18.5 Sample Special Occasion Speech Outline
Sample Outline: Commemorative (Tribute) Speech on Simone Biles
By Kellie Barnes
Specific Purpose: To inspire my audience with the story of Simone Biles.
Introduction: “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first
Simone Biles!” Said Simone, and boy did she earn that kind of recognition!
Some of you might hear that name and think of a random gymnast and
some of you may hear that name and not know who it is at all; but today,
before this class is over, I am going to make sure each and every one of you
remember just how great she is and why she deserves to be recognized.
Thesis: A person whom I admire over all other athletes is Simone Biles.
Preview: Simone is special in my eyes because she has overcome some big
challenges in her life to get to where she is today. Not only is she a 3-time
gymnastics champion, but she made history while doing it.
I. Simone overcame an extremely rough childhood in Columbus,
Exploring Public Speaking 322 Chapter 15: Special Occasion Speaking
Ohio, as both her mother and father were struggling with substance abuse.
A. Simone’s grandparents took her and her siblings under
B. Soon her grandparents were able to adopt all of the grandchildren at a fairly young age.
C. Although Simone didn’t have the best relationship with her
mom as a young child, she had plenty of women to step up
in her life to fill that gap. Not only did s
1. She had a grandmother who was basically “Mom” to
2. She has also had the same gymnastics coach since
she was 11 years old.
Transition: Although Simone had a rather disheartening childhood, she
has emerged to be one of the best in her sport.
II. In her teens and standing at 4 foot 8 inches, Simone made a tremendous name for herself in the gymnastics world. These are just
a few of her accomplishments.
A. Simone was the first female ever to win three worldwide
1. She has the most World Championship gold medals
won by a female gymnast in history with ten.
2. She is the most decorated World Championship
American gymnast with 14 total medals (10 gold,
two silver, two bronze).
B. She became the Olympic Gold medalist in vault, floor, Individual and Team all-around and Bronze medalist on Beam
at 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
C. At just 19 years old, she became the most decorated female
gymnast in America.
1. Right behind her the whole time stood her amazing
family and support system.
2. She is the first African American to become an allaround world champ.
D. Consequently, she has received many media awards and
1. She was named one of the Most Influential People in
the World list by TIME magazine.
2. She was named Associated Press Female Athlete of
the Year 2016.
Transition: Simone was so incredibly grateful that she had people to take
her in and support her through all of her success she tried her best to do
the same for others who were in need.
Exploring Public Speaking 323 Chapter 15: Special Occasion Speaking
III. Simone started an amazing charity for foster kids as a way for her
to give back.
A. Founded in 2015, Mattress Firm Foster Kids is now effective in 40 states nationwide.
B. “This is such a personal cause for me because I know firsthand what it is like to be in foster care, the struggles and
all,” says Simone.
C. This cause has given back more than 610,000 items, such
as clothes and school supplies, to foster kids and their families.
Conclusion: As I sit back and look at the life of Simone Biles I’m amazed
with all that she has done in such a short amount of time. At 20 years old
she had given back to those in need, rose above many tough challenges
in her life, and amongst all of that she is having the time of her life on the
mat, and earning medals and honors while doing so. “I’m out here to prove
what I’m capable of” said Simone and in my eyes, she is doing just that.