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Chapter 11. The Life of the Party: Speak... > Making Happy Talk - Pg. 86

The Life of the Party: Speaking to Entertain 86 Speeches that entertain often focus on experiences that the speaker shares with the audience and guest of honor. These speeches are most successful when the speaker relates anecdotes that help the audience tap into common events. For example, imagine that you're speaking at a retirement dinner for a colleague. If you've already retired, you can relate some of the things that the guest of honor can now share with you. If you've yet to reach that blissful (or so I'm told) stage of life, you might recall shared work experiences, such as the time the guest of honor got stuck in the snowbank trying to dig your car out of a drift. If you're speaking at a wedding, you might want to recall your own wedding. If you're presenting an award, share some positive anecdotes about the recipient; if you're cutting the ribbon at the new library, remind the community of how people pitched in to make the dream a reality. Making Happy Talk Class Act Speakers often memorize entertaining speeches to make sure that the show runs smoothly.