21st birthday parties are a big deal, not to mention the all-important speech. It’s a tricky one: how do you find that perfect balance of sassy sarcasm and a serious expression of gratitude for the people around you? At VenueNow, we’ve all been through it! And our crack team of venue experts plenty of tips to ensure you nail your have 21st birthday party speech.
It’s the milestone birthday that you’ve been waiting 20 long years to celebrate, and EVERYONE is going to be there. Your best mates, oldest friends, new beau and extended family are expecting you to be on-game for the big occasion.
You definitely don’t want to slip up when it gets to crunch time, so how do you avoid a flop? There are a few things you can do to make sure you rise to the occasion, and deliver a tasteful speech that will be remembered.
The party is in full swing, you’re lost for words, but everyone is egging you on. This scene is very common, but it’s not where you want to be on the big day. Prepare your speech well ahead of time and practice it at least a few times before presenting it to the party.
If you’re forgetful, a little vague, or know you’re not a great speaker, it’s definitely worth having notes to prompt you during the speech. Some people prefer to write their speech out word-for-word to maximise efficiency, and minimise the chance of forgetting key details, but your speech will actually flow better, and be heaps more engaging, if you’re not looking down at a page for the entire time.
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Thank the key players
Your 21st birthday party speech isn’t a chore, but an opportunity to acknowledge the things and people that have made you the adult that you’ve become. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, and forget to thank the key players in the narrative that is your life. To ensure you don’t forget to acknowledge mum and dad, your oldest pals or your lover, position the thank-yous at the start of your speech.
Funny comes naturally to some of us, but if you’re not blessed with the humour gene, it’s easy to get some laughs with an anecdote from your past. Think of the time you laughed the hardest, the dumbest thing you did on that Contiki tour across Europe, or the holiday that went horribly wrong, then build a story around it to include in your speech. The trick here is to tell a genuinely hilarious story but avoid offending anyone in attendance.
The first time you got wasted and threw up on mum’s favourite gnome may be funny for some, but if your elderly grandparents are around, you’ll completely spoil their image of you as the angelic, innocent grandchild. Instead, have a dig at yourself, and try including an anecdote about that time you failed to read 24 hour time and ended up stranded at a bus stop in sleepy Somerset at 2am on the last day of your holiday.
Know your audience and craft a speech with tasteful humour that will get the laughs, not the room silencing, disapproving glares.
While your guests are definitely expecting a speech, they’re not here to listen to you mumble about the great life that you live, or tell dumb long winded stories about the people that you love. They’re here to party, and party they will, as long as you don’t kill the vibe with an uncomfortable speech.
After a few drinks, and a bit of dancing, the attention span of your mates is likely to dwindle, so it’s important to keep things brief. Stick to a couple of minutes, and prepare a dancey playlist to lift the atmosphere and get the dance floor going post speech.
The best speeches are those that are obviously prepared but allow room for a little flexibility. Who knows what’ll happen on the day. Your best mate or mum might interrupt with their own anecdote just as you’re getting to the best bit.
If your nearest and dearest are a talkative bunch, let them know your plan before the big day so that you (and your guests) are not bombarded with five boring, overly sappy speeches. This situation is a guaranteed mood killer, and a sure-fire way to have your 21st birthday party remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Brace yourself, praise your party, cut the crap and add a bit of humour. You’ll be nailing that 21st birthday party speech in no time at all!
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