Promotion Speech Genre

For your final writing project of the year, think about all of your years at Old Adobe. Speeches are a form of writing in which the writer imparts an important, often galvanizing message to an audience. Promotion speeches also recognize others for their contributions to your success, offer guidance to other students, and look to the future. Because speeches are meant to be orated (spoken aloud), you, the writer must choose language that will engage and inspire, as well as be consistent to the purpose of your speech and to your own personal voice. The best speeches are organized around a unifying theme with stories integrated into the speech. Sometimes inspirational quotes are also integrated into the speech to support the overall theme. As you write your speech, refer back to your theme often, helping the audience remember your words.

In a promotion speech, it is important for you to reflect on your favorite memories/learning experiences from this time in your life, your elementary school years at Old Adobe. This part of your speech should be designed to show the audience how being an Old Adobe student shaped you, transporting the audience back in time with you so that they can experience the transformative moments vicariously and understand what part of Old Adobe will live on in your heart and why. Your promotion speech should also offer words of wisdom to future generations and your classmates.

Nevertheless, before you begin writing, the first task that you, as a speech writer and a public speaker, need to focus on is determining the message you wish to convey. Since this is a promotion speech, you will be addressing your fellow classmates. However, parents, grandparents, teachers and administrators will also be present. While you will be focusing on people your age, what you say must be in line with the dignity of the ceremony itself. Remembering that, think of the ONE big idea with which you want to leave your audience. Reinforcing a single overarching idea instead of focusing on many different themes will make your speech more powerful, as well as more memorable to your audience. Find one really good theme, and use each point you make, your theme reinforcers, to bring that idea home. To choose your theme, find one central idea about which you feel strongly. Your theme could be about personal responsibility, the importance of setting goals, never giving up on your dreams, finding inspiration in the acts of others, setting high expectations, creating a personal code to live by, or anything else that moves you. Then return to that idea, your theme, with each point you make. Write your individual points, your theme reinforcers, to reinforce your idea.

Once you have picked your theme and chosen the points you want to emphasize, it is time to put the speech together. You might first organize your speech ideas in bubble or outline form. Then begin writing, remembering to return to your theme at the end of each point. Finally, your conclusion should bring your ideas home and perhaps leave your audience with something to ponder. One great way to do this is to find a quote which aptly embodies your theme. You could even use this quote at the beginning and at the end of your speech in “circle story” style.

Before you write the final draft of your speech, be sure to read it aloud to several other people. This will help you to iron out any possible kinks and to see if there are places that need revising or simple copy editing. If you get stuck, look at the samples on our class website or study great speeches of the past for inspiration.

Students, use the job chart below to guide you in your promotion speech writing. Remember to use MLA format. When writing your speech, be certain to follow this job chart:


Write a Promotion Speech that

  • Engages the reader with a known strategy
  • States a clear purpose/theme
  • Has paragraphs organized by categories or time
  • Uses transition words or phrases
  • Uses specific and interesting examples from many of your years at Old Adobe (try to narrow this to examples that best illustrate the growth you’ve made as a whole person) to reinforce the theme
  • Includes a paragraph that gives words of wisdom/advice to younger students and/or your peers, making the purpose of these words/advice clear
  • Has a restatement and reflective closure
  • Uses creativity in writing and has a strong sense of voice
  • Uses strong, vivid, entertaining, and interesting vocabulary

Check out this site to learn more about effective speeches and the components of such orations.

Click here to see these:

Sample Promotion Speeches.

The Teaching Rubric.