Elevate the party with an entertaining yet heartful creation
Are you hosting a birthday party, perhaps as a parent, a partner, or a friend saying a few words? Nothing quite like the excitement of celebrating your family or friend’s 18th, 21st, or 50th, or whatever birthday it may be! A birthday party should be an exciting and happy time to celebrate a milestone and catch up with family and friends. But, like many feel, the idea of having to give a speech during the party isn’t exactly what you signed up for. Nonetheless, the night isn’t complete without acknowledging the guests, summarising the “why” behind the event, and shining the spotlight on the birthday boy or girl. Why not use your speech to boost everyone’s night and add to the fun? Rest assured – we have put together a guide on writing a delivering a great birthday speech as the party host, family member, or friend.
Remember – the aim of the event is to ensure the birthday boy or girl feels special. Though, we cannot forget that the audience loves to be told stories and feel involved. Your guests expect formalities, recognition, and entertainment. Your speech is an opportunity to fulfil these expectations, and rather than be a reason to worry, it’s a reason to get excited and make the night even better.
So, let’s get to it.
The General Idea
Your guests already know the birthday person. So, stories and information about the birthday person that is both familiar and fresh will simultaneously ensure people feel part of the inner circle and add entertainment value to your speech. At SpeechForm, we like to do this by taking a yesterday, today, and tomorrow approach. 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.
Thanking guests is also an important component. But, it is THE focus of the birthday person's speech. Keep it brief so you don't steal their thunder.
Something that is seriously overlooked, so we like to start here. We know rehearsal is important. But – there are a few things to think about. Visit our Resources page here to learn more about this space, and check out our Pre-Speech Gameplan Blog if you wish to be fully prepared.
Think about how you are going to deliver the speech. Are you going to pause in certain places, talk excitedly about a particular story, look at certain people when talking about them?
Will you be standing behind podium or standing just on your own? If on your own, that gives you room to move and be seen.
Will you have a microphone? If not, remember to speak up.
Are you going to read from notes or remember your speech? If you’re memorising it, make sure to rehearse as much as you need to feel comfortable.
Now, let’s not get carried away to the point where your focus on your speech ruins your night. The important thing to remember is – give it enough thought to ensure you are comfortable and feel prepared. Often, the fear of speaking is only felt due to a lack of prep.
Chances are your party is fairly casual, so there is probably no need to get too formal. Keep it light and fun, and the length of your speech should be as long as you think your guests will appreciate. When writing your speech, always consider what is appropriate for the event. 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 and especially the birthday person!
If you aren’t quite sure about what to write in your speech, try creating a theme – one or two sentences that summarises what you are trying to get across with your speech. It sounds basic, but it makes it MUCH easier to think of ideas and keep your speech focused on what you really want to say. You can always change your theme over time. 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?
Start by welcoming the guests and introducing yourself if appropriate. Then, consider launching straight into a comment about birthdays, a quote, a story from the day, an interesting fact about the party location, an interesting connection of the date in history to the birth date, or a question. This will grab your audience’s attention and have them thinking, “Hmm, didn’t expect this. What’s going to happen next?”. Whatever it takes to get your guests' attention and ensure they are immersed in your speech.
What Makes This Day Special?
Move onto talking about what makes birthdays so special, and what makes THIS birthday particularly special. This is a great place to briefly talk about the reason behind the event and why everyone should celebrate.
Chances are – very few people know the birthday person like you do. Depending on your relationship and how familiar your guests are to you and the birthday person, add a brief run-down on how you know the birthday person some interesting background info. This provides an opportunity to add humour, be entertaining, and teach the audience a little about what the birthday person is like.
The Present Day
You’ve covered the past. Now, continue the story by moving onto one or two exciting things the birthday boy or girl is currently doing in life. If you cannot think of any ideas, you could also 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 a more serious and heartfelt tone.
The exciting space – what lies ahead! Giving the audience a glimpse into what's on the horizon for the birthday boy or girl will capture your guests’ attention and make the birthday boy or girl feel celebrated. It will also help to generate conversation among guests, making them feel involved in the birthday person’s journey. Alternatively, you could simply provide your best wishes for the future.
Family and Friends
Some of the guests may specifically be your friends, so acknowledge and thank them as well as anyone who you feel needs recognition. But remember – thanking guests is the job of the birthday person’s speech, so keep it as brief as you can.
Finish off your speech by making a positive, light-hearted, but more serious comment on what the birthday person means to you and what the milestone means to them. Finish with a toast, and you will have successfully left the birthday person and the audience with feelings of happiness and celebration!
And That’s That!
Only a few minutes and you’re done. Keeping the above points in mind as you write your speech, you will have knocked it out of the park, kept everyone engaged, and you’ll have boosted the party’s good feels!
We know that speech writing is hard! Sometimes, it is hard to get the creative juices flowing. If you are looking for additional support or a tool to help guide you through your speech writing journey, visit us at www.speechform.com.au. Our speech generators and template shop will help you to create an amazing speech without having to be a speech writing guru. Our professional speechwriters have written content and delivery tips and advice to help you build an entertaining and heartfelt birthday speech.