Our men and women in uniform risk their lives to defend our freedoms. Giving veterans a warm welcome upon their return from deployment is a good way to thank them for their service and sacrifice. Welcome the troops back home with a genuine, passionate speech to open a celebration.
How to Make a Welcoming Opening Speech for Veterans
Welcome the veterans and guests and to introduce yourself. Explain who you are so the audience understands why you’re making the opening speech.
Grab the audience’s attention. Begin your speech with an inspirational quote, a staggering statistic, a touching story or a hypothetical question. This will pull the audience into your speech and keep their focus.
Tell the audience why you are all there. Introduce and welcome the veterans, and give any pertinent information about them, such as where they were stationed, how long they were deployed or heroic actions they took.
Tie the attention-grabbing portion and the veteran introduction portion of your speech together. For example, if you got the audience’s attention with an inspirational quote, explain how it encapsulates the veterans’ actions. If you began with a staggering statistic, explain how the veterans beat those odds.
Conclude the speech by making a toast or beginning a round of applause to express gratitude for the veterans.
Introduce the next speaker if that’s applicable, or explain what is coming up next.
Make note cards to help you remember your speech. Speak clearly and enunciate your words. Speak at a volume loud enough so that even the people farthest from you can hear you.
Steer clear of rambling, speaking too quietly or speaking too loudly.