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Impact’s guide to… The Perfect 21st Speech

Along with deciding your degree, picking your perfect partner and choosing your child’s name, settling on the perfect candidate to make the speech at your 21st is one of the most important decisions of your life. The speeches are the make or break point of the evening and if poorly constructed you could face ultimate mortification of the party host, or alternatively the embarrassment of watching your audience nod off on to their pudding platters. So take the following steps to ensure your speech leaves people in raptures over your words of wisdom.

Open well: You need to catch your audience’s attention from the word go. Beginning with a joke is always a good call. My personal favourite at the 21st of a certain Miss Avery. was the opening line, “Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you all for coming, particularly Mr Avery twenty one years ago…”

Gauge your audience to the best of your ability before even putting pen to paper. Don’t refer to your best friend’s one-night stands/penchant for noisy copulation/love of oral sex when her granny has just re-adjusted her hearing aid. Sex jokes and parents/grandparents do not go hand in hand, so don’t make the mistake of one speech-maker who forced the birthday girl’s father to put his head in his hands and cover his ears in despair as she jovially described his daughter delaying a one-night stand in her pursuit of cheesy chips. Remember that parents/grandparents prefer never to think of their children ever having sex, in the same we don’t wish to imagine them at it.

Create a good balance between embarrassing drunk anecdotes and harmless chuckle-worthy memories about the good old days. Perhaps follow the story of your best friend urinating on a police car with the jolly old tale of struggling to light the campfire on the Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.
Use multiple media sources: videos, photographs, voice recordings, Powerpoint presentations, flow charts, diagrams, pie-charts, scatter plots and existential graphs could all provide some visual flavour to a lagging 21st speech.

With this guide in hand go out and create a perfect birthday celebration – unless you’ve read this too late and have already regaled tales of how your friend shagged half the football team in one night before winding up in a cell for indecent exposure. In which case don’t worry, their gran probably didn’t understand what a ‘spitroast’ was anyway…

Hattie Hamilton

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2 Comments on this post.
  • Charlotte
    4 February 2010 at 16:38
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    I was never aware of the need for speeches at a birthday party..

  • Phil
    14 September 2011 at 14:23
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