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  • Holly Blum, The Word Whisperer

Why Your Speech Should Have A Theme Too

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Chances are you will have spent time selecting a theme for your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration. Whether it’s based on your child’s favorite things, a catchy slogan that incorporates your child’s name, or something altogether different, you’ve likely put a lot of effort into choosing a theme that will elevate the celebration. There’s no denying that themes are a great way to reflect your child’s personality, create a particular vibe and design a specific look for your party. That’s why they’re so popular!

What you may not realize is that themes are also an excellent tool to use when writing your speech. Most of the speeches I help my clients develop have a clear theme. Here’s why:

A theme provides much-needed structure.

How many times have you heard a speech go on and on, almost like a stream of consciousness monologue? Probably too many to count. This is likely because the speechgiver didn’t take the time to organize his thoughts in an easy-to-understand manner. As a result, you’re left wondering exactly what this person is trying to communicate. A theme can provide a clear structure to the speech, making it easier for the speechgiver to present his thoughts and ideas. I often recommend that the theme be weaved throughout the speech from beginning to end. You don’t want to go overboard with this, but tying into the theme throughout can provide the framework that so many of today’s speeches are lacking.

It helps tell a more compelling story.

Having a thematic speech allows you to be a more effective storyteller. When you have an overarching message, it’s easier to use that as a springboard to share compelling information and anecdotes. Maybe your child is passionate about basketball and you build a speech around the rules of the game or the “One Shining Moment” song that is played every year during the NCAA tournament. Maybe your child loves Disney and you describe how she has traits of the various princesses. The trick is to use the theme to paint a picture of who your child is and what makes them unique. The theme of your party could be a springboard for this or the theme could be something completely different.

A theme helps make your words stand out.

One of the biggest challenges with special occasion speeches is that they start to sound alike after awhile. They tend to follow a similar “cookie cutter” pattern and as a result, nothing truly stands out. With a theme, you can add an element of interest or even surprise that may be more difficult to achieve with a more traditional approach. The goal is to leave your guests knowing more about your child than they knew before and selecting a solid theme can be a great way to present that information.

A theme can foster a greater connection with your audience.

A clever or meaningful theme may resonate more strongly with your audience than a speech that is more straightforward. Many times, audiences aren’t expecting a thematic approach and they are more apt to really pay attention to what you’re saying when it’s presented in a compelling way.

Coming up with the right theme can be challenging. But when you find it, you’ll be surprised at what a meaningful impact it can make on your guests and most importantly, your child.

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