Bar Mitzvah & Bat Mitzvah speeches

Invitations

By Molly-Ann Leikin

Most people, who aren’t professional speech writers like me, are happier being audited by a fiber-deficient IRS agent, than speaking in public.

They’re even more f’tutzed about trying to write what they’re going to say, especially in a Bar Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech.

Oy.

That’s when you call me.

You can’t put off your Bar Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech until it’s convenient – like after the shoe sale for single-footed size 5’s at Neiman Marcus, or until your high colonic herbal cleanse is complete. When you’re honored by being asked to make some personal remarks in a Bat Mitzvah speech or a Bar Mitzvah speech, you’re up. You’re on. You have to rock it.

Celebrating this special moment in Jewish tradition is not just an excuse to show off how big a gala your family can afford. The occasion marks a deep spiritual connection with G-d.

That’s when you call me.

I’m Molly-Ann Leikin, rhymes with bacon. Kosher bacon, of course.

Writing a Bar Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech is easy for me. I’ve been a creative wordsmith all of my life, starting with the document I penned listing eleven point six reasons I should be excused from all forms of math. Indefinitely.

Now an Emmy nominee, and geometry free, over the past ten years, I’ve been the go-to person for coming-of-age occasions in the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish communities all over North America, England and even Israel. Everything I create is original. No two commissions I accept for a Bat Mitzvah speech or a Bar Mitzvah speech are written alike. Ever.

How good does your Bar Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech have to be?

Look at it this way: although you may marry many times, and celebrate a hundred birthdays, a person only has one Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Just one. So don’t you want the words you say to be remembered? It’s a one shot deal.

That’s why you call me. I’ll write your Bat Mitzvah speech or your Bar Mitzvah speech for you. I’m the pro.

How do we start on your Bar Mitzvah Speech? Or your Bat Mitzvah speech?

It’s all friendly. Easy. It’s all good.

I’ll have a nice, long talk with you on the phone so I can get to know you, the family, your relationship to the child for whom you need a Bar Mitzvah speech or a Bat Mitzvah speech, help you gather all your thoughts, memories, add some poignant suggestions, choose a theme, a tone, a point of view, and with your approval, get right to work.

When should we begin your Bat Mitzvah Speech? Or your Bar Mitzvah speech?

Best to prepare early. The minute the date is set, and you know you’ll have a role in the celebration, we start thinking about what you might say in your Bar Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech. In most cases, that gives you at least a year. Don’t wait until it’s 8:52 on Shabbat morning, and the religious ceremony begins in eight minutes. At that point, it’s too late for even G-d to step in.

What do we say in your Bar Mitzvah Speech or your Bat Mitzvah Speech?

They are as many choices as there are snowflakes, all of which are unique. You could go strictly traditional and stick with the Torah. Nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, if you’re really out there, you could commission Cirque du Soleil to choreograph a little something that’s tasteful, with you as narrator. But most families – no matter which branch of Judaism they embrace – prefer a blend of the traditional and the new in a Bat Mitzvah speech or a Bar Mitzvah speech.

What special perks do you offer?

I coach you on your delivery!

Not only will I write a Bar Mitzvah Speech or Bat Mitzvah speech for you, in your persona and in your voice, but I’ll help you feel comfortable and safe giving it. My services include making an mp3 for you to listen to as you read along with the words, so you’re completely at ease with the text of your Bat Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech by the time the occasion comes around.

Here’s how we start

Hook ‘em with a great opening.

You have a captive audience for your Bat Mitzvah Speech or your Bar Mitzvah speech. Don’t lose ‘em by starting with recycled material. “I’d like to thank…” will signal it’s nap time.

You have a fingerprint unlike anyone else on the planet. We’ll use that. You’re not a cliché. Your words shouldn’t be, either. I’ll make sure they aren’t.

The first line sets the standard

In the opening sentence of your Bat Mitzvah speech or your Bar Mitzvah speech, I reach for something clever. Maybe a little funny, too. Instead of simply thanking the guests who were airlifted from Ipsilanti with hors d’oeuvres, how about “The CIA confirms that Aunt Puddy, Auntie Lacy and Great Aunt Yakabovsky caught the carp, the whitefish and the pike themselves. Now that’s g’filte fish. And nobody named Manishevitz or Rokeach was involved.”

What if I’m not a Jew and have been asked to give a Bar Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech?

No problem. I do this all the time. I know how to help you, with the content, as well as pronunciation.

How long should I talk during my Bar Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech?

Less is more. Keep it short. If you’re the only speaker, five minutes. If you’re sharing the time-slot, three. You want to say what’s in your heart, leave your fingerprint in the room, congratulate the honoree and his or her family, then sit down.

How do I end my Bar Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech?

Mazal Tov and L’Chaim get ‘em every time. But if you’re in California, you might want to add, “Have a nice day, Dude.”

Molly-Ann Leikin is an executive speechwriter and Emmy nominee. Contact her now. She will be happy to discuss creating an original Bar Mitzvah speech or Bat Mitzvah speech today.

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