The world of after dinner speeches is no longer the preserve of media starlets looking to make a buck out of their 15 minutes of fame. Thanks to our digital super age experts, professionals and entertaining people are much easier to find and communicate with, so many more people are entering the fray, which can only be a good thing.
With so many different industries, charities and organisations asking such a wide variety of speakers to work with them, the demands on the speaker and the speech can be hugely different. Making a speech to to the Boiler Maker’s Association is always going to have a different feel to the speech for the Bayeux Tapestry Appreciation Group. So understanding your audience is crucial, but there are many more things to think about and below I’ve given some joints, tips and good old fashioned opinion on after dinner speeches.
The vibrant after dinner speaking scene demands originality because the internet has made everyone all too aware of just what poor one liners are all about and how not to use them. Nothing will compromise your speech more quickly than relying on google for your humour. They’ve heard them all a million times before and it just disappoints.
There is humour to be found in everything we do, see, eat, follow, love and hate. You just need time to think about it. Classically an after dinner speech will demand some great anecdotes so there’s plenty of opportunity to get some great lines in there. Think carefully about the wording, pace and pauses to give it some humour, and consider how to link these stories in an amusing way. Very often the thread that you dream up to tie them together can be the funniest part.
So, if you’re in the process of googling after dinner speech jokes, then stop. At best they’re weak, not very inventive and unfunny. Instead look closer to home for the real comedy.
Every speech is of course different but there are some elements to all good after dinner speeches.
With such an influx of new and exciting speakers on the after dinner circuit, there are clearly going to be one or two novices amongst them when it comes to public speaking. Some will have had great experience of giving corporate speeches but this is a million miles away from that type of communication – it is much more a form of entertainment and you need to loosen the tie a little.Below are a few things that should help nervous first timers and some corporate old campaigners.