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As the name implies, special occasion speeches are speeches that are given on special occasions. There are many examples of special occasions where it might be appropriate to deliver a speech. For example, an individual might give a speech at a wake or memorial for an audience of friends and families who knew the person being memorialized. Clearly this speech will be very different than a toast given at a wedding, which is also an example of a special occasion speech and which will have a much more celebratory tone. A commencement ceremony or award ceremony are some other special occasions during which someone may give a speech.
Special occasion speeches are usually shorter than informative or persuasive speeches. Special occasion speeches are usually less than ten minutes long, which demonstrates that their purpose is different than other types of speeches delivered at a conference or political rally. Depending on the context, the purpose of a special occasion speech may be to remember, to praise or to humorously tease. They may contain a use of pathos that aims to convince the audience to be happy, possibly by being comedic. However, they may use a pathos intended to make the audience reflective, as in a speech given at a memorial service.
Special occasion speeches might inform the audience. For example, someone may give a speech at a wedding and share a specificmemory, thus informing the audience of that particular incident and possibly articulating its importance in relation to the newlyweds. While special occasion speeches may be informative, their purpose is always specific to the context and audience that will be hearing them.