21st Birthday Speech for a Friend
In our question and answer series of articles, we return to the topic of birthday speeches. Here our readers asked The Presentation Doctor for advice on writing 21st birthday speeches for a friend.
Question from Sarah:
I’ve been asked by my best friend to speak at her 21st birthday and don’t know where to start. I want to make it witty and funny, embarrass her ever so slightly but not too much as her Gran and Grandad will also be there. How do I grab people’s attention right from the start?
The Presentation Doctor’s response:
It is hard to give advice on birthday speeches without knowing the person involved. The main thing that I have observed over the years is to keep them short – it is you that is standing between the audience and the rest of the party.
One of the best things to bring into a birthday speech are some amusing tales of your time together.
You could start the speech with “I first met my friend…” or “I have known my friend since…”
It would probably be best to exclude the more bawdy moments of your time together, but stories of a few silly moments or some close scrapes can go down well.
If you get really stuck you could do an “On this day in history…” or “people who share this birthday with my friend include…”
Check out our other advice for a 21st birthday speech or have a look at our 21st birthday speech example .
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How to Write a 21st Birthday Speech
Write your speech for a loved one's 21st birthday ahead of time so you're prepared and don't embarrass the birthday celebrant or yourself. Your speech should reflect your personality and your relationship with the birthday celebrant. Your speech can be sentimental, funny or both depending on how comfortable you are speaking in front of everyone and what message you want to convey to the birthday celebrant. Use your speech to touch on the celebrant's passage into adulthood on his 21st birthday.
Make a list of the key sentiments, memories, wishes or ideas you want to include in the speech. If you've known the celebrant her entire life consider sharing something from different stages to touch on her growth into the adult she is becoming on her milestone birthday. Any stories or memories you include should not be embarrassing to the celebrant.
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Create an outline for your speech. It should include an introduction, which tells guests who you are to the birthday celebrant. Share any key events in his life that you were there for, such as a humorous story about how you met or a favorite moment you shared with him. Close with a toast, such as wishing him luck on his future endeavors, how you look forward to being a part of the rest of his life or a toast to his first legal drink.
Write your speech on paper or a computer, whichever you prefer. Leave a break in the speech so you can comment on the party, such as thanking guests for coming if you're organizing the party or thanking the host for inviting you to give a speech. Comment on something relevant at the party if you're comfortable coming up with something on the spot.
Read your speech to yourself out loud a few times to make sure it sounds smooth and feels comfortable. The speech should be short and to the point to highlight the birthday celebrant without dragging it out so long that guests get bored. Make any tweaks necessary to shorten the length of the speech or make it sound more natural.
Copy your speech on small index cards to take to the party with you in case you get stage fright and need the help. Try to memorize your speech so it sounds more natural.
If you are the birthday celebrant, thank your guests for coming, thank the host or hostess of the party, thank anyone significant who helped you make it to your 21st birthday and let everyone know what you plan on doing in the future, or simply make a statement, such as "I hope to see you all again next year."
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Cheers To You! Your Guide To Your 21st Birthday Speech
- February 16, 2022
Congratulations! You will soon turn 21 and brace yourself up for the rest of your adult life. Your 18th birthday was unique because you reached the age of majority and became a legal adult. But your 21st birthday is a big deal, and not to forget your speech.
Writing your 21st birthday speech can be a daunting task as you have hit a significant milestone. As your friends and loved ones gear up to celebrate your special day, this is an opportunity to share exciting anecdotes with them and show them you care.
If you are wondering how to put it all together, don’t worry, as we have some fantastic tips that will make your 21st birthday speech unforgettable.
Why Your 21st Birthday Should Be Memorable
Youngsters are very excited to turn 21 as this is the age where you are officially a responsible adult. From a historical perspective, the 21st birthday was celebrated as a momentous occasion during mediaeval times when a boy became a knight . However, 21st birthdays are no longer gender exclusive but are still considered a significant milestone. Traditionally young people were given the key to the family’s house at 21, making the event all the more special.
Enhance Your 21st Birthday Speech with These Amazing Tips!
Your 21st birthday speech should charm your audience and make your special occasion memorable. If you are looking for some terrific 21st birthday speech ideas, follow these tips to enthral your audience.
