonies, award ceremonies, and historical anniversaries. They can also be given to honor an individual or group, such as a beloved teacher, a community leader, or a sports team.

To write a good commemorative speech, the writer should talk about positive things and memorable events.

What are the key elements of a commemorative speech?

A good commemorative speech should have the following:

  • A clear introduction that establishes the purpose of the speech
  • A strong body that outlines the accomplishments of the subject
  • A memorable conclusion that leaves a lasting impression on the audience

How do I choose a topic for a commemorative speech?

When choosing a topic for a commemorative speech, consider the purpose of the speech, the occasion, and the audience. Select a subject that is relevant to the occasion, meaningful to the audience, and that you feel passionate about. It may also be helpful to research and gather information about the subject to develop a deeper understanding of their life, work, or achievements.

What is the fundamental purpose of a commemorative speech?

The purpose of a speech is to make people happy and celebrate something. It can be about anything, but it is most often given by someone who has done something great.

What are the 10 types of speech?

The following are the most common 10 types of speeches. 

  1. Entertaining speech
  2. Persuasive speech
  3. Informative speech
  4. Demonstrative speech
  5. Oratorical speech
  6. Motivational speech
  7. Impromptu speech
  8. Forensic speech
  9. Debate speech
  10. Special occasion speech
Caleb S.


Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

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