Have you been tasked with making a 70th birthday toast? If so, no need to panic! With these tips, you’ll be able to make a memorable speech that everyone will be talking about for years to come.
Take a couple deep breaths. You’ve got this! This is just the brainstorming stage and you might want to spend a couple days just on this in case other memories or thoughts come to mind.
70 is a big milestone and you want to prepare your speech ahead of the big event. Start brainstorming about what you want to say by answering these questions:
- What is your relationship with the guest of honor?
- Regardless if they’re your grandparent, your parent, your sibling or your spouse, be sure to mention it in the toast in case anyone doesn’t know.
- What life lessons has the birthday person taught you?
- Write down as many as you can think of and the story of how they taught you this lesson.
- What are the best memories you have of this person?
- Maybe it’s the time they took you fishing for the first time or cooking with them every Thanksgiving. Whatever it is, write it down!
- What’s the most interesting thing about the guest of honor?
- Jot down what you think is most interesting thing about them! Write down their interests, passions and hobbies.
Once you’ve answered these questions and written down the answers, you’re ready to start writing!
What Should You Say?
You’ve brainstormed a lot about the guest of honor, but now you need to turn those thoughts into a speech. There’s no right or wrong things to say in a toast, but here are some elements that you could include:
- A Thank You – Whether it’s to the guests, to the host or to whomever, there’s probably someone you should thank.
- How Much Life Has Changed – They’re 70, so they’ve seen some changes! Consider adding one or two little facts about how much the world has changed since they were young. Bonus points if you can turn it into a joke.
- A Personal Anecdote – These are the most meaningful, and they can be really funny. Refer to your notes that you brainstormed to find one that paints the birthday person in the best light or is the funniest and use that.
- The Guest of Honor’s Accomplishments – Maybe the guest of honor has traveled around the world, a veteran or maybe they raised their family. They’ve certainly done something impressive, so consider highlighting it!
- Wishing the Birthday Celebrant Happy Birthday – It’s their big day, after all. Wish them happy birthday to conclude!
Dos and Don’ts of Making a 70th Birthday Toast
- Do practice your speech before the event. If possible, have someone watch you and give you feedback.
- Do mind your audience. If it’s a small crowd, feel free to bring up an “inside joke” that everyone will understand. If it’s a large party, keep those out.
- Do keep it short. Aim for 2-3 minutes.
- Don’t embarrass anyone. Now is not the time to air any dirty laundry or to make anyone feel bad. It should be a happy occasion. If in doubt, leave it out.
- Don’t drink too much before your toast!
- Don’t read your toast. Reference notes if needed, but try to make eye contact with the audience and speak from memory as much as possible.
- Don’t be crude or raunchy. Keep it clean.
At the Event
So you’ve written your speech, practiced it and you’re ready to give your toast! Here are some tips for when you give your 70th birthday toast:
- Talk to the host about when you should give your toast. Generally, the best times are at the beginning or end of the meal or right before cutting the cake.
- When it’s time, get everyone’s attention by loudly asking to say a few words or by dinging a knife on a glass.
- Put down your glass before giving the speech. You don’t want any liquid to splash out if you gesture with your hand.
- Speak loudly, clearly and slowly. Don’t rush through.
- At the very end, pick up your glass and ask everyone to join you in toasting in honor of the 70th birthday.
Congrats! You’ve given you’re 70th birthday toast; go enjoy the party!