A ceremonial address or festive speech is a speech given on the occasion of a celebration. Usually, the occasion of the celebration is addressed in the speech and often placed in the wider context.

The term “ceremonial address” can be used to refer to both a genre of presentation and a literary genre.

With regard to the genre of the performance, the term “ceremonial address” is defined as an oral, one-sided, verbal conveyance of one’s own thoughts in coherent form, formulated as prose and addressed to an audience of a plurality of listeners on the occasion of a festive celebration.

With regard to the meaning of the word “ceremonial address” as a literary genre, it is defined as a written text in the form of a prose, which is intended to serve as the basis for an oral, one-sided, verbal conveyance of one’s own thoughts in coherent form, which is addressed to an audience of a plurality of listeners on the occasion of a festivity.

A person who addresses an assembled festive society with a ceremonial address is called a ceremonial speaker. The generic term speaker is used alternatively, as are the terms keynote speaker and dinner speaker.

How to Cite

The definition outlined above was first published in: Jörn Lengsfeld: Glossary of Public Speaking. Please refer to the original publication if you want to cite the text.