"10 steps to deliver a Meaningful and Inspiring and Recognition Speech " written with a picture background of sitting people who are clapping their hands

10 steps to deliver a meaningful and inspiring recognition speech

In Recognition and Engagement by Lori McKnight

10 Steps to Deliver a Meaningful and Inspiring Recognition Speech

Need Help Creating a Meaningful Recognition Speech?
Follow these 10 Simple Steps

Your recognition presentation can compare to the most experienced circuit speaker with the help of this basic outline and a few important tips.

1. Prepare a 3-5 minute outline ahead of time.

A rule of thumb is to write a script that is between 3-5 minutes in length. However, the length isn’t nearly as important as the content. Your presentation will have the most impact if you inject enthusiasm, warmth and sincerity into the ceremony. Keep it personal and specific.

Tip: Modify the presentation outline below based on the years of service, level of achievement and/or type of presentation environment. Pre-Announce the event a week ahead of time and practice your script.

2. Welcome everyone.

Choose a location that can comfortably accommodate the group invited to the event. It can be a conference room, office or other venue – just be cognizant of crowd control.

Tip: Stand in front of the group in attendance, with the recipient at your side. If other senior leaders are attending, it’s a nice gesture to have them standing as well.

3. Announce the purpose of the ceremony.

Remind the audience of the recognition initiative or program that you are celebrating and how it ties into the company’s mission, vision and values.

Tip: Recognition events are excellent opportunities to reinforce employee accomplishments that support the company’s mission and purpose.

4. Frequently address the recipient by name.

Use the individual’s first and last name at least once. Frequently use first name when referencing achievements.

5. Explain the recipient’s background as it relates to the current achievement.

Include the date employed, role, contributing educational or work experience, past achievements, historical events, etc

Tip: Highlight the recipient’s current responsibilities and specific activities, accomplishments and/or initiatives. It is not a necessity to list all accomplishments, just the key ones.

6. Connect the company’s purpose and mission to the individual’s daily work.

Reinforce how important the individual has been in achieving company and team goals.

Tip: Leaders and managers have considerable influence inspiring and making sure employees feel their work is meaningful and has a purpose. Reference how valuable the individual is and the difference they are making to the organization.

7. Present the certificate of appreciation and mention any gift the recipient will receive.

Thank the recipient for his/her effort and continued support. Shake hands and encourage applause.

Tip: Ensure you have presentation materials on-hand at least two days before the ceremony. On the day of the ceremony, make sure you have all presentation materials in-hand.

8. If agreed ahead of time, have the recipient speak and say a few words.

Make sure to check with the recipient first so they can prepare a few notes.

Tip: If the recipient would like to say a few words, provide a time parameter.

9. Thank the recipient again.

Congratulate the individual on the achievement and end the ceremony by thanking everyone for joining the celebration.

10. Within the next day or so, follow-up with the recipient.

Touch base with the individual to get feedback on the ceremony and their gift.

Leaders who value recognition and take the time to prepare sincere, meaningful appreciation speeches help build a workforce that is more productive, positive and committed to the company.

Make it easy for managers to remember these tips by downloading our FREE Service Award Recognition Checklist wall chart. Click here for more posters to remind others to appreciate and recognize.

Service Award Recognition tips

Author: Lori McKnight

Lori McKnight
Lori is the VP of Recognition for CSI International Inc. She has a MBA with a minor in Human Resources, is a Certified Recognition Professional and member of the SHRM blog squad. Prior to joining CSI STARS, she worked at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Youthography, a youth market research agency. Connect with CSI STARS on LinkedIn to learn how we cultivate a workforce that loves coming to work.