Be Prepared and Write It All Down
Make a list of all the wishes, memories, and sentiments you want to include in your speech. This will give you a clue on what you want to focus on in your speech. Once you have listed all the points, you can elaborate on them.
Prepare your speech in advance and practice it a couple of times till you are confident of presenting it to friends and family. If you think that you might forget something, write your speech word-to-word so that you don’t miss out on anything. But make sure not to read out the entire speech from the paper as your guests might die of boredom!
Let Everyone Get a Few Drinks In
Give everyone some time to sit back and enjoy so that they are ready to get entertained. Your jokes will seem funnier once your mates chug a few beers and loosen up.
Thank the Key Players
So many people, including your parents, siblings, and friends, have come together to make this occasion memorable. It is good to start your speech by thanking all the guests for coming. Make sure that you thank the host and let everyone know that you appreciate their efforts. After all, gratitude nurtures your relationships.
Chuck In a Joke
Grab some eyeballs with a funny anecdote ; after all, everyone is here to enjoy your special evening.
It’s okay if humour doesn’t come naturally to you; think about the last time you laughed uncontrollably. Share one of the dumbest things you did on a trip or a plan that went incredibly wrong, and you will take the entertainment quotient up a notch! But make sure not to crack a joke that offends anyone.
Here are a few sample funny 21st birthday speech ideas:
“Happy 21st birthday to my best friend/sibling/child! I can’t believe you’re finally legal… now we can get into all sorts of trouble together! Just kidding, please don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Or wait, scratch that. Do everything I wouldn’t do because that’s probably more fun. Either way, happy birthday and here’s to many more years of mischief and mayhem!”
“Welcome to the adult world, [name]! It’s a weird place filled with responsibility and boring things like paying bills and doing your own laundry. But on the bright side, you can finally drink alcohol! Just remember, it’s all fun and games until someone pukes on the carpet. Happy 21st birthday!”
“Happy 21st birthday, [name]! You’re finally old enough to do all the things your parents told you not to do when you were younger. Just kidding, please don’t actually do those things. But on a serious note, congratulations on reaching this milestone and cheers to many more years of good times ahead!”
It is good to have some kind words at the end of your speech. You can share briefly how your friends and family have added meaning to your life and show how much you care for all the people who’ve gathered to make your birthday memorable.
Keep Your Birthday Speech Short
Make your speech short and simple as people have other things vying for their attention. Wondering how long your speech should be? Ideally, it shouldn’t be more than five minutes, so avoid log stories and keep it to the point. Have a party playlist ready, as your guests might be in the mood to hit the dancefloor right after.
Keep Them Wanting More
Twenty-one years is a truly momentous occasion, and you can make it all the more special with a short and exciting speech. Your birthday speech is a great way to express gratitude to your family and friends for their endless support. Moreover, you can also share your future plans with them. The best advice is to make it crisp, straightforward, and funny.
Are you looking for the perfect venue for your 21st birthday bash? We manage all the nitty-gritty details so that you can have a fun bash! Check out Navarra Venues for Hire in Sydney to celebrate in style.
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Birthday Speech Tips: How to Write the Perfect Speech
As a professional birthday speechwriter, I have written many milestone birthday speeches, including 21st, 40th, 50th, 80th and more. When it comes to creating an entertaining and memorable speech for a birthday party, you might not be sure how to begin. Here are a few tips for creating a birthday speech, whether it’s for your birthday or that of a colleague, friend or loved one.
Is it for your birthday or someone else’s birthday?
This will make a big difference in how you create this speech. If it’s for yourself, the speech will include thanking people for attending, sharing your memories (successes and challenges), mentioning the impact of your friends and family, and looking to the future. For example, if you are delivering a 50th birthday speech, you will cover important events and people in your life, thank people who have helped you along the way (parents, spouse, other family and friends, etc) and speak about plans for the future. It’s a big day of your life, so you’ll want to think about, plan and write a birthday speech well in advance.
If a speech is directed at someone else who’s celebrating their birthday, the speech will be a bit different. In this case, it’s to honour that person and help them celebrate. This could include an overview of their life, major achievements and milestones, and best wishes for the future. Everybody loves funny birthday speeches, so it’s always a good idea to include some humour. The best way to do this is to tell funny stories about the person. If it’s a birthday speech for a best friend, it could include funny things that happened to you.
