Writing a Christmas party speech can be daunting, especially when you know it is going to be delivered before work colleagues and peers. However, writing an air-tight speech will go a long way to quelling those nerves. So here are the basics for writing a great Christmas party speech, from A-Z.
Writing the Beginning of Christmas Party Speech
A Christmas party speech must do two things as quickly as possible: the first is to get the listeners’ attention, the second is to present the question or theme which will expanded upon in the body of the speech. Traditionally, a Christmas party speech will begin by welcoming the guests, thanking them for coming, and perhaps acknowledging those who made a special effort to be there. By contrast, the modern approach is to postpone these formalities until later in the speech, to grab the listener’s attention immediately. A speech of this kind will begin with a story of sorts. For example, ‘The end of the year looked a long way away back in August. When the big project landed on our desks, I know several of you were very sick with the flu, and poor Joan was taken to hospital.’
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with doing the greetings and acknowledgements first, but neither is it wrong to leave it until later in the speech. But if you do choose to go with option A, keep it short and sweet. Then launch straight into your story.
The Body of a Christmas Party Speech
This is the bulk of a Christmas party speech, which will include all the highlights and low-points of the year, as well as the lighter moments. Again, these anecdotes will ultimately be seen through the lens of whatever themes you have established at the beginning. Perhaps Joan came back to work a few days later than they had been told, and found only one slice of her “Welcome Back” cake in the refrigerator. As a result, the moral of the story established at the start might be that ‘laughing and caring about one another is what gets us through the hard times.’ From this premise, you would have carte blanche to launch into every funny story and act of kindness that year. On the subject of humour, a quick reminder to take care that your laughs are good natured and won’t embarrass or offend. This is not an open-mic comedy spot; these people know one another and must work together.
At some point in the body of the Christmas party speech, you will need to talk about the challenges and regrets of the year. Talk about those that have retired. Perhaps someone died. If so, be sure to honour their memory. Those closest to them will greatly appreciate that you remembered them.
Ending a Christmas Party Speech
The end of a Christmas party speech is the perfect time to thank everybody for coming along, and to highlight your message (in my example with Ruth, laughter and caring). If your opening story was not of a personal nature, you might want to end with a recollection of Christmas – from your childhood, or how special it is to spend it with your children. A Christmas party speech, after all, is an opportunity to bring people closer together, in laughter and gratitude. Beyond being staff members, we’re all human.