Suffering from birthday speech brain freeze? Don't know where to start? Here, find what you need to write and/or deliver birthday speeches worthy of a standing ovation.
If you need professional speechwriting tips, samples or services, you've come to the right place. I've written hundreds of great speeches for people like you, so I have many insider tips and samples to offer you.
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How to make birthday speeches epic Follow these proven speechwriting tips
Because your loved one's birthday celebration is important enough to call for a speech from you, it's not enough to just get it right — you need to make yours epic.
Go the extra mile with these professional speechwriting tips:
Determine if you need to write a formal or informal speech.
You'll need a formal speech (an average-length speech) for a formal reception
Give an informal speech (a shorter version) for a casual house party
Follow (even elaborate on) the general outline below, which includes the birthday speech basics you need to know.
Wish the birthday boy or girl a "Happy Birthday" at the beginning of your speech (believe it or not, many people forget this very important step)
Add the person's age to your birthday wishes if it's a milestone birthday (for example, happy 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th or 100th birthday)
If appropriate, adding a funny anecdote about the birthday boy or girl (after wishing him or her a "happy birthday") is another great way to start a birthday speech (use something funny and flattering, not mean-spirited)
Generally, tell your audience all about the birthday girl or boy (basically, his or her incredible qualities).
Specifically, mention the past, personality, talents, hobbies and/or family of the birthday boy or girl (in a positive light).
Express gratitude for what the birthday boy or girl has done for you (personally), family, friends and co-workers (if relevant).
Also, sprinkle the speech with humor (be playful, not mean, with your roasting)
Finish off by congratulating the birthday girl or boy and wishing him/her health, happiness, love, prosperity, you name it (whatever positive birthday wish he or she truly deserves to hear).
At the very end of your speech, invite everyone in the room to raise a glass and make a toast to the birthday boy or girl.
Knowing your audience will help you craft the best messages for the occasion
Find out who's invited to the birthday celebration. Only family? Family and friends? Co-workers?
Tailor your speech to give your audience (family, family and friends or just co-workers) exactly what you think they want, need and/or expect to hear. For example, if your audience is mostly made up of family and friends, get a little personal with your birthday speech.
Project a presentation style and personality that fits your audience.
Find out if you're the only speaker to determine the number of subjects you should cover.
As the only speaker, you'll need to cover lots of ground (all of it, in fact).
If you're one of many speakers, you may only have to cover one subject.
Decide on the tone you would like to use (with or without the help of family and friends).
Generally, your tone should be light-hearted, funny, sincere, congratulatory and upbeat.
Avoid anything that will be hurtful or embarrassing to the birthday boy or girl (or any guests).
You can be humorous (i.e. tease the birthday boy or girl) but, as I mentioned above, be playful, not mean-spirited.
Don't use any obscene language, unless the audience calls for it (again, know your room).
Don't be off-color or pornographic in any way (most people don't enjoy anything too x-rated in mixed company)
Never delve into any sensitive subject areas, like alcoholism (this will just turn the birthday celebration into a nightmare).
Determine how long you should speak.
If you're making an informal speech, make your birthday speech at least three minutes in length (the gold standard).
Make your birthday speech longer than three minutes (but no longer than six or seven minutes) when it's for a major milestone birthday (40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th or 100th birthday).
Generally, use the KISS (Keep it Short and Simple) rule. The shorter the speech, the more memorable it will be.
Try to stay calm in the days, weeks and months leading up to the speech.
Preparation and practice will help you overcome a chunk of your public speaking fears.
Practice your speech until you can deliver it easily (until you have all the phrasing, pauses and timing exactly right).
How long should you practice? That depends on you. But the rule of thumb is as follows: for every four minutes,you should practice four hours.
Practice delivering the speech in front of a friend or family member you trust (this is one of the best ways to overcome stage fright).