Lead the party and celebrate the birthday boy or girl by giving a speech that creates a fun-filled, friendly and celebratory atmosphere.
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Note - this page provides information about speeches as the party host or a friend or family member of the birthday boy or girl. If you are looking to write a thank you speech as the person whose birthday it is, visit the Thank You Speech Example page here.
Why the need for a speech?
If the party is about recognising the birthday, the birthday speech as the host, family, friend or colleague is about recognising the audience and the birthday person. The birthday person hopes to be made to feel special on the day, and the audience loves to be told stories and feel involved. The more formal the event, the more the audience expects formalities, recognition and entertainment, and your speech is an opportunity to fulfil these expectations.
How do I do this?
A great birthday Speech focuses on the birthday person. Though, as many in the audience know the birthday person, it is important to tell stories that are new to many, and others that the audience may know and can connect with. This guarantees all in the audience feel involved and entertained whilst simultaneously making the birthday person feel special. To a minor extent, you may want to recognise the attendees, special guests, those unable to attend and those who have contributed to the preparation of the party to satisfy the audience’s expectations of acknowledgement. But, this is the focus of the birthday person's speech, so don't steal their thunder.
What do I need to do?
In your birthday speech, you should consider the following:
Your audience - who are you talking to and what do they like? Give this some thought and the audience will appreciate it. Remember - the speech is about the audience, not about you, and your job is to make them feel happy and appreciated.
A theme - what is the overall message you are trying to send through your stories and content? Nailing this down will help get the creative juices flowing when the time comes to think of stories.
A "hook"- the very first words in your speech. A comment or story that grabs the audience’s attention immediately.
An early memory of the birthday person – providing some background information on your history and that of the birthday person provides perspective to the audience. It is also a great opportunity to capture the audience's interest, provide some humour, describe what you admire about the birthday person, and teach the audience a little about what the birthday person is like.
A funny story that teases the birthday person – a chance to add humour and entertainment to your speech, but keep in mind what is appropriate for your audience. This is a good opportunity to make the audience feel involved by touching on an anecdote the audience may know.
A story or description about what you admire about the birthday person – brief outline about the birthday person’s great qualities will nicely contrast and balance out the humour and entertainment
Thank you messages – acknowledge those you think require recognition, but keep in mind that thank you messages are the focus of the speech from the birthday person
A toast and show of admiration for the couple – ending your speech on a highly positive note that encapsulates your theme will ensure that you leave your audience with feelings of fun and happiness
Your delivery - 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.
What if I get it wrong?
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, otherwise you your audience may not get what they expected 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.
For more on how to write and deliver a birthday speech, check out our Resources and Blog.
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