From childhood we have had to endure presenting the apology speech. For school this could come in the form of a letter or a spoken apology. As a child that frequently did things to be apologetic about I have a wealth of prior early experience in creating an apology. In general the primary school apologies were simple constructs of an initial statement that you were sorry followed by what you were sorry about, why that is something to be sorry for and finally stating you would endeavour to ensure the events did not recur (although not that well written).

In the teenage years this apology largely turns into nonsensical floundering compiled of excuses which isn’t really much of an apology. In the rare case that a genuine apology was issued it was normally short, to the point, and largely like that of a primary school response.

Now as a university student I have found that apologising to those you know well can actually be an art in itself. Creating the perfect speech includes a need for comedic wit, charm, flattery and of course some occasional words of genuine sincerity.

Now here are my tips to writing this close friend/ flatmate apology

  • Start out in an overly formal tone and use a vast range of interesting vocabulary outside of your day to day conversation.
  • Address them in a formal way to start.
  • Quote song lyrics.
  • Flatter like you have never flattered before.
  • Then add genuine sincerity with normal tone and language
  • Pay genuine compliments that may mean something to the person.
  • Of course remember to apologise throughout
  • End on a sweet note.

For a reference to a speech written in this style here is the one I wrote for my flatmate, Stephanie, who has cropped up in previous posts. I wrote it for our last flat dinner in order to apologise for my consistent abuse of her all year.

“My speech today will be primarily directed at our beloved supreme leader Miss Stephanie Crawford. A person of great strength, courage, determination and faultless prowess. I would now like to say unto you, in the words of the American philosopher Justin Bieber “Is it too late now to say sorry”. I have at times, whether purposefully or inadvertently, been rude and insulting to you and for that I am truly sorry. Rarely has there been a person so underserving of those derogatory remarks than our supreme leader. After all in the words of another great philosopher Alicia Keys “This girl is on fire”. Miss Crawford has been a great blessing to our flat and indeed our lives which she has enriched beyond belief. I have been truly humbled by her majestic strength and as such my deepest and most sincere apologies are extended to you. I promise from this day forth in the words of Deacon Blues “I’ll do what I should’ve did” and that is treat you as the intelligent, kind, caring and compassionate person that you are. I vow as Rick Astley once did “Never gonna make you cry Never gonna say goodbye Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you” Well maybe not the goodbye one but you get the gist.

Now although I have done much of this in a jovial taking the mick flattery style I do genuinely mean what I have said. Stephanie, I think everyone would agree that you are an inspiration. You are driven, determined, funny and an all-round lovely person. Even when you’re stressed out almost to the point of tears you still find time for those who need you and that is the true sign I think of a good doctor. There are tens of thousands of doctors who are very capable in knowing what they are doing, but it is those that genuinely show concern, compassion and empathy that make all the difference. If all doctors had the same kind caring nature as you I feel people would no longer have the same sense of dread in going to hospital. I’m not going to go as far as saying people would enjoy but I feel your kind, happy, smiling face would enhance peoples experience enormously. You present us with a determination and drive to aspire to as well as a brilliant personality to admire. It is honestly an honour to know you and I will miss hugely next year not having your charming self nearby.”