Tips for Giving Great Bat Mitzvah Speeches

Bat Mitzvah speeches are traditionally given by the parents and close relatives of the Bat Mitzvah girl during the service. The young woman becoming a Bat Mitzvah will also make a Bat Mitzvah speech, but she will prepare that with the help of her tutor and Rabbi. Parents and relatives who speak at the service want to say something meaningful and memorable. The parents' Bat Mitzvah speech is anticipated by the guests, so here are some tips for making the Bat Mitzvah speech special.

Brainstorm First, then Choose
Take some time to think of the Bat Mitzvah girl. What moments during her growth were the ones that told you about the kind of person she is? List some of her most wonderful characteristics, and link each to a story about her that's worthy of sharing. Choose two or three anecdotes that help show the person she is becoming, and do not choose anything that would embarrass her in any way. Pride in her and anticipation of her future are great themes for the speech.

Once you've chosen the characteristics you wish to highlight, and a couple of anecdotes to share, put them in order and write each one out. Link them together with a sentence that connects them. If you wish to link to the themes in the Torah portion for the week, choose those that compliment her qualities. You may wish to spend some time studying the portion or ask her to share her thoughts about it with you, so you can find some that fit. Remember that she is leading prayers, and sharing her thoughts about Jewish topics. Her leadership, dedication and thoughtfulness might be good qualities to emphasize in the speech as well.

Conclude with a Wish for Her
The end of the speech should summarize the qualities and talk about how they will serve her as she grows into an adult. Express pride in her and a wish for her future. Keep it short and sweet, and look toward her becoming a wonderful young woman.

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