One of the more challenging, and yet fun at the same time, speeches you can give is the roast. This is like a toast, however it is light-heartedly poking fun at the honoree rather than praising him or her. Roasts are often performed at birthday parties, retirement parties and other occasions where someone with a sense of humor is being honored, usually for a landmark occasion.
Although the roast got its name from the verbal skewering the honoree gets, not all jokes need be negative. Yes, insults are common … however they should not be hurtful. Insults for a roast should be said in loving good fun.
Essentially, a roast needles the honoree while still showing respect. Here are some tips for effective roasting:
- Be respectful.
You’ll want to avoid jokes that bring up painful memories or mention past loves if the honoree is there with someone new. Remember, everyone, including the honoree, are supposed to have fun. If your roast causes people to run out crying, you’ve failed miserably.
- Avoid inside jokes.
If you and the honoree are the only people who will get your joke, don’t use it. You are still giving this presentation to an audience, and you don’t want to leave them out.
- Be organized.
Make sure your roast speech has a beginning, a middle and an end. In fact, if your final joke calls back to your first joke, you might get an even bigger laugh!
- Clear your comments in advance.
If you are roasting someone for an organization, be sure to clear comments in advance so you don’t inadvertently step onto a political landmine.
- Learn from the pros.
Dean Martin and Don Rickles are pros at presenting a roast. Go to YouTube and watch some of their roasts from the 1970s to get ideas and inspiration.
Resources for creating fun and effective roasts
- Video: How to Write a Roast Speech
- Video: Giving a Birthday Roast
- Roasts (All About)
- How to Write a Roast Speech
- Writing a Retirement Roast Speech
This is the 15th article in a series about the different types of speeches. If you missed the first 14, here are links to the rest:
- The keynote
- The training session
- The motivational speech
- The entertaining speech
- The demonstration
- The informational speech
- The inspirational speech
- The Q & A session
- The persuasive speech
- The impromptu speech
- The acceptance speech
- The commencement speech
- The eulogy
- The Toast
Would you like more information about public speaking? Visit PublicSpeakingSuperPowers.com for tips, advice and plenty of videos about all the “powers” you can employ in your speaking endeavors.
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