Speech Tips

Speech Tips


How to Make a Happy Birthday Speech

Great Birthday speeches should be light-hearted yet sincere. Birthday speeches should be congratulatory in tone and, if the audience consists of family and friends, personal in content.

What to include in birthday speeches:

  • Birthday speeches should have an opening that will captivate the attention of the audience.
  • They should mention the celebrant’s personality, talents or hobbies.
  • They should mention the celebrant’s family.
  • They should look back over the celebrant’s past
  • They should look forward to the his/her future
  • The speech for birthday should include a thank you for the invitation to attend the celebration.

What not to include:

  • Birthday speeches should not mention anything that will cause pain or embarrassment to the celebrant or guests (e.g. alcoholism)
  • The birthday speech should not be smutty or dirty in any way.
  • There are some people who would find it offensive to have their age mentioned even in fun. So be sure before you roast them.

How to end:

  • Birthday speeches should always end with a relevant birthday toast.


How to Make an Informative Speech

An informative speech can be on any topic under the sun. Here are someinformative speech tipsfor making a great informative speech. It has to be factual not and not one based on your own opinions. It can tell the audience how to do something such as baking a cake or the story of something such as the invention of the wheel. In fact an informative speech is a speech where you inform your audience about something or someone.

What to include:

  • A riveting opening. An informative speech is usually so factual that it is not exciting so your speech should start on a memorable note.
  • You must get your facts right so do your research. Give the dates and details.
  • Your subject should be relevant to your audience. If it’s an audience of new mums the history of the diaper might appeal but it won’t suit an elderly audience. They might prefer to hear the life history of someone who is of their own vintage such as a singer or historical figure.
  • You should ensure that the informative or persuasive speech topicfits the time scale for your speech. You won’t be able to give the history of the world in 8 minutes but you might tell the story of Davy Crockett or that of Joan of Arc.
  • Add a touch of humour if possible. It always enhances a speech.
  • If you are a guest speaker addressing graduates you should speak about your own area of expertise.
  • Add a touch of humour to your speech. It’s a happy occasion.

What not to say in Informative Speeches

  • Any opinion of your own. Save them for that book you’re going to write some day
  • Anything offensive to your audience. That does not mean that you have to make the subject of your speech an angel if, in fact, he was a criminal. Don’t, however, say that you think he should have been hanged for his crimes. Just give the facts. The audience may not believe in capital punishment.
  • Too many statistics. An audience cannot take absorb them and keep up with your speech.

How to End:

  • our speech should end with a summary of the life story or the history of the topic you have given. So you might end with; “From the time he was born until the day he died in 1902 John Moore made motoring history.” Alternatively, you might say. “The widget began its life as a scribble on a boy’s schoolbook and has now changed our world.”.


How to Make a Motivational Speech

A motivational speech should motivate your audience to do something to improve their own lives or, perhaps, the lives of others. It should be uplifting and inspirational in tone. The choice of motivational speeches ranges from self-improvement speeches such as “Learn yoga and relax” to change the world type speeches where you motivate your audience to join a pressure group.

What to include in great motivational speeches:

  • Your speech should be suited to its audience… A teacher might, for instance, motivate his/her pupils to go on to further education. A more general audience might be motivated to increase their fitness by walking more.
  • Capture your audience with an intriguing opening such as “Would you like to win the lotto?”.
  • Give your audience an objective to meet. Extra productivity might be the motivation in a business speech while lose a stone in a month might suit a general.
  • Make it short. A great inspirational speech is about content not length.
  • Share in their dreams by identifying with your audience. Tell them how you have become happier/more fulfilled/richer and that’s what you want for them.
  • Check your facts. If you don’t your credibility will be in doubt.
  • Speak positively and with enthusiasm because enthusiasm is catching.

What not to say in inspiring speeches:

  • Don’t be vague. You should motivate your audience to do something concrete by making certain changes in their lives.
  • Don’t assume your audience knows the facts you have researched.
  • Don’t swamp them with statistics
  • Don’t speak for longer than you need. The best inspirational speech is about content, not length.

