What is a roast?
A roast is a lot like a toast, except it pokes fun at the honoree. Roasts are often performed at birthday parties, retirement parties and other occasions where someone with a sense of humor is being honored.
Although the roast got its name from the verbal skewering the honoree gets, not all jokes need to be negative. Yes, insults are common … but they shouldn’t be hurtful. They should be said in loving good fun.
Basically, a roast teases the honoree while still showing respect.
Tips for effective roasting
- Be respectful – avoid jokes that bring up painful memories or mention past loves if the honoree is there with someone new. This is supposed to be fun … if your roast causes people to run out crying, you’ve failed.
- Avoid inside jokes – if you and the honoree are the only people who will get it, don’t use it. You are still giving this presentation to an audience … you don’t want to leave them out.
- Be organized – make sure your presentation has beginning, middle and an end. In fact, if your final joke hearkens back to your first, you might get an even bigger laugh!
- Clear your comments in advance – if you are roasting someone for an organization, be sure to clear comments in advance so you don’t inadvertently step into political muck.
- Learn from the pros – Dean Martin and Don Rickles are pros at roasting folks. Go on YouTube and watch some of their roasts from the 1970s to get ideas and inspiration.
Resources for creating roasts
- How to Write a Roast Speech
- Video: How to Give a Birthday Speech : Giving a Birthday Roast
- Video: How to Write a Roast Speech
- Writing a Retirement Roast Speech
Did you miss these?
Here are the previous posts in this “Type of Speeches” series:
- The Keynote Address
- The Training Session
- The Motivational Speech
- The Entertaining Speech
- The Demonstration
- The Information Dump
- The Inspirational Speech
- The Q & A
- The Persuasive Speech
- The Impromptu Speech
- The Acceptance Speech
- The Commencement Speech
- The Eulogy
- The Toast
The next post in this series is The Interpretive Reading
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