The Welcome Speech is must in a formal meeting. It is normally the president who delivers the welcome speech or the welcome address as it is formally known.
Some guidelines :
1. Salutation : This is the first formal speech in a meeting. It is the duty of the speechmaker to start building a bridge between the audience and the people on the dais (Incidentally, the stage is called Dais pronounced dayis and not dayas) and so, his salutation will include the names and designations of all the people on the dais.
2. General Welcome : It is my pleasant duty to welcome you all to this meeting.
3. History : A few words about the past events those which happened before the event that is happening.
4. Purpose of the meeting : In the formal set up, the purpose of the meeting should be explained to the audience so that they will start expecting something out of the meeting.
5. Individual Welcome : All the people on the dais who are not members of your organisation need to be individually welcomed. The order is first, the most important person for that meeting, generally the chief guest. Followed by the guest of honour, if any. Do not begin the individual welcome by saying, "when we went to meet Mr our chief guest…"
This is irrelevant. Similarly phrases like "Who readily accepted our invitation" "Who has come here in spite of his busy schedule" These are clichés and spoil the impact of your speech.
It would be much nicer to say :
• We are honoured with the presence of ....
• We welcome you Sir.
• A long pending desire has been fulfilled today with the presence of Mr. ..... in our midst, I welcome you, sir.
6. Specific Welcome : Welcome the VIPs in the audience, not necessarily by name, such as, "The past presidents of our chapter, presidents of the Rotary and Lions Clubs, Pressperson present in our midst. ... "
7. General Welcome : Once again, welcome everyone present.
8. Conclusion : "I hope you will have a pleasant evening" Thank you.
It is not necessary to say, "On behalf of this organisation and on my personal behalf" This is another cliché. The fact that you are standing on the dais denotes that you are doing so on behalf of your organisation and it does not matter whether you personally want to welcome someone or not!!!
The welcome speech in the biggest of meetings, should not last for more than 5 minutes. A normal meeting requires only a 2 minute welcome speech.
QUESTIONS from audience are a welcome sign. It shows they have listened to you. Answer if you can, otherwise ask all present to answer. Do not bluff. Do not feel hurt. Answer with wit, tact and humour. Answer short and sweet. Be at your best.
NEVER try to recall what you had written & rehearsed. Speak as it comes to you naturally. It will be far superior to the write up.
IGNORE if you have erred and no one noticed. ADMIT & correct if it is pointed out.