How to Write an Appreciation Speech

by Nicole LaMarco - Updated August 06, 2018
Podium with microphones

An appreciation speech or a thank you speech is given to express gratitude. Whether it's an anniversary party, a wedding toast, a retirement speech or you're accepting an award for the best salesperson of the year; it's an opportunity to extend your appreciation in a thank you speech. Also known as a "words of gratitude" speech, it's usually not impromptu, and you'll have time to prepare in advance. Writing your appreciation speech begins with an outline listing the key points you'd like to make, then fleshing out the body of the speech. Keep it light and lively, and sprinkle in a touch of humor and a few anecdotes or quotes. A well-prepared thank you speech for a personal or professional event is a memorable one.

Appreciation Speech Audience

Consider your audience when writing your appreciation speech. Is this a wedding or an anniversary, or is it a professional business event? Keep the tone of the event in mind as you plan your speech. Some questions to help you write your thank you speech for either a personal or professional event are:

  • How long have you known the person or persons being celebrated?
  • Why are they worthy of celebration?
  • What story can you tell to describe your interactions with them?
  • What song lyric or quote reminds you of them?
  • Are they a family member or friend? What words of gratitude in speech can you give them for being part of your experience?
  • What have they told you they would do in the future to benefit that organization?

Appreciation Speech for Professional Event

If you are writing an appreciation speech for a professional event, the following questions will inspire the body of your speech:

  • How long have they worked for the company?
  • What did she do at the company?
  • What examples of his impact do you have?
  • What lasting impact will she have once they no longer work there?
  • What did he teach by example?

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Write an Outline

For an appreciation speech or any speech for that matter, you can start preparing it by writing an outline. An outline provides a mental roadmap and serves to keep you on track as you write the speech, and later as you deliver it. A good rule of thumb to help prepare the outline of your speech is to break it into parts as follows:

  • Introduction: Tell the audience what you are going to say. Give an overview of the key points in the speech. Tell them why the person is being recognized in an appreciation speech.
  • Body: Tell the audience why they should appreciate or recognize the topic or person.
  • Conclusion: Reiterate the main points in your speech.

Writing an appreciation speech is never easy, but following an outline and using these questions as food for thought to create the body of your speech can give you a great start to a memorable speech that any crowd will love!

About the Author

Nicole LaMarco is a business writer with nearly two decades of hands-on and publishing experience. She's been published in The Employment Times, Web Hosting Sun and WOW! Women on Writing. See her work at

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