21st birthday speech
Typically, this is delivered at a 21st birthday party by one of the parents or a close friend. The speaker reflects on the 21 years and offers best wishes for the future. If you are a parent giving a 21st birthday speech, you could mention their birth, what they were like as a baby, key milestones from the childhood and young adult years, and challenges and achievements. The best part of a 21st birthday speech is the opportunity for humour. Think back to all the funny things that happened over the years and include a few of these. Avoid things that might be too embarrassing or you might not speak to your child again. But seriously, a 21st birthday speech is a great time to honour a family member as they enter the next phase of their life.
Here’s an example of a funny story from a 21st birthday speech for a daughter:
Tanya has always known exactly what she wants and moves mountains to get it. When she was little, that included mountains of clothes! Sometimes it took us 45 minutes to an hour to get Tanya dressed for kinder in the morning. Her bedroom floor at home may have looked as though a tornado had ripped through it, but Tanya always stepped into kinder in style with a perfectly co-ordinated outfit.
If you choose to include funny stories, it helps if your audience members have a sense of humour.
Milestone speech for a best friend or loved one
Whether it’s for a friend’s 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th birthday, you can highlight your relationship with them and how you’ve been through thick and thin together. Speak about the best qualities of your amazing friend and provide a few examples or stories to support this.
The birthday toast
Whether it’s for your child’s, spouse’s or friend’s birthday, the birthday toast is an essential closing to the speech. Depending on your relationship, it could be a serious or funny birthday toast. Here’s one example from a husband to his wife on her 50th birthday:
Please join me in a toast to Belinda. Belinda, I am truly grateful for the wonderful times we have had and I anticipate many more to come. You mean so much to me, our family and our friends. As we grow older and our love grows stronger, I look forward to supporting each other, sharing good times and creating more happy memories together. Happy Birthday, Belinda!
Get in touch for birthday speech help
If you are stuck and wondering how to write a 50th birthday speech or how to write a speech for a friend’s birthday, we offer birthday speech writing services to create fun and memorable birthday speeches.
Please contact us on 1300 731 955 or send us an email to discuss your requirements.
Milestone Birthday Speeches for Friends and Loved Ones
Composing a speech to celebrate a friend’s birthday, especially one that is a milestone, can sometimes prove to be an intimidating task.
However, we have made the process exponentially easier by providing you free, ready-to-use presentations for such occasions that would let any such person know how much you truly appreciate their special companionship.
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Birthday speech for boss, birthday speech for a working partner, birthday speech for sister, birthday speech for brother, for 21st birthday.
I can’t thank all the beautiful people here enough for gracing the occasion of the 21st birthday of [Name of Friend]. To say that I’m thrilled to celebrate this special day with [Name of Friend] is the best definition of an understatement.
Buddy, today as you transition fully into adulthood, I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say we are overjoyed to share this day with you. Additionally, we are all fully confident in your ability to not only survive but prosper on your own. That being said, I feel honored to be making this presentation not only to officiate my boy, my friend becoming a man, but also in hopes that when that prosperity does come he dare not forget me. In our teens we do a lot of dumb things, and in our twenties we sometimes do things twice as stupid, but as for someone with such a sound mind as you, I know this is going to be the best decade of your life so far. You are going to get married, you are going to start a beautiful family, and make all of the people who love and care for you, including of course myself, extremely proud. So I end this speech thankful not only for my friend reaching this notable age but also for the glorious future that awaits him.
Today you have the privilege of not only being the guest of honor but also entering into one of the most exciting periods of your life. We are all here to congratulate and to wish you many more years of health, productivity and growth. Being 21 invokes feelings of envy in some people, who wish that during those robust, irreplaceable years they had spent their time more constructively. Therefore I am here to implore you to use these next years of your life wisely. Don’t be “young, dumb and full of c*m” and make mistakes that can haunt you for decades. Focus your energies on being genuinely productive because if there is one thing all of us gathered here have in common it is the belief that whatever you put your mind to, there is absolutely, positively no reason why you can’t achieve it. In some ways I wish I also were you. I wish my mind was still at the stage of seeing only potentials without acknowledging the harsh realities of life, as it is often that same thought pattern that proves to be a prerequisite for greatness. Then combine those beliefs with the qualities, talents and support system you already possess, and again the world is yours. So in conclusion, let me say welcome to this new stage of your life, the stage where you are the sole superstar.
