How to make an end-of-year or Christmas speech?

With the end of the year approaching, this is the time when we always ask ourselves the question: what do I have to share and how do I make a Christmas and/or end-of-year speech? What exactly do you want to share with your colleagues (or family and friends)? How do you go about giving such a speech around Christmas? Don't worry: we have some easy tips for you that will make giving your end-of-year speech a lot easier and - not least - more fun to listen to. Because your message should definitely be heard, you just need to know the best gift wrapping paper to wrap it in ;-). Read along?

Tip 1: Leave out all the clichés

If there is one speech that is often full of clichés, it is the year-end or Christmas speech. It may seem very funny, but it is actually just very boring and tedious to listen to. Clichés have become clichés because they have been used too often and your audience really doesn't want that just before their Christmas holidays, trust us. Nothing feels emptier - and also quite ungrateful to your employees/colleagues - than when you start sprinkling clichés. So leave out all the obvious quotes and comments and make a whole own speech. You can probably use the following tip for that as well....

Examples of clichés:

Also fun to read! 5 talk clichés from TED Talk

Tip 2: Tune your speech to your audience, obviously 😉

It seems like a very logical tip, yet it is often forgotten or underestimated: tailor your speech to your audience. What exactly do they want to hear from you? What are their concerns, what topics are important to them? If you can capitalise on this with your speech, you will not only make sure you come across better to them, but you will also be able to deliver a message that sticks better. And ultimately, of course, that is what you want to do with your speech - make an impact. Therefore, don't forget who you are talking to. A speech for the management or a speech for all employees always looks completely different, even if you touch on the same subjects. Think about who is listening to you and what you really want to convey to them. 

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Tip 3: Don't make it too long/heavy

No one is waiting for a long-winded speech that mainly uses a lot of words but says nothing. Therefore, make sure you make your speech concise and, above all, don't make it too heavy. You don't want to send your colleagues, friends or family into the new year feeling depressed. Keep it light-hearted and make a joke here and there to keep the mood up. Remember that a strong speech only consists of three sections need to consist of: a strong opening (quote, fun fact or a story), a valuable middle section and a beautiful ending. It's that simple!

If you want a laugh, watch this Christmas speech from this University (the joke is at 4 minutes). This is set up as a joke, yet see this kind of presentation quite often in business.

Tip 4: Time your speech right

Be aware of when you are going to give your speech. At the very beginning, it can be messy; after 15 minutes, the first glasses are already empty. A few glasses later, your audience is already not as sharp (and willing) to really listen. Also make sure you haven't already had one cosy drink too many yourself. One wrong uncle is enough 😉. Our tip is to put down in the invitation that the drink starts at, say, 16.30 and that you will be happy to say a word to everyone at 17.00. Pass around a glass of bubbles or rhubarb juice at 16.55h, so that everyone can toast with full glasses. past and coming year! Cheers!

Besides timing in terms of time, timing in how speaks is also essential to increase engagement, calmness in your story or in a funny is crucial for the message to land with your audience.

Check out the pauses Obama uses in his speech:

Tip 5: Use valuable visual content

What do you bring to empower your story? How will you touch the hearts of your team?You can do that through visual content! There is so much content available that you can use during your speeches. The power of visual content is that it is more approachable and persuasive than text. It is a huge effective way. This is because image 60,000 times faster is processed by our brains than text. It takes us less effort to interpret something visually than to read it. And in this hurried world, that is quite efficient.

What kind of visual content can you use in your presentation and/or speech?

Photography: Use pictures i.c.w. text and convince! (Remember: no cliché, no poor quality, no talking picture - resilience is not necessarily a spring, for example)

Video: videos are effective for presenting a problem and showing a solution your product/service offers. In addition, you can better showcase your message convey because it triggers an emotion. Video is booming! Check out our examples in this blog!

Infographics style data: visualise your data in a creative way! Have you ever looked at infogram watched?

Illustrations: Sleek or playful, an illustration is effective. However, it often evokes less emotion than a photo or a video. Check out Drawify To create a talking plate.

Screenshots/demo: give your audience insight into your service/product from a different perspective. You can back up your claims. E.g. by showing the number of sales or reviews or the like.

Memes: Provoke positive emotions in your target audience. Humour is always effective.

GIFs: that seems to be totally hot again. In the 1990s PowerPoints were full of it and in 2000 it was old-fashioned, in presentation land and online it is back. Use humour. See here

Tip 6: Don't forget to thank everyone

There is nothing more demotivating than a Christmas speech in which you forget to thank your colleagues for the past year. If you sth. want to achieve with your Christmas speech, it is to make everyone end the year feeling happy and motivate them for the new year. Therefore, don't forget to give everyone - in your own way - thank them and make them feel appreciated. This is sure to make for a lot of happy faces, no matter how simple it seems! Everyone likes to be appreciated... Should you have a personal note for everyone (very cool!), really -but only really truly- no one.

Even after reading these tips, could you use some extra help setting up your Christmas speech? Then download our presentation canvas below, then you are sure to score points with your audience soon!


Mockup - Presentation Canvas


The Speakers Club presentation canvas© gets you thinking!

What message you want to convey, how to connect with your target audience and what resources you will use. Fill it in with your own content!

What is your next level?