Fathers are the first men in our lives. They are often the ones we call in the middle of the night when a nightmare frightens us, no matter how old we are. Honoring your father on Father’s Day with a card or cake is one thing — but giving a speech can become a cherished memory. It’s a great way to begin to say, “thank you, Dad,” especially if you feel you’re a bit behind.
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But how can you possibly capture what your dad means to you, much less for others to hear, too? Don’t worry — speechwriting and delivery don’t have to be scary. Below, we’ve provided a step-by-step guide for how to write a speech for your dad as well as some samples for inspiration.
To help you save the date and make sure you have time to prepare, here are the dates for Father's Day for the next few years:
2021: Sunday, June 20
2022: Sunday, June 19
2023: Sunday, June 18
2024: Sunday, June 16
2025: Sunday, June 15
Writing a Speech About Your Dad on Father’s Day
Writing a speech for someone unimportant to you is difficult, yet you may find that writing a speech about someone extremely important to you is just as hard. If you’re going through your first Father’s Day without your dad, this can also be tough, but all the more reason to speak about him.
Step 1: Reflect
Perhaps the most important part of writing your speech is what comes prior — reflection. Think about everything your dad means to you. Look at some old photographs of the two of you. Recall some inside jokes. Watch a few of your favorite shows or movies.
All of this can serve as “research” as well as get you in the right headspace to craft a meaningful, heartwarming speech that’s undoubtedly about you and your dad. Plus, adding in minor details, anecdotes, and memories make it not only easier to write but that much more special, too. You may also be interested in how to write a commemorative speech.
Step 2: Decide on some details
After the reflect and research phase, you should jot down some of the most significant things that come to mind. What character traits or qualities make your dad your dad? What about him do you want to emphasize to others hearing your speech? What are some of your most special memories? Is there a specific story you’d like to tell?
Asking yourself all of these questions can help the small details come to life — and boom! You’ve made a ton of progress on the actual speech itself, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Creating a solid foundation for the remainder of your speech to rest on is perhaps the most important part anyway.
Plus, breaking up the writing process into smaller parts makes the entire undertaking seem that much more doable (at least we hope so).
Step 3: Write your draft
Now it’s time for the dirty work. Actually writing. Whether you love it or hate it, it can be incredibly healing and freeing. Frustrating, too, yes. If at any point during your drafting process you become stuck, it may be time to take a break. Focus on something else for a bit, or even put the speech writing on hold for another day.
When writing your draft, you should surround yourself with any notes or ideas you’ve already jotted down, as well as any small mementos or photos of you and your dad. If you don’t see him too often or he’s no longer around, these physical reminders of him can serve as powerful sources of inspiration and motivation.
It’s important to emphasize, too, that writing this speech shouldn’t feel like a class assignment or obligation. You should enjoy the process. Think about it as if you’re just having a conversation with your dad or telling someone you care about what he means to you. Speak sincerely — but you don’t have to be serious. Adding in humor and keeping it lighthearted will make it that much more genuine.
Step 4: Practice and edit
After you have a bit written, you should read your draft out loud and begin practicing for the actual delivery of your speech. Again, you shouldn’t let this bug you or make you nervous. Telling others about someone you love should feel liberating. Love is a very powerful thing.
Even if your dad can’t physically be in the room when you deliver your speech, act as if he is. In fact, act as though he’s the only other person in the room if it helps you.
As you’re reading and practicing your speech out loud, this can also call attention to any areas that need improvement. Have you missed any words? How’s your grammar looking?
One of the good things about speechwriting is that you’re free to markup the draft you read from (or memorize, if you want to go above and beyond) — no one is going to judge it. Of course, if you’re providing a printed copy for anyone in the audience, be sure that those are scratch-free.
Step 5: Finalize (and practice some more)
Reading your draft out loud has probably called out all the areas that need work. You may also find it helpful to read your speech from the end to the beginning. It may sound odd, but it can help you focus on each word and whether or not each sentence flows.
Practicing the delivery of your speech to just yourself may not be effective. But, that being said, you may wish to just wing the performance — and that’s totally fine. However, practicing in front of a loved one can be helpful, too. Plus, you know you’ll have at least one member of the audience who’ll be sure to laugh on cue.
Sample Father’s Day Speeches
What better way to thank a man who’s been by you through it all than with a speech? Below, we’ve provided sample speeches for a few different moods and scenarios. You may also be interested in tributes to dads.
Funny Father’s Day speech example
You’re right, I did lose a bet. Just kidding. I love you and wanted to brag about you to everyone.
There was a rough point last year when I wasn’t sure where we’d be — but I couldn’t be happier with everything as it is right now.
I’m surrounded by family members that pretend to love me, or at least put up with me — you included. I don’t know how you do it. But then, I look at you, and then I look in the mirror, and I get it.
Granted, I have a little more hair than you still, but I’m sure I’ll catch up.
I’m grateful for you for so many reasons, but mainly it’s that I inherited your devilishly good looks. Then, of course, I have Mom to thank for everything else. Just kidding, again.
You’re the greatest role model to me and one of my best friends. Thank you for the years and years of laughter and for letting me kick your butt in Scrabble®.
I love you so much. Really, Dad.
Tip: Don't forget to say "Happy Father's Day," too! Read our guide on the best ways to wish a "Happy Father's Day."
Emotional Father’s Day speech example
Or should I say, hero? I know it makes you uncomfortable for me to call you that. But you are. The example you have set for me and my brothers is something that shouldn’t go uncelebrated or unnoticed.
Despite adversity, you are a force of love in our home and in our community. You have taught me what it means to be strong when the world wants us all to be weak.
I could never possibly thank you enough for all you’ve done for our family over the years. You are so brave, and intelligent, and humble, and you sing pretty well, too!
I love you so much, Dad.
Father’s Day speech from daughter example
When Mom passed away last year — I’m going to be honest — I thought my world was over, too. I know it was equally hard for you.
It would be crazy for me to sit here and say that our relationship was without bumps in the road. I never made it easy for you.
But this past year has been nothing short of amazing. I never thought I could say that again. You have stepped in as a confidant, an advisor, and most importantly, a dear friend.
I may never get over losing Mom, but in the process, I regained a Dad. I hope we can continue to work on everything we’ve built over the past year.
I love you, Dad.
Father’s Day speech from son example
I bet you never thought you’d see me standing up here, speaking about anything. We all know how well my freshman debate class went.
But I couldn’t just sit by without telling everyone — if they don’t already know — just how important you are.
I’ve had plenty of friends over the years. You know very well who my best friends still are. But I think all of them will agree even that they don’t even compare to you.
You have continually showed up for me in ways I never thought were possible. I haven’t given much thought yet about being a dad — trust me, I’m in no rush. But you make me want to be a dad someday.
I’m nervous, I’m not gonna lie. How could I possibly be even a small bit like you to my son or to my daughter?
But then, I remember. You’ll be there, too, God willing. You’ll be there with the perfect piece of advice when I need it. The perfect joke or movie reference when I’m sad or feeling like life is too much. Because you’re always there when I need you.
Before I cry (again), I’m going to end this with just a thank you. Thank you, Dad. I love you.
Make This Father’s Day Extra Special
The world has been a crazy place lately, to say the least. Why not go the extra few steps (five, to be exact) to make this Father’s Day extra special with a speech? Be sure to check out these other Father’s Day ideas and how to spend your first Father's Day without dad as well. For other resources as well as end-of-life planning, Cake is here to help.