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  • Holly Blum, The Word Whisperer

Why You Shouldn’t Turn To The Internet To Write Your Next Speech

If you’ve been asked to make a celebratory speech (or toast), it may be tempting to turn to the Internet for help. After all, can’t Google answer all of life’s challenges? Any number of search terms from “how to write a speech” to “best man toast template,” will turn up a variety of results. But when it comes to making a personal speech, the templates you will find on the Internet are not the best solution. And here’s why.

They’re generic. When you’re honoring a loved one, do you really want to give a cookie cutter speech that sounds like something anyone would say? Do you really want to take a generic Internet template and [insert name here]? Sure, templates make it easier, but they’re not one-size-fits-all. Remember, you’ve been asked to speak for a reason. Whether it’s your long-term relationship with the guest of honor or some other connection, it’s your job to make your speech as special and meaningful as possible.

They lack authenticity. If you’re using a template, it’s challenging to make your speech authentic. If you’re just following someone else’s recommendation for speech flow, it’s harder to figure out how and where to showcase your personality, memories and anecdotes. Rather than trying to fill in the blanks with stories that don’t quite fit, don’t be afraid to write a speech that really sounds like you.

They won’t make you look good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a speech that starts with “For those of you who don’t know me…,” includes a laundry list of adjectives to describe the guest of honor (caring, kind, amazing, beautiful) and ends with “let’s raise our glasses…” And the audience has heard this same speech dozens of times too! The guests, and perhaps more importantly the guest of honor, can figure out how much time and effort you’ve invested in your speech. If you decide to take the easy way out and rely on a template, people will be able to tell right away. And trust me, they’ll be counting the seconds until you finish.

Speechwriting can be tough. But if you look deep within yourself you’ll be able to find the stories and anecdotes that can serve as the foundation for your speech. Chances are that your relationship with the guest of honor is one you know well, much better than the Internet! So trust yourself and your instincts. Have fun with the process instead of being constrained by what the Internet thinks is a good speech.

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