Posted on March 30, 2020
Posted on March 30, 2020
Building a positive culture in your company depends a lot on how you present it to your employees. Find out how to deliver an inspiring recognition speech.
Like with anything that is important in life, writing a speech can be hard work. Writing an employee recognition speech can be even harder. To be able to capture what makes someone or something so incredible and important, can be a real challenge.
But it doesn’t have to be. With these 5 easy steps, you’ll be writing an appreciation speech that’s remembered for years to come! Or at least, until the next time you have to speak to an audience.
You sit at your desk or maybe at a coffee shop, you look down, and there’s nothing on the paper. No big deal: sitting down to get your ideas down can seem like a daunting task. But first things first, let’s start at step number one.
Yeah, you heard that right: don’t try writing this in between meetings on a coffee napkin. You’ll want to really hone in on the emotion here. Why is this employee achieving the milestone you’re celebrating? Why are they being recognized?
Doesn’t matter if you’re writing a novel, the next big screenplay, or an employee recognition speech. You’ll want inspiration, either way, so check out some of these ways.
Now that you’re set up and cozy in your most productive state, you’ll want to outline a clear message. Most would think to themselves, “easy, I’d like to recognize Maria for her hard work.” Dive deeper!
Hopefully one, or a few, of these can help get you started. Either way, you’ll want to be specific! You’ll want to make sure everyone in the room knows exactly why this person is being recognized. That might sound something like: “Maria has only been here 3 years but in her time here, she has set up new protocols to give our client a smoother process, all while exceeding her goals every quarter.”
Next, explain why that’s important. Why does the above have an impact on the company and those around her? That might go a little something like this: “In doing this, she has completely changed the client experience and has shown her colleagues around her that change is possible. Her positive and “can-do” attitude shines through to everyone she comes in contact with.”
Lastly, you’ll want to thank them. The most simple and the easiest thing to forget! Feel free to continue doing throughout the speech, but most importantly end with it.
THIS IS KEY! Will you be reading this recognition speech to the employee’s team? Will their family or significant other be there? Will everyone in the company be there as well? These can all have a different effect on the speech/tone you’re going to give.
As a manager, you’ll want to focus on the impact they’ve had on the company. As a colleague and a friend, maybe you’ll want to focus on something funny that’s happened at work. Make sure that what you say matches the goal you’re trying to achieve.
Not only do you have to think about the audience in the room but think about the recipient of the award. People appreciate being recognized in different ways. Some enjoy the spotlight and want you to spend time talking about them. While others, appreciate something a bit more lowkey. Keep this in mind before you tell the audience about an embarrassing moment the recipient might have encountered throughout the workday!
Additionally, you’ll want to keep in mind how much time you’re spending on this speech. Not only for the sake of your audience but the recipient. You’ll want to make sure you give John, a little bit more time than Maria since John has been at the company for a milestone 10 years and Maria has just hit 3 years.
I know, I know. This seems strange. But who doesn’t like incorporating fun vocabulary into their speech? It certainly makes a speech easier to listen to. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to open up your thesaurus for every other word in your speech. It simply means you should “jazz it up.”
Go ahead and try a few! This list puts together a number of incredible power words. Using power words is a sure-fire way to have your audience feel the emotion you sought when defining your goal to address this employee.
This is usually what the audience and the employee being recognized will take from the speech. So of course, you’ll want to say thank you, but you’ll want to leave everyone with inspiring words. Here, is where you’ll want to slow down. Make sure your closing remarks have power – this starts with your tone and taking pauses for emphasis. You’ll summarize your intro, remind everyone why they are here and what the employee means to the company, and remind the audience to thank that employee for all of the hard work they’ve put in.
Here are a number of different ways you can conclude. Just remember: have it match the goal you set for yourself in the beginning and read your audience.
To wrap everything up and solidify the touching message you just shared, there’s something that was left out: you. There are a number of things we have to keep in mind here that you’ll want to practice before getting up in front of an audience, big or small.
Now you can rest easy and come next year, you’ll be ready to ace the next recipient’s speech with your new skills.
Don’t forget to create some custom awards to give to the honorary recipient. We can help you put together something to be proud of that truly represents your brand. Give us a shout and we’ll be sure to make the night even better with custom awards.
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