An after-dinner speech gives you an opportunity to express goodwill and gratitude when the curtain falls on a critical dinner gathering. You also get the chance to compliment the gathering by expressing your thankfulness, showing the way forward after the occasion, or reflecting on the past. An after-dinner speech should have a light and warm tone without losing all formalness so that it does not become a comedy show. This article shows you how to do it right.
How to write an after-dinner speech
The first factor to keep in mind before drafting the speech is your audience. This way, you will be better placed to tailor your speech to fit them and use a language and sense of humor that fits them.
Additionally, your speech should be brief. Don’t allow it to exceed the 15-20 minute-limit lest you turn it into another drudgery and misplaced lecture. Just ensure it is sweet enough to keep your listeners engaged.
Your speech should also be passionate and interactive. By maintaining an interactive tone and approach, you will keep your audience feeling to be a part of the speech. By asking them for their opinion, you make them feel they are your “co-speakers.”
Selecting a topic
Selecting appropriate after-dinner speech topics is a pillar in drafting your speech. The reason is that you will be addressing your audience, and hence, you should tailor your speech’s topic to suit their needs. For instance, if you are going to address a marketing executives’ dinner, you can’t prepare a speech on the milestones that surgical technology is achieving. Marketers are not interested in those things, and they don’t even understand them.
Use vignettes to maintain attention
As it is with all human audience, you need to make your speech more appealing and attractive to the listeners. For this reason, you should use all types of hooks that will keep your audience interested and attentive to your speech. You can start by making reference to an event that has shaped and changed the way you think. If you are addressing a doctors’ dinner, you can start by citing one of the most memorable events that cause a turn-around in your career.
Utilize humor wisely
Should you use humor in your speech? You can include humor to make your speech more appealing. The only caution is that you don’t need to turn the speech into a comedy, but rather, the humor needs to point the listener to what you are saying. Just ensure the humor is relevant to your audience and it does not border obscenity or course joking that sounds silly. Also, don’t use humor that is sarcastic and offensive so that you don’t kill the jovial mood of the dinner.
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