[Name of Friend], may you continue to grow in strength and make us all proud. Happy birthday.
The world can be a scary place, which is why I am more than honored to officially welcome someone as fearless as yourself into adulthood. I know what it feels like to be paralyzed with fear, and I also know what it feels like to be so confident you can take on the world, and I’m glad you naturally possess the latter frame of thought. I have no doubt, absolutely no doubt, that the world is your oyster, that if the path is not already laid for you as you tread the path to success, the angels themselves will clear the way.
The only way I can think to adequately end this brief oration is by sharing my prayer of not wishing any drastic change in your character but only that you mature, become wiser and fully realize all of the internal gifts that have be entrusted to you. I believe that you are a special blessing to us (your loved ones) and the entire world at large.
[Name of Friend], you’re the world’s most phenomenal 21 year old! May God bless you with many more birthdays filled with immense blessings and joy. At this juncture, let the party officially begin.
For 30th Birthday
Wow, 30 years of perpetual, never-ending greatness! If I were not close enough to bear witness myself, I’m not sure I would even believe it is possible. You have always shown yourself to be beyond your years in wisdom, discipline and maturity. You have established a foundation for yourself where others have faltered. This isn’t about me overpraising you because again as your close friend I know you aren’t perfect. This is about me being excited about the future, a future with you. This is about me saying ‘wow, if he is this great now, how great will he be when he’s 40, 50 or 60?’ This is about life being a movie with you being the deserving star, and people such as myself, who will always find a way to attend your birthday celebration no matter what, always desiring a sequel.
I guess what I’m trying to say is as much pleasure as it has been growing up with you, as much of a joyride it has been partaking in your friendship through various stages of my life, I know the future, your future, is going to be better. Right now you are neither young nor old. You are in the perfect position to assert yourself more upon the world. So today, sorry to say this, but I’m putting a burden on you. The burden is to use the roots you have already established to now grow into a mighty oak, with the magnitude of your accomplishments providing not only shade to yourself but also the countless others who can use your services. Happy birthday, my dearest friend.
I can come up here and shower you with all types of lavish words, but the truth is even if no one came out today to pay respect, metamorphosing into such a wonderful tricenarian in itself is a helluva accomplishment you should forever be proud of.
[Name of Friend], I know I don’t often say it but your friendship is such a great blessing in my life which I shall never ever stop treasuring. You are more than just a friend; you are a role model, an icon, a living legend. You may never receive the accolades properly due to someone of your stature here on earth, but most assuredly the heavens have plenty of prizes in store for you, as is evident because you have already been receiving them. You are a person who everyone would feel greatly privileged to have as a friend.
Happy 30th birthday, my dear friend! Here’s to you and the beauty you bring into our lives every blessed day. In my eyes, there is no greater pleasure than honoring someone who genuinely deserves it.
Thank you a trillion times for coming into my life and being a true friend to me in this lifetime. Will love you always.
For 40th Birthday
They say that now over half the world’s population is under the age of 30, so reaching the age of 40 is like being an elder 100 years ago. But all jokes aside, it was a privilege being your fellow journeyman as you made it through young man/womanhood into an established adult. Yes there were challenges along the way, but none that you were not able to surpass and then come out the better person as a result. Knowing that my children have someone like you to look up to as an uncle/aunt gives me full assurance that if I ever need an additional voice of wisdom to help steer them in the right direction, one is just a phone call away. And likewise it is my honor, indeed my privilege, to continue to serve as your faithful friend in any capacity you may need me. So as you continue through life’s journey to days more glorious than even those you left behind, know that I and other loved ones will be there to staunchly cheer you on every step of the way. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you an absolutely beautiful and blessed 40th birthday.
Big congratulations to you on turning 40 today! Despite the fact that you have officially reached what most people refer to as the middle age, I feel as though you are just beginning. 40 is a beautiful and very exciting chapter of life. And as you enjoy the incredible excitement that dwells in this chapter of your life, it’s my hope that you will use all of the invaluable knowledge, experience and love you have obtained throughout the years to go all out and fulfill what you perceive as the ultimate goal.
