How to Write a Promotion Speech
Writing a promotion speech is different from other writing tasks. The approach used to address the audience and recognize others for their contributions to your success make it more personal. Because it is spoken, a promotion speech needs to be written with language that will engage and inspire an audience, while looking to the future.
Open the speech with something that grabs the audience in the first 30 seconds. Ask a thought-provoking question, make a somewhat controversial statement, tell a joke, or quote somebody important. Keep it relevant to the rest of your speech and it will undoubtedly grab them. Be sure it shows a sense of confidence in yourself, and inspires their confidence in you.
Develop an outline for the body of the speech. Choose some important points to make and highlights to speak about, and bullet them. Mention your accomplishments, and include recognition for specific individuals who made those accomplishments possible. Remember to express your appreciation and gratitude for your new opportunity. Organize these thoughts in the order in which you’ll use them. Allow each point to build on the previous one. For example, if you’re speaking about an accomplishment, speak first about the effort, and then about the resulting accomplishment.
Expand the outline and the bullet points. Make paragraphs out of bullet points. You probably already know your audience, which will likely be your colleagues and maybe your superiors. Use language that engages and speaks to them.
Write a closing for your speech. Summarize the speech’s main points and talk about each briefly. Add a little more insight to each. For example, if you spoke about major accomplishments or milestones made under your watch or supervision, cap off the speech with a few words about the people or groups they affected or benefited, or those who made your accomplishments possible.
End with a final thought without focusing on your personal gain. Instead, focus on the company’s future and your admiration for all winners in general. Project an air of genuine concern for all, particularly for your company’s success.
Read your speech to at least one person, but preferably two or three, to get feedback on its appropriateness. Get feedback on grammatical errors, awkward phrasing, and your delivery.
Writing since 1984, Susan Deschel just published "Peer Coaching for Adolescent Writers" through Corwin Press, a handbook for teachers. Deschel has a bachelor's degree in creative writing, master's in education, and is currently working on her doctorate in curriculum and instruction. She writes in other genres, including fiction and poetry.