How to End best motivational speeches:

  • You should end your speech on a challenging note by motivating them to go NOW and make that change or do that thing.


How to Make a Father of the Bride’s Speech

The father of the bride speech is the keynote speech of the day. It is appropriate that it should be, in turns, both poignant and witty. It should begin with a captivating opening.

What to include:

  • You should welcome the guests if you are the host
  • You should welcome the groom and his family into your family
  • You should speak of your love for, and your pride in, your daughter
  • You should mention your relationship with your new son-in-law
  • You may wish to refer to your own marriage inmarriage speeches and to thank the bride’s mother for your own happiness.
  • (If applicable) It’s courteous to thank the clergyman/woman
  • You may like to mention the bridesmaids, especially if they are family members.
  • You should speak about marriage itself and what it means in best wedding speeches.

What not to say in great wedding speeches:

  • Never be blue or smutty or offensive
  • Do not mention previous boyfriends or partners
  • Anything that would embarrass a member of the wedding party or a guest e.g. alcoholism or drug taking.

How to End:

  • You should end the wedding speech with a loving toast to the bride and groom.


How to Make an Awards Speech

Whether you are giving or receiving an award both speeches should have some things in common. This goes for any kind of award ceremony from sports’ speeches to drama or business awards . They should be gracious and complimentary either to the winner or to those presenting the award.

What to include:

  • The presenter of an award should speak of the hard work, effort and enthusiasm the winner has put into the competition/contest.
  • The presenter should speak of the high standard of entrants for the award and how difficult it was to choose a winner.
  • If the winner is unknown to the audience the presenter should built up the tension by not mentioning the winner until the end of his/herawards ceremony speech.
  • The winner should mention the support and help received from coaches/family/ colleagues or tutors inawards acceptance speeches.
  • The winner should speak of his/her good fortune in winning against such stiff opposition inaward speeches.
  • If applicable, the sponsors of the award should also be thanked inaward presentation speech.

What not to say:

  • Any derogatory remarks about an unsporting incident in the competition.
  • Don’t include long and tedious details of the winner’s career or the sponsor’s association with the award. Make it snappy.

How to End:

  • If you presenting the award end by announcing the winner.
  • If you are receiving the award end by saying how much you will always treasure it.


How to Make a Business Speech

A business speech should be professionally presented with, ideally, a touch of humour. It should reflect the ethos of the company and address the issues of the moment. It ought to tackle staff problems delicately and be upbeat about the future prospects of the company. Above all it should provoke company loyalty.

What to include:

  • Your opening should be catchy enough to provoke your audience’s interest.
  • It should mention the contribution of the staff.
  • Bond with your audience by mentioning an incident known to all.
  • If you have bad news to impart lay the blame on outside forces.
  • If you are attending a function for a retirement or an award do your homework and find out something personal about the retiree or the award winner, such as their interest in golf or the theatre. They will be delighted to know you took so much interest in their lives.
  • Share the good news .If your company has succeeded in getting a big order for instance tell the staff. They deserve to know.

What not to say:

  • Any criticism of a staff member or members should be given privately not publicly.
  • Any incident that reflects badly on the company.
  • Any comment that belittles a rival company.

How to End:

  • If it is a general speech it should end on a challenging and positive note. If it is a personal speech it should end with a toast to the person concerned i.e. to an award winner or a retiree.


How to Make Instant Retirement speeches

A retirement speech to the retiree should be light-hearted and upbeat. A retirement speech should also be sincere and personal. So you should do your homework and find out something about the retiree’s working life, their talents and skills and their plans for the future.

What to include in your speech for retirement:

  • It should have an opening that will captivate the attention of the audience.
  • It should refer to the contribution made by the retiree to the company. If at all possible this should be more than a platitude. If the retiree is helpful to new staff this should be mentioned. Try to find out his or her good points.
  • It should mention an incident or experience during the retiree’s working life. Someone who shared the retiree’s office or met them every tea break will probably be able to give you the information you need. So mention that John or Mary was a wonderful organizer or ran the social committee single-handed.
  • A funny story always adds to the retirement speech.
  • It should (if applicable) include the presentation of a retirement gift.

