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The Host, Family, or Friend
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Find out how we write a Birthday Speech. Learn what you need to include to impress your audience.
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How We Write a Birthday Speech
Why the need for a speech?
The Birthday Speech as the host, a family member, friend, or colleague is about recognising guests and shining the spotlight on the birthday boy or girl. The birthday boy or girl hopes to feel special on the day, and the audience loves to be told stories and feel involved. Your guests expect formalities, recognition, and entertainment, and your speech is an opportunity to fulfil these expectations.
How we write a Birthday Speech
A great Birthday Speech focuses on recognising guests, but primarily, making the birthday person feel celebrated.
As your guests already know the birthday person, we like to tell a combination of stories and information that guests know, and some they don't know. In doing so, your guests' perception of the birthday boy or girl will be both familiar and fresh, adding novelty, interest, and entertainment value to your speech. It will also ensure that the guests' focus is heavily on the birthday boy or girl, and will likely create icebreaker topics for later in the party. We also like to ensure that attendees, special guests, those unable to attend, and those who have contributed to the preparation of the party, are recognised. This will satisfy the audience’s expectations of acknowledgment. But, thanking guests is the focus of the birthday person's speech, so keep it brief so you don't steal their thunder.
We typically follow the structure below when creating a Birthday Speech.
Chances are your party is fairly casual, so there is probably no need to get too formal. Add some jokes, and keep it light and fun. But, before writing your speech, consider what is appropriate for your audience. Think about who will be there and what they might want to hear. Remember - a speech is for the listener, not the speaker. Make sure your speech suits the tastes of your guests.
We recommend creating a theme if you are unsure about the direction you wish to take with your speech. Creating a theme makes it much easier to think of ideas for your speech, and it makes it easy to keep your speech on a specific path as you write your stories and content. You can always change your theme as you progress through writing the speech. Think about what do you want to say about the birthday boy or girl? If the audience only took away only one key message from your speech, what would you have it be?
The very first words in your speech. We like to grab the audience's attention immediately and have them wanting more. Open your speech by addressing the guests and introducing yourself if appropriate. Then, consider launching straight into a comment about birthdays, a startling statistic, a quotation, a story from the day, an interesting fact about the party location, an interesting connection of the date in history to the party, or a question. This will pique the interest of your audience and have them thinking, “Hmm, didn’t expect this. What’s going to happen next?”. Whatever it takes to get your guests' attention.
What Makes This Day Special?
What makes a birthday so special, and what makes THIS birthday particularly special? This is a great place to briefly talk about why everyone has been gathered and the reason behind the day's celebrations.
Background information on your history and that of the birthday boy or girl provides an opportunity to capture the audience's interest, add humour, and teach the audience a little about what the birthday person is like.
The Present Day
You've talked about the past. Now, you can briefly mention one or two exciting things the birthday boy or girl is currently doing in life. Alternatively, you could simply compliment the birthday boy or girl on who they are or on recent achievements, or briefly outline the birthday person’s great qualities. This will balance out the humour and entertainment with heartfelt sincerity.
Providing insight on what's on the horizon for the birthday boy or girl will capture guests' attention and make the birthday boy or girl feel special. It will also help to generate conversation among guests. Alternatively, you could simply provide your best wishes for the future.
Family and Friends
Acknowledge those that need to be recognised, but keep it brief. Thank you messages are the focus of the speech from the birthday boy or girl.
Close your speech by putting a highly positive spin on what your relationship with the birthday boy or girl means to you. Finish with a toast, and you will have successfully left the birthday boy or girl and the audience with feelings of happiness and celebration!
Consider how you are delivering your speech. There may be times in your speech that you should vary your tone and volume, and times you should use gestures. These tools will help to get maximum impact, so consider this when you write your speech. For more on how to deliver a Birthday Speech, check out our Resources page.
At SpeechForm, we believe your efforts to write your Birthday Speech is not to just “get it done”, but to make the speech enjoyable, memorable, and one that has people approaching you to sing their praises for your speech. After all, you will have put in a lot of effort. There is something special about making an impact on your audience, when you thought your sole job was just to “get through it”. Make sure to include the above points so that the audience gets what they expect from your speech. And always ask yourself - what am I trying to achieve with this speech? Keep that in mind as you develop your content.
Remember to rehearse. This is a performance. The more you develop your speech and rehearse, the greater the impression you will make. Confidence through a well-written speech is great, but using your voice and your body effectively only comes through practice.
Get it right, and you will leave a lasting impression that your audience will remember long after the party.