An 18th birthday speech should accomplish reflection upon childhood years, acknowledgement of lessons learned thus far and recognition of becoming an official adult. A great speech engages the audience with humorous or heartfelt stories.
An 18th birthday speech is a great opportunity for the speaker to become vulnerable and wear his emotions on his sleeve. The audience loves to hear stories about any apprehension regarding adulthood or humorous anecdotes detailing awkward teenage experiences.
The best speakers create a strong introduction with a philosophical quote or a personal story about growing up. A speaker needs to engage the audience with rhetorical questions to inspire introspection. It's always good to acknowledge any turning points that may develop after the speaker becomes 18, such as graduating high school, going to college or joining the military.
After reflecting on lessons learned from childhood to adolescence, it's time for the speaker to share any exciting future plans with the audience. This is the best time for the speaker to take a moment to acknowledge and thank influential people who helped along the way.
In the end, the best speeches always engage the audience by helping them relate, making them laugh or inspiring personal reflection. Great speakers enunciate words clearly and loudly, being sure to smile and making eye contact with the crowd.