It’s the holiday season, which means friendship, joy, love, and PARTIES! The perfect occasions to tell those you love, and work with, all the wonderful things you’ve wanted to say all year. Of course, there may also be some NOT so wonderful things you want to say, but it’s best to bite your tongue in those cases. There’s pretty much no way a mean spirited holiday party tirade goes well. If you don’t believe me, check out Clark W. Griswold.
In case you need to give a speech or a toast at a holiday party, here are three things to consider so you don’t end up like good ole’ Clark. One: lay off the eggnog. I get it, you’re nervous when you speak and you want to take the edge off. No problem, but have one drink, not three. Too much drinking, and your speech will be incoherent at best and a train wreck at worst.
Which leads us to point two: make sure chestnuts are the only thing roasting. A holiday party is not the time to break out sarcasm and digs at your weird aunt Shelley or your coworkers. Sometimes jokes we think our funny aren’t received that way, and that can be a very lonely feeling on stage. In this setting it’s best to be merry, after all.
And three: be quick like Santa’s reindeer and keep your speech moving. Say a few nice words, be funny, genuine, and perhaps even inspirational. If your speech is going well, exit on a high note. Don’t push your luck and “wing it.” Trying improvised material is where things can often get dicey.
Just speak from the heart (and, if need be, a script), then raise a glass, say cheers, and leave the stage feeling proud of yourself. Keep your speech short, be kind and stay sober. Do those three things and you’ll “sleigh” your speech. Sorry, couldn’t resist the Santa pun.