What not to include:

  • It should not mention anything that will cause pain or embarrassment to guests (e.g. alcoholism)
  • The retirement speech should not be smutty or dirty in any way.

How to end:

  • A retirement speech should end with appropriate wishes for a happy future and a toast to the retiree.


How to Make a Graduation Speech

A graduation speech marks the difference between living in one world and another. It may be leaving Elementary or High school or graduating from University. There are also of course graduation speeches for those who have done diplomas in various subjects. So a speech has to refer to that specific graduation. Whether you are graduating or speaking to graduates your speech should include the following.

What to include:

  • How happy you are to be there at such a special occasion
  • If you are a Dean your speech should welcome guests.
  • If you are a student the speech should contain appreciation of those who have helped you e.g. your parents and tutors.
  • You should include a mention of friendships made and how important they are.
  • You should also include mention of the future and the opportunities ahead.
  • If you are a guest speaker addressing graduates you should speak about your own area of expertise.
  • Add a touch of humour to your speech. It’s a happy occasion.

What not to say:

  • A graduation speech should always end on a note of idealism and hope. The name of the school/college/university should be mentioned with pride and reference made to its excellence. Above all a graduation speech should be a reflection on the importance of the day.

How to End:

  • End your speech on a motivational note or, if applicable, with a loyal toast.


How to Make a Wedding Anniversary Speech

Wedding anniversary speeches to the couple should be light-hearted yet sincere. A little bit of nostalgia adds to wedding anniversary speeches. Do a little bit of research amongst family and friends to find out what the couple mean to other people too.

What to include in wedding anniversary speeches:

  • An interesting opening to catch the attention of guests.
  • A mention of some special incident during the couple?s married life.
  • Try to add a funny story about something that has happened during their wedded life.
  • A reference to the number of years married especially if it is a big anniversary such as a silver or gold.
  • A good anniversary speech will include mention of some of the achievements of the couple over the years. You might mention the company they formed or the prizes they won for bridge.
  • A mention of the couple in the family context. E.g. An anniversary speech should speak of how they supported their children or looked after their parents or visited their grandchildren in far distant places.
  • Sometimes it is appropriate to thank a family member or friend for organizing the party.
  • Presentation of any special gift.

What should not be included:

  • Anything blue or smutty or offensive
  • A mention of anything personal that might upset a family member or guest (e.g. alcoholism)

How to end:

  • Anniversary speeches (To the couple) should express the best wishes of those present at the gathering and end with a toast to many more years of happiness.


How to Make a Eulogy Speeches

A eulogy is a public farewell to someone you love. It is your last opportunity to tell the world how much that person meant to you. It can bring comfort to the bereaved and make a funeral service very personal indeed. A eulogy may be given in a church, synagogue, a funeral home or at the graveside. If there is a religious ceremony it is always courteous to speak to a clergyman/woman about giving a eulogy and to get their guidance as to length and content.

What to include in great eulogy speeches

  • A thank you to all those who have come to the funeral to share your sorrow.
  • A very short potted history of the deceased and a mention of his/her personality/ interests/lifestyle in funeral speeches.
  • A touch of humour can be very helpful especially if the deceased was known to enjoy a good laugh.
  • An incident that displayed the goodness/kindness/generosity of the deceased.
  • An explanation of what the deceased meant to you personally.

What not to say in funeral eulogies

  • Anything that would be hurtful to the mourners such as a mention of alcoholism or drug taking.
  • Any mention of family discord.
  • Anything that would show the deceased in a poor light. That is not to say that you should make him or her out to be an angel but as we have always been told, you should never speak ill of the dead. So never mention his/hr bad points instead concentrate on his/her virtues.
  • Any lengthy story. A funeral eulogy should be short.

How to End great eulogies

  • If the deceased had a belief in the afterlife you could end your eulogy by saying that you know they are enjoying the heavenly reward which they deserved pr that they will always be remembered.
  • If the deceased had no religious conviction then you should simply say that you hope they have found peace.

