When a co-worker is celebrating a milestone such as a birthday, working anniversary, retirement or promotion, it’s normal to plan a party in her honor. If you’re thinking of hosting a roast, keep in mind that you’re gathering some key people to together to poke fun at the guest of honor jokingly. You don’t have to plan a roast filled with mean, rude comments, but you can have a good time getting a rise out of the roastee.
Venue and Decor
Find a venue where you’ll hold the event. The number of guests and overall budget will help you determine whether you can host the event on-site at the job or somewhere off-site. Find a space with enough room for the guest of honor to sit next to the podium where the roastees will get up to say their words. You’ll likely need a microphone so everyone can hear — especially through the laughter. Decorate the space with enlarged photos of the honoree. For a funny decor alternative, ask several employees to pose in several stereotypical office environments such as at the water cooler, in the break room and next to the copy machine and substitute their faces for the honoree’s. If this person is notorious for barking complaints or making funny comments about these areas such as “The copy machine is always broken!” include the quotes on the bottom of the photo.
Start to build the anticipation by inviting co-workers to the event. Select a few employees who are both funny and familiar with the honoree to serve as roasters. They will be in charge of telling a few funny jokes about the guest of honor. Your jokesters don’t have to be comedians, but they should have the witty personalities to entertain the entire party with their banter and quick comebacks. Include a few quotes from the roasters on the invitation.
Roast & Toast
Keep the roast ideas light in topic. Avoid addressing subjects that are too personal or controversial in nature so you don’t embarrass the guest of honor or make other guests feel uncomfortable. Instead, make fun of the employee’s habits such as leaving his food in the refrigerator for days or parking in someone else’s parking space. Encourage roasters to use props such as the roastee’s favorite coffee mug with a broken handle or the picture of his five cats on his desk. End each segment with a toast over champagne in honor of the special person. End the series of bantering with an opportunity for the guest of honor to speak and get one final salute.
Include some type of bar setup — even if it’s a cash bar — so guests will be in a fun, playful mood while listening to the corny jokes. Create a signature drink for the honoree based on her name, repeated sayings or one of their most known bad habits such as the “Late-tini.” Stock some champagne to sip between the roast performances and to help cheer on the honoree.