Been asked to give an after dinner speech and panicking about what to say, as well as how to say it? Read on to find out the key to after dinner speeches.
It may be a Burns Night dinner, a school or college reunion, a Livery Company event or a fundraiser, but the principles never change. Getting it right means working from back to front.
That means starting by thinking about your audience. What do you want them to be saying when you finish speaking? What do you want them to remember? How much detail can they stomach? What sort of mood are they likely to be in? What time of the day will it be? How much will they have drunk?
It’s only be running through questions of this sort that you can start to think about your own approach. A speech written in this way will, by definition, be relevant. It is also highly likely to be original, as you are writing something for the crowd on the day.
Your event may require you to include a number of formal thank yous and toasts. Again, it’s important not to start with these in some sort of list, but to weave them around the core structure of your speech to keep the audience interested.
And once writing begins, it’s all about crafting something punchy and easy to deliver that will fill you with confidence before you stand up to speak.
We are, of course, happy to come in at any stage during this process to help you write and deliver a truly memorable speech, whether it’s editing your first draft, or sitting down with you to create a structure and write your first draft for you. Email us, give us a call or fill in an enquiry form on the right side of this page.
“Just to let you know the college speech went even better than I had expected. The Warden, who must be a veteran in such matters, described it as “a masterpiece of its genre”. Very many thanks.”
Andrew P, June 2011