A welcome speech marks the start of any special event or occasion requiring a formal opening. It could be a meeting, a lecture, a workshop, or a celebration.
To prepare a warm and polished speech in 4 steps:
"A good welcome speech unites and sets the tone for an event."
The focus is always the audience and your goal is to make them look forward to whatever is coming next. You are uniting and bringing them together in the common purpose at the heart of the occasion.
To strike the right tone in the language you use consider the audience and the event.
Think about that common interest everybody shares - their reason from being there. This will give you clues to guide your language choice. What's right?
Is it formal language, informal or somewhere in between?
Is this a 'gidday, howzitgoin' or a 'good morning, how lovely to see you' event?
To be effective, to fulfill its purpose, your speech must meet expected, as well as specific, requirements dictated by the occasion.
The essential elements to cover in your opening remarks are:
Now let's put all the elements above into some simple yet effective opening remarks that you can adapt for your own use.
"Sue-Ellen Thomas, Jim Smith, Jane Brown and all of our guests, welcome. We are delighted to have you here to participate and share in the 5th annual Children's Day hosted by Parents United. Thank you for coming. That many of you travel long distances serves to remind us all just how important our work is.
Parents United is committed to actively raising the quality of life for every child. We want all children, regardless of race, creed or circumstance to achieve their full potential. Our task is to make it possible. Our mission is to provide practical, step by step assistance.
This year our theme is literacy. We've named the day 'Readers by Right'.
Thanks to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights we are aware of 'rights' in many spheres, including education. That 1948 agreement declared in Article 26 education should be compulsory and free for children. That avowed goal, is as pertinent today as it was then. It's a goal I know we all share - the full development of every child. As a body Parents United recognizes good reading skills established in childhood as the foundation to fulfilling and ongoing education.
We are honored to have Sue-Ellen Thomas, Jim Smith and Jane Brown with us today. All three are esteemed specialists in teaching young children to read. Sue-Ellen has worked for many years with educational authorities to establish programs that put in place the necessary pre-reading skills. Her efforts need no introduction. The results speak for themselves. Jim and Jane bring their passion and knowledge of how to reach those in our communities who are frequently overlooked or bypassed. Their work among English-as-a-second-language families has bridged gaps that were deep dark chasms.
Prepare yourself to be challenged, excited and inspired.
And before I handover to Lesley Watts, our coordinator for 'Readers by Right', who will outline the day's events, I want to say once more on behalf of the Parents United organizing committee, welcome. It's a pleasure to see so many of you here."
Save yourself time.
Shortcut the wondering about 'should I do this?' or 'maybe I should do that?' and 'then again there's also ...'
Download and print this special greeting address planner.
It includes ALL the necessary elements that you've just read about to prepare a successful speech. It's simple to use and easily filled out. Once it's done writing your speech will be a lot less hassle as you'll have the core content ready to work with.
And if you'd like a hand with words to use, click the link to find a large selection of adaptable welcoming phrases with samples.
Use the S-S-S formula for success: Short, Simple and Sincere. Your listeners will appreciate it.
Related very helpful pages:
Do you need help rehearsing your welcome speech?
You'll find it here. The page has step by step instructions on how to rehearse including how to make and use cue cards.
And please do rehearse. It makes a huge difference! You'll sound and look better for a start. Taking the time to rehearse shows respect for yourself, the audience and the event. Truly.
Nervous? If you're shaking in your boots at the thought of
having to give your welcome speech, click overcoming
public speaking fear for assistance.
Take your time. Follow the steps and you will give your speech successfully.
See the site map for the full range of public speaking help.