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  • Holly Blum/The Word Whisperer

Writing My Speech For My Daughter’s Bat Mitzvah Wasn’t Easy As I Thought

When it was time to write my speech for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah I thought it would be easy. After all, I knew my daughter inside and out. I had a lifetime of memories to showcase. And I’m a professional speechwriter!

But when I sat down to compose my thoughts I found myself overwhelmed by just how much I had to say. And I must admit I felt a certain pressure that this speech, in particular, be one to remember. So I took a deep breath and followed the same advice I use when writing speeches for my clients. I thought about the overarching messages I wanted to communicate, how to create the most impactful framework, and then handpicked the memories that would resonate with the majority of our guests.

My speech was being delivered during the spiritual service, so I decided that the overall tone should be more heartfelt than humorous. Our service, which I wrote with my daughter, was modeled after the Friday night services I experienced at summer camp when we would gather together outside surrounded by trees. This tree theme became one of the main frameworks of the speech.

I wanted my speech to reflect the many facets of my daughter’s character—her quest for knowledge, her zest for life, her kindness. But I did not want it to read like a laundry list of character traits. Instead, I weaved her life story together, describing how she gives so much of herself…as a daughter, sister, friend, teammate and volunteer…to make the world a sweeter place.

After I had my draft written, I read it aloud many times and tweaked the areas I felt needed more work. Perhaps I agonized over each word a bit more than I would ordinarily, but I wanted my daughter to feel like each word was cherry-picked just for her.

At the end of the speech, I saw my daughter’s smile light up the room. I knew I hit the mark. Even if getting there wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

For anyone interested in seeing a copy of the actual speech, please email me at

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