Speech writing and speaking in front of a community, friends and family is quite a daunting situation for most adults, but for a 12 or 13 year old it can be the start of many sleepless nights! A good idea is to have someone with experience and knowledge to help with the process, so that no one feels overwhelmed or anxious and looks forward to speaking on their big day.
It is customary for the Mother, Father and/or child to make a speech at their bar/bat mitzvah. Sometimes grandparents and friends of the bar/bat mitzvah child also prepare a speech.
Where can I get help with my speech?
When you attend your bar/bat mitzvah lessons, part of the preparation is also to help with your speech. You can also have one-to-ones with a professional speech writer that can help with how to word, construct your interesting stories and create a fun speech. But to give you a guideline of where to start, here are some pointers:
Firstly it is helpful to work out the broad framework of points or messages that you want to cover in the speech. Then, do your own research on the topic, to flesh out this framework with anecdotes and examples. It’s a nice idea to start with a story to set the mood. It could be a joke or something that you or your family are experiencing. Set the audience at ease, let them know that you are human and not just reading a prepared speech. Share with the audience something meaningful that you learned in the run-up to your bar /bat Mitzvah. Did you learn something about your family history or one of your parents or ancestors? Perhaps there is something from the Torah portion or Haftarah that was meaningful to you. Whatever you choose as a subject, try and bring the focus of your speech back to the reason you are all gathered together—to celebrate the occasion of you joining the Jewish community as a young adult.
Here is a simple speech check list that you can use to ensure you remember the important points:
- Mention your siblings (in a POSITIVE manner)
- Thank your parents for throwing the party and everything they have done for you
- Tell a story or a joke
- Relate to something important from your experience. Maybe something you learned in preparing for this important occasion
- If you are involved in a Mitzvah Project, talk about it and tell the audience why you chose that specific project
- Did you connect your speech with something from the Haftarah or Torah readings?
- And of course practice makes perfect! Practising the speech is important in order for you to know when to pause, how fast to pace yourself and when to speed things up.
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If you need help with planning a Bar/Bat Mitvah event, or indeed any special occasion, get in touch today for your free consultation – so we can start brainstorming ideas for your event! We have some great industry contacts, a creative and inspiring team with plenty of experience, we would love to help!