thank you speech
Showing gratitude, and thanking and acknowledging your audience in return for your congratulations, will leave your audience feeling acknowledged and in high spirits.
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Why the need for a speech?
Receiving an award, being the subject of the party or event is not the same without showing appreciation for those attending the event. Your audience desires to see your gratitude and to receive acknowledgement in return for spotlighting you and your accolade. Your speech is an opportunity to close the loop by thanking hosts, special guests, absent friends and others that deserve recognition.
How do I do this?
A well-designed thank you speech does not need to be complicated, though it should cover three main points - context, gratitude and thank you messages. “Connecting the dots” by summarising a timeline or story about how the event, or how you came to be in a position to receive the award, came to be provides clarity on the wider story. Showing gratitude ensures the audience feels you are worthy of receiving the event or accolade, which in turn makes the audience feel happy to be at the event. Lastly, thank you messages to those deserving of recognition highlights deserving individuals and ensures the whole audience receives what they expected from the speech.
What do I need to do?
In your thank you speech, you should consider the following:
Your audience - who are you talking to and what do they like? Give this some thought and the audience will appreciate it. Remember - the speech is about the audience, not about you, and your job is to make them feel happy and appreciated.
A theme - what is the overall message you are trying to send through your stories and content? Nailing this down will help get the creative juices flowing when the time comes to think of stories.
A "hook"- the very first words in your speech. A comment or story that grabs the audience’s attention immediately.
A story about how this event, award or recognition came to be – an opportunity to provide some perspective to the audience and capture their attention. This could be how hard you worked to receive the award, the big year you have had leading up to your birthday party or how events that happened over your life that led to the accolade.
Describing what it means to you to be recognised with this event or award – whether this is a story or a simple statement of gratitude, showing your sincere interest in receiving the award is very important, as the audience will then feel that the event or award is meaningful and worthwhile.
Thank you messages – absent friends and family, hosts, special guests and others that have contributed seek acknowledgement. This is the focus of this speech, so ensuring you provide the appropriate amount of detail and attention to these messages will leave the relevant individuals feeling happy and appreciated.
A special point or story about the event or accolade – keeping your audience in mind, this speech may be an opportunity to send a message about a topic. This could include a business direction, type of activism, highlighting a community sentiment or a personal opinion that ties into the overall theme of your speech.
A toast – ending your speech on a highly positive note will ensure that you leave your audience feeling happy.
Your delivery - consider how you are delivering your speech. There may be times in your speech that you should vary your tone and volume, and times you should use gestures. These tools will help to get maximum impact, so consider this when you write your speech.
What if I get it wrong?
At SpeechForm, we believe your efforts to write your Thank You Speech is not to just “get it done”, but to make the speech enjoyable, memorable and one that has people approaching you to sing their praises for your speech. After all, you will have put in a lot of effort. There is something special about making an impact on your audience, when you thought your sole job was just to “get through it”. Make sure to include the above points, otherwise you your audience may not get what they expected from your speech. And always ask yourself - what am I trying to achieve with this speech? Keep that in mind as you develop your content.
Remember to rehearse. This is a performance. The more you develop your speech and rehearse, the greater the impression you will make. Confidence through a well written speech is great, but using your voice and your body effectively only comes through practice.
Get it right, and you will leave a lasting impression that your audience will remember long after the event.
For more on how to write and deliver a thank you speech, check out our Resources and Blog.
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