Whether you're the only speaker or everyone is taking a turn with the mic, your family reunion speech is a great way to welcome guests and share your favorite stories about being in the family. Since family reunions are usually fairly casual, you don't have to stress too much over what to write. Share your personal thoughts in a witty, sentimental or memorable way to add to the fun of the reunion.
Deciding on the Purpose
Every great speech has a purpose behind it. You're addressing the guests of your family reunion, but what are you trying to accomplish with your words? Are you giving an opening address to kick off the family reunion fun? Are you paying tribute to family members who are no longer with you? Are you sharing family memories along with other relatives' stories? Perhaps you're wrapping up the celebration with a thank-you speech before everyone heads home. Whatever the purpose for the speech, keep that goal in mind as you choose your words.
Choosing a Theme and Tone
Before you start writing the actual words, give some thought to the overall theme and tone you want to achieve. You might focus on your family heritage or shared family history. You might go with the general theme of love and togetherness. Perhaps you have an inside joke that everyone in the family knows that you can use as your speech theme.
Speeches that are a mix of sentimental and funny often go over well. If you don't feel comfortable cracking jokes, you might keep your speech more on the sentimental end. If you're not one for emotions, focus more on humor. You might prefer to take a religious approach if your family is very religious. Choose a tone that fits the occasion and your personal style, so you feel comfortable delivering the speech.
Include Stories, Quotes or Jokes
You don't have to come up with all original words for your speech. Recount a family story that's been passed down, or share a funny memory from the last family reunion. Quotes about family can help make your point. You might also sprinkle in some jokes for comedic relief. Even song lyrics or lines from movies can fit into your family reunion speech. These additions make your speech more interesting and help create the theme.
Tips for Writing Your Speech
With the overall theme and a few quotes and stories in place, you're ready to fill in the rest of the words. It's not as scary as it sounds. Use these tips to help along the way:
- Keep the speech short. Avoid long, complicated sentences that are difficult to follow.
- Have fun with it. You're not up for a promotion or running for office. Let your personality shine through your words.
- Ask other family members questions about your family history if you're not clear on some aspects.
- Include fun stories or quotes from other family members to add a personal touch.
- Don't forget to work in some pauses. It helps break up the speech and allows people to keep up.
- Practice your speech a few times before the reunion. You'll feel more comfortable with the message.
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- Memorize your speech but keep your index cards for reference during delivery. Try to include every attendee in some mention during your speech. Mention any dear and departed relatives during the speech.
- Avoid overly sarcastic humor or items shared in confidence that might embarrass the subject.
Shelley Frost writes professionally on a full-time basis, specializing in lifestyle, family, parenting and relationship topics. She holds an education degree and has extensive experience working with kids and parents.