For someone as accomplished as yourself, perhaps others will look at you and say, ‘He’s already done so much. He has nothing left to prove.’ But as for me, I am cognizant, indeed even awe-stricken, of the amount of latent potential you still possess. Owing to this, I strongly believe the latter half of your life will be even more amazing than the first was. So my friend, go and travel to an exotic location, write a book, buy the pet pony you have always wanted – you get the idea. We are all already blessed by your companionship, and we are going to be even more blessed by what you have yet to achieve. So let me wish you a happy birthday, one that you will enjoy with all your heart yet will still be undermined by the ones that are yet to come.
For 50th Birthday
Aging used to be something I feared until I got to know you, a person who has now reached the age of 50 while simultaneously defining what it means to age gracefully. Aging gracefully means you may see changes on the outside, but on the inside you still possess the same zest for life, if not more, than someone who is new to the world. And this is also not to insinuate that there is anything wrong with the outside, for in my humble opinion you are the personification of the age old proverb that if a person is beautiful internally, it will reflect on them externally. In other words you are aging as one is supposed to age – or let me say as we would all like to age – by becoming more beautiful, more pronounced in your ability to survive, rather than decaying. Indeed one of my greatest aspirations in life is to become more like you, to have people look at me and say, ‘What’s her secret?’ So that is why when the opportunity presented itself for me to give this speech I didn’t shy away, not only for the chance to wish you a happy birthday but also to exclaim in front of the entire interconnected world how great you are and how much you are an inspiration to the lives that you have touched. Happy 50th birthday, my dearest friend. It’s my hope and prayer that you’ll forever glitter and shine like priceless diamonds spread under the glorious rays of the sun.
Today the onus has fallen on me to try to encapsulate 50 years of an amazing life with just a few short words. I mean just think about it – when we first met, you were too young to work, and now in a few short years you are going to retire. I’m not going to deceive myself into thinking I can succinctly summarize all of your fiery trials and incredible triumphs, all of the painful sadness and carefree jubilations. Instead I’m going to keep things brief by simply letting you know how we all feel – we love you; we are proud of you, and we can’t think of any way to pass this day more appropriately than honoring one of the greatest men we all have the pleasure of knowing.
Now speaking on behalf of the guest of honor, someone who I know better than my own right hand, let’s all grab a drink, get thoroughly intoxicated and thank God for bringing us all together on this special day. Happy 50th birthday, buddy. May the good things of the universe always walk with you.
Today I have come to honor one of the greatest influencers on my entire life. And when I refer to the motivation that you have instilled in me, I mean it only in a positive way, as in you have done nothing but inspire me to do great things. Yes, there were times that you barked on me so hard I felt like calling my mommy. Both those are the moments when I also learned the most about what it means to be a true professional. Indeed I will go even further and say working with you has been fun as well as educational, as you always proved more than a boss but even more-significantly a genuine friend. So on this special day, if the heavens will hear my wishes, there are two things that I humbly request. One is that you get so old that when you finally leave the mortal plane, it will be by your own desire and not by force. And second is that the special bond we have established throughout the years last for the entire duration of our lives.
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You have been the perfect working partner. Truth be told, I would not have made it this far without you, because for the most part I just copied your work anyway. That’s right – I emulated myself to success. And I am most grateful for having such an outstanding person in my life that has proven to be such a positive influence. Today, we are partners, and I am hoping this companionship lasts until the day we no longer have to report to this miserable place and instead are collecting our big, phat paychecks at home. And I am also anticipating that every professional advancement I make, you will be present every step of the way, benefiting from my efforts also, as I don’t know many other people who would be so gracious with being plagiarized. But all jokes aside, it is an honor for me to be here and an even greater privilege being deemed worthy to actually give this speech. I know I speak for all of us when I say I look forward to doing this again next year, the year after that and into eternity, giving proper recognition to one of the kindest partners in the world.
First off let me say this is a special day to me. And I know it isn’t my birthday but rather that of my lovely sister. However, each anniversary of her life is a great cause for me to celebrate. This is because she has always been an invaluable and inseparable loved one who has been there for me. On top of that, no one knows her quite like I do, and the same goes for her childhood knowledge of me. But now looking at her as an adult – all I will say is that whenever I consider your accomplishments, I know that we share the same DNA, so I must be able to perform the same great feats also. And your future is even brighter than your present. I would adore seeing you one day with children. Or I would love watching you wholeheartedly pursue your professional endeavors. In other words, whatever road you decide to take, indeed whatever life throws at you, I am right there by your side. But now enough of the blatant as**-kissing. I think the true moment we have all been waiting for is digging into that delicious birthday cake you have baked!
