If your friend/partner is about to hit a milestone you might want to (or be asked to!) give a speech at their birthday party. This can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you haven’t done much public speaking in the past. But fear not, we have a few tips that will help you write a speech for the ages …
Showcase their qualities by telling stories
Once you’ve introduced yourself, you’ll want to talk about the star of the show.
Of course you can describe them – tell the audience that they are kind, funny etc. but you’ll be much more engaging if you can show your audience your friend being kind or funny through some interesting or amusing anecdotes.
Pick stories that will engage the senses and be as descriptive as possible.
For example, rather simply saying:
‘Just last week I was out with Katie and she helped an old lady across the road.’
take us there with:
‘Just last week I was out with Katie. We spotted an old lady hunched over by the side of a loud, busy road. Katie immediately ran up to her and offered to help. She spent a good five minutes getting her over the road but never stopped chatting and smiling as she did so.’
Know who you’re talking to
Who will be in front of you when you give this speech?
If it’s a group of liberal friends you can be a bit more forthcoming with your stories/anecdotes than at a conservative family dinner. With the latter you might want to drop that story about the trip to Holland!
Make sure you tailor your speech to your audience.
Keep it snappy
Get your introduction sorted. Pick two-three key qualities. Bring them to life. Sign off.
Your speech should probably be 2-10 minutes.
You’re there to boost up your friend/partner, not prove can give a long speech. At Birthday parties, the speeches are bonuses, not the main event, so don’t feel the need to fill time for the sake of it.
The people in your audience want you to do well. They want to enjoy your speech. It’s not going to cost you a job or a promotion if you slip up, so why sweat it? See the speech as an opportunity to support your partner/friend and build your own confidence.
Go out there and have fun!