After Dinner Speech Topics

after dinner speech topics

Choosing the right after dinner speech topics is essential. If you've been elected to say something following a special meal, then your words should be appropriate, and relevant to the occasion.

Whether the dinner is a business dinner, a wedding rehearsal or a charity fundraiser, the speech is the crowning moment of the night, and the evening won't be complete without it.

On this page, I share a few suggestions for topics that you could consider basing your after-dinner speech. Categories of occasions included include business meetings, charitable events, and wedding celebrations.

After Dinner Speech Topics for Business Dinners

If you have to give a speech after a business dinner, the topic is especially important.

Business dinners can have a significant impact on your career. You certainly don't want to deliver an ill-thought-out speech to your superiors and peers, where an inappropriate subject choice could cause negative repercussions!

Here are some 'safe' topics to consider. Confidently prepare and inject a little humor into the subjects, but ALWAYS be tasteful.

  • Recent project success stories
  • Upcoming tasks and milestones
  • Recognizing and thanking people for their contributions
  • Industry specific jokes, that are politically correct

After Dinner Speech Topics for Wedding Rehearsals

Wedding rehearsals are a little more relaxed than business dinners. Nevertheless, it's still important to be tasteful and to ensure that your words do not offend anyone present!

For these occasions, you want to focus on speech topics that are light-hearted and friendly. Here are a few subjects that you can use:

  • A history of the couple coming together
  • Funny stories that are not offensive to anyone present about the couple 
  • Praising the couple for overcoming obstacles and making it to the big day

After Dinner Speech Examples for a Charity Fundraiser

Charitable dinners and speeches delivered at these events have the express purpose of soliciting donations from those present. The dinner party may comprise board members and frequent contributors to the cause concerned. Even then, raising money will still need to be the principal focus of your speech.

Avoid making a direct plea - instead, choose from one of these speech topics:

  • Inspirational stories about the difference that the charitable organization is making
  • The continuing need for supporting the organization
  • Plans for charitable work by the organization in the future

Final Tips for Delivering an After Dinner Speech

  • Dinner events often serve alcohol during the meal - use with caution, particularly if you are at a business dinner. You don't want your speech to be memorable for all the WRONG reasons!
  • Plan to speak for at least 10 minutes - ideally around 15! After dinner speeches are generally a little longer than other types of addresses.
  • As all speeches, spend time beforehand getting to KNOW your audience. Knowing your audience will help you choose the most appropriate and engaging topics for your talk.
  • Prepare for interruptions! It's possible that a little friendly banter may be thrown at you when giving an after-dinner speech, especially if the meal is relaxed with alcohol flowing! Be prepared for the possibility and don't let moments of interaction faze you. Dependent on occasion, prepare wisecracks to generate laughter should teasing occur.

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