You have known me my whole life and know I am not much of a public speaker. In fact you used to admonish me for being too shy. And while I have come a long way since then, honestly I still get the jitters being called upon to do things like make this speech. But this is an opportunity that I couldn’t let pass me by, because I have not only come up here to talk about a great man but also my very own brother. You have indeed come a long way from days past. Now people cannot help but complement your accomplishments. But even before you were the man you have become today, I always looked up to you. And I thank you more than anyone for proving that the person I had so much faith in indeed proved to be a champion. I have no doubt the future holds great things for you – happiness, good health, honor and riches. I just ask that when the day does come when all of your aspirations are physically manifest, you won’t forget to pass some of the blessings down to your little bro.
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30 Sep / 2013
- 21st Birthday Speech!
Last night was Karen’s 21st birthday party and it was the FIRST time I ever got asked to make a speech! So it was definitely a memorable experience for me 🙂 due to my unfortunate procrastinating nature I didn’t write the speech til on the day hence I was frantically looking through photos and remembering things. It didn’t help that in the morning I erased 300 photos and 40 videos off my phone (I’m still upset) but that being said I thought I should share my speech with the world since it’s the first time that I wrote one!
Karen’s 21 st speech
Hi everyone, for those of you who don’t know me my name is Ling & like many of the people that’s here right now I’m one of Karen’s friends. I’ve known Karen for only 2 years and 4 months so it’s not actually that long but somehow it feels so much longer – in a good way!
In these 2 years & 4 months I’ve learnt so much about Karen so I want to share some of my knowledge with you guys tonight:
First thing about Karen is that she is a muso. As in she loves music A LOT. I remember soon after we met at Soulxpress (the hiphop dance society at Sydney uni) we had a performance for VDS. This was just a random performance because none of us were actually in the Vietnamese Dynamic society. That day we met up to rehearse at 10am in the morning and we stayed together til past 10pm at night, spending 12 hours with her meant we got to know each other really really well and I knew then that we were going to be great friends because we were both singing chinese ballads together on Elizabeth street in broad day light near the starbucks. No one ever joins me in my random street karaoke sessions so I knew that she must really love music and I LOVE the fact that I can share my love of music with her.
Second thing about Karen is that she is VERY unique friend. Even though we’ve only been friends for 2 years we have A LOT of traditions that I don’t have with any other friends. The first being we celebrate our friendship anniversary on the day we met – every single year. Which is always an amazing experience because we reflect on all the random, crazy, spontaneous adventures! And we get to exchange gifts which is awesome. Another tradition we have is that we must see each other before we go on a trip, to be honest this tradition kinda just formed by itself but it reassures me every time before I leave I’ll get to see her when I get back. That was always very comforting.
Finally Karen is one of the most cheesiest and affectionate people I’ve ever met. She never fails to make me squirm with her cheesy pickup lines and adorable selfies. And she’ll be the first person to give anyone a hug and attention if they weren’t feeling 100%. She’ll always go that extra mile to make our lives easier and more interesting.
RENREN I’m so grateful that I got to meet you and even though you always say I kinda crash landed in to your life and exploded I hope it’s a good thing! You are such a wonderful friend and you’ve been with me through the good times and bad times. Thank you for teaching me about integrity, kindness and generosity just by being yourself! I’m so grateful to have you in my life and I hope that we have many more spontaneous, crazy adventures together taking more and more selfies (I have a whole album devoted to you on my computer) and eating more delicious FOOODS!
Hope you have a wonderful 21 st filled with laughter, joy and people spoiling you left, right and center! I SHALL SEE YOU SOON FOR SOME GELATO MMWAHAHAHAHAAHAAAA 😀 I LOVE YOU RENRENCAKES ❤
I meant every word I said and to be honest I didn’t say all of my speech there were lots of things that I missed out on because I went with the vibe of the audience more than anything else and I also started off pretty weirdly! 😛
I LOVE YOU BUBBI
Posted in Friend rants , Life rants
Tags: 21st , Birthday , blog , dailyblog , Friendship , Humor , Karen , photo , photography , Pick-up line , Relationships , Speech , speechwriting
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How to nail your 21st birthday party speech
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 to celebrate your significant milestone. 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 during your birthday speech? 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. A few words of thanks are the least you can do; so let’s figure out how to make that moment a memorable one, and start with these tips.
