Public Speaking for the Holidays: Beware

Like weddings and funerals, the holidays gather people together. Often people who don’t really want to be together. The holidays might collect family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and business associates.

These holiday gatherings often lead to unplanned speeches. The formula of unplanned speeches, unpolished public speakers, holiday cheer and mixed emotions can be embarrassing, explosive or just plain painful.

You are public speaking any time that you are speaking to more than one person. Read these tips for your holiday speeches.

If you suspect that you will be expected to speak then prepare your speech. If you are the host, the group leader, organizer or most colorful character – you will be expected to speak. Write a few key words or names on an index card.

The most likely speeches for the holidays include:

  1. Welcome
  2. Thank you
  3. Cheers
  4. Congratulations
  5. Enjoy

Keep your presentation as short as possible. For example if you are giving a toast – it could be “We each have our own reasons to celebrate this holiday season. I thank you for celebrating together.”

Do not tell a joke. Most likely it will not be appropriate. If it might offend one person then it is inappropriate. Just remember that even the best comedians have bombed.

It’s best to schedule the speeches before the drinking starts. If you’ve started drinking keep your speech to one or a few words or decline.

Do not present your imitation of the boss, grandpa or Mary from accounting. Just imagine how you would feel if the next speaker did an imitation of your or your spouse.

No one came for the speeches. Keep it short. (I can’t say this enough.) Your goal is to have your speech quickly forgotten. People will forget your speech as long as you don’t embarrass or offend them.

Holidays are for celebration regardless of how tough the year was, how much you hate your cousin or how badly the turkey was burned. If you can’t bring yourself to say two positive words – then say one positive word. Then shut up and sit down.

Holiday speeches are not for kissing up to the boss, criticizing, bragging or being sarcastic.

Celebrate, be thankful then shut up so the rest can celebrate and be thankful too. They will celebrate the holidays and be thankful that you’re finished your speech.

Make It A Champion Day!

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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