10 Tribute Speech Topics Unlocked

Tribute speech topics and tips for stimulating and strenghtening the audiences' sentiments of adoration and excitement. This form aims to honor, praise, celebrate or commemorate an individual, an entire group, an institution or an event. It is even possible to extol an idea or a place.

Tribute speeches are often given on the occasion of the success. The Golden Rule: inspire your audience, rather than to inform them. Generate respect for the subject being honored.

Two example tribute speech topics to start with: Honor veterans who completed their mission succesful. Praise their courage and accomplishments.

And a second one to illustrate: Honor your co-workers at a ceremony that marks the end of an important building project. Praise and celebrate their co-operation and merits.

These are ten topic ideas for a tribute speech. Ten essential elements.

Just answer the questions and follow the outline sample below. At the end you only have to transform the answers at the questions below into your own personal speech topics for a tribute:

1. First start with identifying the subject.
  • Note down the major bare facts.
  • Is the person, group event, the institution, the idea, or the place historical or contemporary?
  • Is the subject well known or famous? Because of what?
  • Is the subject someone you love or who you have loved? Formulate one simple sentence to express why.
  • Does the subject makes you happy? Why?
2. Unify your listeners by sharing common sentiments. Is your tribute speech honoring, is it personal, is it sharing the feelings of the listeners?
  • Your tribute speech topics have to cause recognition.
  • Adapt all you want to say to the style of the occasion and the mood of the listeners.
3. What kind of ceremony will you be speaking at? A formal and ceremonial gathering to commemorate perhaps?
  • What does your audience think of your subject?
  • Why are your listeners adorating the subject being honored
  • What are the common reasons of you and your public to honor the subject?
  • Does the subject makes you happy? Why?
4. Briefly describe the conditions the subject ought to have fulfilled and the qualities that are necessary to be honored in a ceremony like this.
  • What are the criteria? Why?
  • How does your subject meet these criteria?
  • What makes the subject different?
  • What are the unique and great qualities of the subject?
  • What are credible examples of the major accomplishments?
5. Your audience has to recognize the unique qualities of the subject.
  • Research specific aspects of these tribute speech topics carefully.
  • Look for hidden information and observations to strengthen respect.
6. Can you come up with a brief story, an illustration, a creative and organized visual aid, or figurative language?
  • Can you reveal any not well known factors or achievement?
  • How does your subject benefit society?
7. If your subject is an individual who is being praised, than mention some valuable community activities, contributions in professional life that are or were important for the honoree.
  • Can you refer to any professional accomplishments?
  • Her or his personal values?
8. Praise the special characteristics or virtues.
  • Tell the public an insight story, but only mention the positive sides.
9. What are the major specific characteristics?
  • If it is a person: can you refer to an essential incident that gives more insight in the personality and character of the person?
  • Do you know examples of the virtues?
    E.g. tribute speech topics about courage, compassion, kindness, great defender of family values.
  • How did the subject cope with it difficult situations? Give an example that everyone can recognize.
  • Can you describe an experience of your own with the honoree?
10. The final tribute speech topic I want to discuss is the closing statement. End your speech with a description - a oneliner, a verb, an adjective or a noun. A statement the audience members have to remember.
  • Can you summarize why you do truely respect the honoree?
  • Can you come up with a oneliner that captures the essence of the subject?
  • If yes, will it help the audience to reacquaint with the qualities of your subject and why it, she or he is worthy of being honored?
  • And note this: Don't forget to ask for a second opinion about your tribute speech topic statement before the tribute ceremony itself.
Now, transform all the answers on the questions above into your own personal tribute speech topics. Et voila! There is your blueprint for a tribute speech. My three advices:

1. Be credible and sincere.
2. Stay polite and honest.
3. Remember, do not exaggerate. It makes your listeners feel embarrassed if you exaggerate.