How to Conduct a Roast Party

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A microphone in front of a blurred crowd of people.
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Roast parties may work for a retiring colleague, a family member celebrating a birthday or virtually anyone who has a sense of humor. Properly organizing your roast party ensures the guest has an enjoyable time and the comments don't get out of hand.


Choosing the Venue

A roast party can work in venues from your backyard to a rented event hall. Set up the room to mimic televised celebrity roasts. Have a seat for the guest of honor in the middle of the stage with a podium and microphone for the roaster nearby. The roasters should be split into two groups and seated on each side of the stage. If the location doesn't have a stage, such as a backyard, arrange the guest of honor, the area for the speaker and the seats for the roasters on an elevated deck.


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The Right Roasters

Choosing the roasters is more than just selecting those with a sense of humor. Ideally, the roasters should have a range of relationships with their target. For example, for the roast of a person who's retiring, pick roasters from areas such as the person's work, a service club to which he belongs, a family member and an old friend. Each of these people has different experiences with the honored guest, which means each presentation has a different focus.


Follow the Rules

Establishing rules is paramount. Check with the guest to obtain a list of the topics she doesn't want discussed. For example, he might stress that people avoid talking about his weight or his recent divorce. Share this information with the roasters and ask them to stay away from these topics. Develop a strategy as to what is appropriate based on the guest and those who will be in attendance. If profanity or off-color remarks aren't suitable, share this information with the roasters.


Have a Schedule

Presentations that drag on, even if they're somewhat entertaining, may be tedious for those at the party. Set a time limit -- for example, three minutes -- to which each roaster must adhere. Once the roasts are finished, the guest can take the microphone to roast the roasters. The rebuttal should follow the same taste guidelines you established before the party; give each roaster the ability to say which topics she doesn't want mentioned.



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