The Elements of a Celebratory Work Speech
(Free Mini-Course Included)
September 18, 2019
Image from https://www.oregonbusiness.com/100best/companies/item/18683-we-celebrate-the-100-best-companies-to-work-for-in-oregon
If you’re a founder or even a manager, developing your team morale is an important skill. One of the best ways to do that is through the occasional celebratory speech, one in which you confer appreciation and encouragement on your team.
This speech is especially useful coming off a team success. You want to recognize and reward your team, but also encourage them to continue pushing forward.
How do you do that? Here are the key elements to the speech.
You need a challenge overcome
The best appreciation speeches start out by sketching the hurdles and trials your team faced. They describe how your team felt, your limited options, and the poor odds of success. What you want to do is set up a mini-epic—with your team as the heroes of their own story.
You need to connect with the audience
Connecting with your audience isn’t easy, but you can do so by engaging their sense of higher purpose. Instead of simply saying that your team increased profit margins by 3%, give context about what that means for the business one or three years out. If that means the company spends more on R&D products that create medical innovations that save a thousand more lives, make that case by injecting meaning into the numbers.
When you’re speaking, use silence (which we’ve written about here) and pause occasionally to let your words sink in with the audience.
You need to mention specific people and their contributions
Few things tell an employee they are appreciated than hearing their name spoken out loud. This is an especially good strategy if you have a small team, and you’re sure you won’t accidentally skip someone in the audience. Instead of focusing on vague mentions of “hard work and dedication”, talk about the specific actions, achievements, and behaviors of each person that were mission critical. If you can’t mention every person by name, relay an anecdote from a team member and expand it to cover everyone.
You need a good structure and a vision
Any celebratory speech has a good, easy-to-follow structure. One way is to Aristotle’s threefold story structure: beginning, middle, and end. First, acknowledge your team’s achievement and the original challenge you faced. Second, tell the story on how specific people and their contributions made success possible. And third, reemphasize your team’s success and connect it to your vision of overcoming other challenges in the future.
If you’d like more tips on the celebratory speech, for a limited time, we’re giving everyone one free course which you can access by registering here.