How to Make a Charity Fundraising Speech

The whole purpose of such a speech is to make people aware of a certain need. It may be for funds for a new wing at a hospital or a benevolent association appeal for a colleague who has fallen on hard times. Whatever the purpose there will be some things you should include and some you should leave out

What to include:

  • Give a very warm welcome.
  • Thank your audience for coming, explaining how much their presence means.
  • State the purpose of the occasion and speak of the benefits that will accrue.
  • Give them the feel good factor by praising their generosity.
  • Encourage them to continue giving in the future.

What not to say:

  • Don’t say too much and lose the whole point of your speech. You should be focussed on the cause itself.
  • Don’t give too many statistics. It confuses people.
  • Don’t forget to mention anyone who has done something particularly special for the cause.

How to End:

  • You should end the speech on a very positive and upbeat note. You should end leaving people convinced that the target can be reached as long as they are involved. You should challenge them to meet that target and feel the satisfaction that comes from doing so.


How to Make a Conference Speech

There are many kinds of conference speeches. You may be acting as MC and opening and closing the conference or you may be a guest speaker. The conference subject may be business, health, entertainment or a dozen subjects in between. There is, however, a format for such speeches and you should be careful to keep to it.

What to include:

  • The correct forms of address. Often such conferences have important guests present and it is important that you should address them correctly.
  • A riveting opening that will catch the attention of the audience.
  • An appropriate thank you e.g. to guest speaker, conference organiser or committee.
  • A welcome to all present.
  • A mention of the wonderful venue.
  • The speech should also include content that looks at the topic from an unusual angle. Doctors will have heard thousands of speeches about heart disease already. Make yours stand out.
  • If applicable, your speech should give details of the rest of the conference.

What not to say:

  • Any smutty story or blue joke.
  • Any criticism of the club/association. If you think changes are necessary make an alternative suggestion instead of criticising the present situation.
  • Any critical reference to someone who is present.

How to End:

  • Overall the speech should reflect the ethos of the club/association. If it is a charitable club the speeches should be about how to help others. If it is a business association it should be about how to improve business. If it is relevant the speech should end with a toast to the club/association or perhaps to someone who has served in it.


How to Make an After Dinner Speech

An after dinner speech should be gracious in tone.

What to include:

  • Thank those who invited you to speak.
  • Mention the wonderful meal.
  • Add a little humour. People like to laugh.
  • Try to make your speech look at the association or group you are addressing from a different angle.
  • Try to mention some connection you have with the club/association you are addressing.
  • Get over heavy ground lightly. No matter how deep the subject try to make it entertaining.

What not to say:

  • Don’t include the wrong titles in your address. A Major won’t thank you for calling him Sergeant. So get the titles right.
  • Don’t include too many statistics. People won’t remember them if they have dined and wined well.
  • Don’t include too many details. It’s a social occasion and people will want to chat.

How to End:

  • Be positive about the group you are addressing and what they do. You should end your speech on a complimentary note regarding their club/association/business.. Then ask the guests to join you in a toast if that is appropriate.


How to Make a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Speech

A Bar or Bat mitzvah speech should reflect the importance of the occasion both spiritually and socially. It should sum up just what the occasion means to the boy or girl involved and to his or her family and friends. It should be warm and informal as befits a family occasion.

What to include:

  • References to his/her growing years. It is a day for memories
  • Stress the importance family in the life of Jews.
  • A thanks to the Rabbi/Cantor if either or both are present.
  • Mention the fact that he/she is at a watershed between youth and adulthood with its new responsibilities.
  • Speak of the future that you hope is in store for the boy/girl.
  • Add humour. They are still children after all

What not to say:

  • Anything that will make him/her feel uncomfortable such as teasing him/her about a childhood incidence.
  • Anything blue or smutty.
  • Anything critical. This is a day for praise and encouragement.

How to End:

  • End your bat mitzvah or bar mitzvah speechon a positive note. Depending on the religious convictions of the family your speech may have mentioned the significance of the day. This is usually a family social occasion and your speech should reflect this. Finally bless the boy or girl and end with an appropriate bar mitzvah toast.