Entertaining, informative, and... expensive. After-dinner speakers. Whether you're attending or organizing the dinner, the after-dinner speaker can be either the annoyance of the evening or the highlight of the night.
In light of that fact, you can find background, how-tos, and other tips and tricks related to after dinner speaking on this part of the web site. Read on. If you're the speaker, we'll discuss preparing the speech and other techniques to make you a success. If you're organizing the event, we'll talk about where you can find good speakers and other important bits of information you need to know to pull off a grand evening.
A speech can be entertaining, informative, motivating, and even inspiring. The best speeches are some combination of all of the above. To get just the right mix, you should understand 7 things each dinner speaker should know.
Joseph Choate said that he always goes to dinner "with an anecdote and a sentiment - and trusts to the evening for the rest!" Don't just take his word for it, however. Read about the techniques of great after dinner speakers.
First and foremost, you need to find a speaker. There are a couple of ways to go about doing this. The most easiest, most likely to succeed, and most expensive method is to consult a speaker's bureau. Find out how to get the most from speaker's bureaus. If hiring someone famous (or at least semi-famous ;-) from a bureau is out of the question, look to the group that will already be attending the dinner. With a few guidlines, most people can give good after-dinner speeches. If everybody in attendence already knows the person, it's all the better.
Find someone who is gregarious, who everybody likes, and who speaks well. Also be certain they'll have something to say - no matter how well-liked the person is, empty words won't cut it. When you propose the engagement, frame it in terms of a career-furthering opportunity. Offer payment and they'll be certain to accept.