This year Thanksgiving Day is on Thursday November 22nd. Thanksgiving Day is a huge holiday in the USA but you may want to give a thanksgiving speech on other ocassions. You might want to thank people for their help in a community project or thank people for putting their lives at risk or saying thank you for the new harvest crop.
If you've been asked to give a Thanksgiving speech don't let the worry of it ruin your day. Thanksgiving day in the USA is a day of celebration when everyone is relaxed and happy and that includes you.
Mention in your speech a little about the history of thanksgiving, about how it is a reminder to all of us to give thanks for our family, friends and food.
You might not want to give a full speech whether it be short or long but you may wish to raise a glass and give a toast. Although giving a toast usually feels as though it is a spontaneous action, in truth, you need to have thought about it at least a little in advance. Finding the correct quote or thought for the day is important. The toast should include everyone at the Thanksgiving meal and everyone should have a drink of some description.
Sound confident and don't rush. A toast can be very short or longer and the important thing is that people can hear you. If you need help with this aspect, have a look at my video course. You can watch the free video lessons without registering for the course.
Give your thanksgiving speech a beginning, a middle and an end and don't be so keen to get to the end that you rush the rest of your speech. Make very good use of the pause. This gives you a chance to take a breath and think about what you're going to say next and it gives the listeners a chance to take in what you've just said. Pick out the important words and make these stand out.
If you want to learn how to speak clearly and confidently before you make your speech please join my video course below or/and read the notes further down this page.
If it's a formal meal it's likely that the guests will be sitting down to eat - probably at home or at a restaurant or hotel.
Giving a speech in these circumstances is easier than an informal event because you can easily get the attention of the guests. When you deliver your speech you'll need to stand up so that everyone can see you. It's probably best if you avoid any alcohol until after you've spoken - then feel free to indulge yourself.
Ideally your speech will be a shortish speech (people will be eager to eat and enjoy themselves and nobody ever complains because a speech is too short!) and it's very likely that everyone present will know each other very well. In this situation I suggest that you either memorise what you want to say or just have headings written on a piece of card.
If you choose to use card, don't feel as though you need to hide it when you speak. It's there for you to look at - so look at it! Don't write on both sides. If you need more than one side use two cards but number them. If you write on both sides you can guarantee that when you pick it up to start your speech you'll read the wrong side!!
If the event is more casual - a buffet style meal, nightclub or gathering at a friends house - you might have more trouble getting everyones attention. They'll all be busy talking to each other in small groups. If this is the case make sure your speech isn't too long - if people get bored they'll start whispering to each other or they'll walk over to the food etc. Again, use cards if you feel it's necessary, but a few thank yous may be sufficient in this setting.
You may want to thank people in the community for help with a community project. In this case remember in this thanksgiving speech to state what the project was, what help was given and most importantly name the people who helped. Explain why the project was important and the benefits now that the project has been finished.
Rememberance Days are a time for giving a thanksgiving speech to thank people - soldiers and civillians for putting their lives in danger to protect us.
Harvest Festival - in rural areas all over the world people give thanks for the new crops. Give thanks for not only the crops but thank all the people who have worked hard to sow and pick the crops. Perhaps give thanks for the weather.
Finally we may want to give a thank you speech for a present, for an opportunity, perhaps you been awarded an honour of some type.