This article aims to review the body of research on ceremonial speeches of popular world leaders and their genre of persuasive discourse—ceremonial speech that includes special occasion, religious, political, and editorial rhetoric. The review of related past studies revealed that some studies lack a clear explication of the theoretical framework which informs the study. It was also found that the outcomes of other studies were not fully discussed within the theoretical framework adopted. Yet other studies appeared to be confined to the application of single theory/approach to explore the multifaceted phenomenon of persuasive discourse. Despite these somewhat limited orientations to the research, much of the critical work concerned show that the persuasive strategies and devices employed by the dominant social actors include a range of rhetorical proofs, questions, and figures of speech, as well as the speech acts of directives, assertives, representatives, and expressives as the way forward in the field.
Keywords: Mother Teresa, ceremonial speeches, persuasive discourse, genre analysis, persuasive strategies, rhetorical devices, speech acts