Your bat mitzvah is coming up, and you know what that means: delivering a speech in front of your family and all the guests gathered for the ceremony. Before you book your ticket to Siberia, read on—writing a speech is easier than you think. We’ll guide you through all the steps necessary to craft the perfect bat mitzvah speech.

Here are the basics:

1. The Intro

Start by offering a warm welcome to everyone joining in the ceremony and celebration. You can also tell a relevant joke or funny story to warm up the crowd.

2. Learn from the Torah

The most important part of your speech will be a d’var Torah, a story or idea from the weekly Torah portion. Try to choose one with a lesson connected to your bat mitzvah. Check out our real-life lessons from the weekly Torah portion written especially for the bat mitzvah speech.

3. Make it personal

Next you’ll want to talk about what your bat mitzvah means to you. Describe the impact that becoming a Jewish adult will have on your life. What will you do to show your growing commitment to Judaism? This is a good place to mention a mitzvah project that you may have undertaken in honor of your bat mitzvah, or a good resolution you’ve made.

4. Roll the credits

Now it’s time to thank those who helped you make it to this day.

First up are your parents. You wouldn’t be here without them. Give them the credit they deserve. Don’t forget siblings, aunts and uncles . . . You know, the whole mishpachah. Special thanks should go to your grandparents. It’s likely that they made more than a few sacrifices to retain their Jewish identity and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.

Next thank your rebbetzin or the teacher who helped you prepare for your bat mitzvah.

Finally, a big shout-out to all the friends and family who came to share this moment with you.

That’s it! Now stand back and let the applause wash over you . . .

Tips and Suggestions:

  • Make the speech your own, and incorporate your own feelings, attitudes, and experiences.
  • Keep it snappy. It’s a very good idea to keep your speech between five and ten minutes long.
  • Rehearse your speech many times in the weeks and days before your bat mitzvah. Ask your friends and family members to act as your audience while you practice.
  • Your speech is an opportunity to show your maturity and insight to your friends and family. Make sure they can hear and understand every word. Stand up straight, and speak slowly and clearly. Keep in mind that you always sound faster than you think.
  • Fight nervousness by taking several deep breaths before you begin your speech.
  • Make eye contact with your guests as you impart each thought.

Mazal tov and good luck!