You have been asked to give an award and you are terrified. You are not used to public speaking and don’t have a clue as to what to do or say. You realize this is a very important event for the recipient and you want to do your best. If you work, belong to a club, are involved in a church or a school organization this responsibility could fall on you.
You want to present the award with dignity and grace. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to be prepared. Do your homework. When preparing your speech you will want to refer to the occasion and the purpose of the award. It might be a volunteer of the year award, a retirement party, or possibly the winner of a contest. Include a statement about what the award represents and its importance. At a retirement celebration you would want to mention the years of loyal service, etc. Achievement occasions would call for mention of the contributions the recipient has made or the high regard in which the recipient is held.
Then you will want to pay tribute to the recipient. Explain what the recipient has done, the sacrifices and dedication he or she has shown. This is a great time to illustrate his or her contributions with any personal experience you have had with the recipient. The use of humor is good to relieve tension but be careful to use it only in a positive way. You do not want to embarrass the recipient in any way! Be brief in your comments. Three to four minutes is a good amount of time to accomplish the presentation.
Part of your preparation is making sure the presentation area is properly set up. Try to have the award displayed where everyone can see it during your presentation. If it is possible try to meet with the recipient ahead of time to go over the process with him or her. Careful planning helps to put everyone at ease.
Now is the time for your presentation. Once you have given your speech, pick up the award and call the recipient to the stage or platform. Stand with your side slightly toward the audience and present the award to the recipient with the hand nearest to the recipient. Mention the recipient by name (be sure you pronounce it correctly) and mention again that it is a token of gratitude or accomplishment. At this time step back from the lectern to allow the recipient to make an acceptance speech. If the acceptance speech will take several minutes you can actually return to your seat.