The party is in full swing, you’re lost for the right 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 21st birthday speech well ahead of time and practice it at least a few times before presenting it to the party. The most effective way to get your entire speech into your head is to practice!
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. Your birthday speech is a great way to express gratitude to your family and friends for their endless support. To ensure you don’t forget to acknowledge mum and dad, a family member, your oldest pals, your best friend, or your lover, position the thank-yous at the start of your speech. It will be a great joy to watch their faces light up when you thank them.
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. Your own speech should be cheeky but don’t cross a line when talking about people in your life.
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 2 am 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 on your very day.
Choose your topic
Say something meaningful, interesting and relevant to your audience. Choose a topic that you know your guests can relate to, like the importance of friendship, lessons you’ve learnt over the past year or how much you’ve matured as a person since turning 21. Alternatively, if you want to keep it light-hearted and fun, tell a few stories about your most cherished memories from childhood, or how you’ve been affected by the people in your life. Keep it short and sweet, but make sure that every sentence packs a punch and resonates with your audience.
Say your birthday wish
Be sure to include your birthday wish in your speech as well. Make a thoughtful and heartfelt request or hope for the year ahead, be it world peace, an end to poverty or an abundance of career opportunities. And if you’re feeling brave, make it unique and personal like a romantic gesture or a plea for never-ending friendship!
While your guests are definitely expecting a speech on your special day, 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! Happy birthday!
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21st Birthday Speech
Making a speech at your 21st birthday party is a great way to thank your family for their of support and to highlight your plans for the future. No one was ever criticised for making a speech that was too short, and just before a party is set to get started is the perfect example. There will probably be a real cross section of ages and characters there.
This means that the content of your speech needs to be suited to your audience – those bawdy tales you may like to remember with your university friends are very different to the tales of nativity plays that your grandparents will want to hear. The best advice is to keep it clean, positive and short.
Preparation for your 21st Birthday Speech
It is important to remember when in the evening you are going to make your speech. If you are having a sit-down meal, try to have your speeches before you eat (and before the food is served) so that you can enjoy your meal. This will also help guide the timing of the speech and will keep it fresh. If you are not having a sit-down meal, the best advice is to make sure your and any other speeches are over well before any volume of alcohol is consumed as this is the worst enemy of a good speech, both for you and the audience.
- Thank every one for coming to your party
- Thank whoever organised the party
- Say you appreciate the effort everyone has gone to (if it is a fancy dress party, or people have contributed to a buffet, for example)
- Say how much you are looking forward to the evening
Example: Thank you all so much for coming to help me celebrate my 21st birthday, I really appreciate that you’ve all travelled to be here – especially auntie Joan and uncle Graham who have come all the way from Edinburgh!
I would like to a say a massive thank you to my mum, dad and sister for arranging this party – I’ve been looking forward to it for ages and I can’t believe it’s finally here. Mum said that I wouldn’t want to celebrate my birthdays when I was her age, so I’m going to make the most of this party! The food all looks delicious and I know my mum and grandma have gone to a lot of effort to make it and Marks and Spencer’s have excelled themselves on the cake!!
2. Main Content of the Speech
If you do not want to talk too much about your personal circumstances – perhaps you are finding it hard to find full time employment – a good idea is to talk about ‘on this day in history’ type events that are entertaining but not quite so personal.
- If appropriate, acknowledge your current circumstances
- Thank your family for their support
- Mention a humorous family anecdote about birthdays
Example: I am hoping that this will be the year that all my efforts at school and university will start to pay off. I have applied for some excellent and not so excellent jobs and aim to be in my own grotty flat before the year is out! Most of all, I am hoping that this party does not end up like my brother’s 18th – shopping trolley dodgems is not amusing, is it mum?!
- Say thanks for any presents
- Wish everyone a good time at the party
Example: Thanks again to everyone for coming and the great presents that you’ve given me - I really appreciate it. On that note, I think mum will agree that it’s time to get cracking on the potent punch!