Suffering from birthday speech brain freeze? Don't know where to start? If you need professional speechwriting tips, samples or services, you've come to the right place. I've written hundreds of speeches, so I have many insider tips and samples to offer you.
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 the outline below to learn the 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 speech
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 (or one of many)
As the only speaker, you'll need to cover many topics
If you're one of many speakers, you may only have to cover one subject
Decide on the tone you would like to use
Generally, your tone should be light-hearted, funny, sincere, congratulatory and upbeat.
Avoid anything that will be hurtful or embarrassing
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).
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Kevin, the "Message Guy" who writes the birthday wishes, quotes, poems, toasts and speeches for this site, has been a professional writer, editor and translator for more than 25 years. He decided to create BirthdayMessages.net in 2012 to share his passion for birthday and "unbirthday" quotes on the best day of the year — your birthday.