Keep it brief. Always thank everyone for coming, and say a quick thing or two about the event or the person being honored. Finally, and most importantly, thank those who worked hard to plan the event. You must always publically recognize the folks who do the work for the chapter. I'll let you in on a secret: the thank you is the only part anyone will ever remember. And the only person who will remember it is the person being thanked. Think about the times your current chapter president spoke in the past year. Can you remember anything she said? You probably can't unless she made some type of major gaffe. Therefore, keep your addresses short, sweet, and filled with thank-yous.
Never, never, never speak without preparing first. Granted, there are some situations in life where you don't have a choice. There isn't much you can do about that. But always prepare if you have the opportunity. Write your key points on a note card, just in case. Your delivery will be more polished and you won't forget anything. Don't make it about you. Even the hint that you are bragging about yourself will immediately nullify all the good you are doing by talking about the event and thanking others. Don't do it even if you do deserve all the credit. Your brothers and sisters know full well who did all the work. There is no need to rub their noses in it.
by Patrick Daley