Choosing your Best man

Best man speech from a child

As we’ve seen in years gone by there are some things that children are great at that grown ups find difficult, like pickpocketing, and cleaning the inside of chimneys. On the whole though, adults do things better, just by virtue of the fact they’ve been around longer, know the score and understand how life works. Children on the other hand don’t. They struggle with remembering what day comes after Wednesday, think the summer holidays are 2 years long and find tying shoelaces right up there with algebra. And that’s not surprising because most of their waking moments are spent thinking about gob stoppers, worms and pretending they’re not tired.

So, why would you think it was a good idea to ask a person whose cultural references are Minecraft, Peppa Pig and The Shopping Mall Cop, to write your best man speech? I work with really experienced professionals from the City, very talented engineers, incredibly confident artisans, and they all have the same thing in common: they’re absolutely bricking it about making a best man speech. Making a room full of people laugh is difficult at the best of times, throw in the fact you haven’t got any stories, have anxiety issues and last cracked a joke about 5 years ago, and it all gets a bit much.

So, this is where asking a child to make a best man speech can actually work out, because they have no idea about the weight of comedy expectation and can deal with it very much in the same way as the Nativity play – which is to talk to their feet very quickly. Yes, they might not have sussed out that they’re in the comedy role but most children’s modus operandi is to get the performance over and done with as quickly as possible, and that means belting it out like a Vickers machine gun whilst keeping their head firmly bowed.

Of course, you will get some super confident kids, the type that attend drama schools and talk about their artistic ambition, unfortunately this type of child is usually so self obsessed, making people laugh isn’t really on their list of to dos.

I’m going to say that the speeches should be left for the grown ups and the kids can play another role. If you’re not looking for a super funny, entertaining speech and just a few oohs and ahhs, then by all means ask your 7 year old son to stand up and say a few words,. However, chances are he’ll be bricking it too, and when you’re 7 you don’t tend to share your anxiety issues, you just actually brick yourself. I would even go further. I have never spoken to anyone under the age of 30 that enjoyed making a best man speech, and more than that – actually did a good job. I think the most dangerous age to ask someone to be a best man is between 21 to 29. They’re guaranteed to have zero confidence and also guaranteed to try and find some at the end of a pint glass.

Stick to that gnarly old mate in his 30’s, a few grey hairs and a knowing outlook on life, and more importantly one that’s going to keep bathroom accidents in his pants to a minimum.