There's a statistic somewhere that states 75% of us are more scared by the thought of public speaking than we are the thought of death. I can only think that this is a result of not fully considering the impact of death, and over estimating just how much people care about you when you stand up to talk.
It doesn't matter how bad your anxiety is about public speaking, and I don't even have to meet you...it just it can't be anywhere near as traumatic as the closing scenes of The Wild Geese. Being chased down an airstrip by about 400 soldiers all armed with sabres, whilst begging your old mate on the Dakota you're trying to board to shoot you, is one hell of a way to go. There is no way a 10 minute best man speech can come close.
If that still doesn't do the trick then what about considering Death Row? Not only are you almost certainly bound to be innocent, but they give you at least 10 years in an orange boiler suit to mull the injustice of whole thing over. The last few moments involve being surrounded by about 6 clinically obese men with moustaches , one of whom is wielding a syringe full of Domestos. If you think that's anywhere near as bad as telling a joke that falls flat on its arse, then maybe lethal injection is the way forward.
And what about the burglar who ran out of a London apartment...using the second floor window, as you do...and then accidentally made a kebab of himself on the railing below.
Are you honestly telling me that watching a bloody great spike come towards you, which ends up coming out of your mouth, is on a par with making a speech? No, of course not.
We haven't even got to being eaten by a tiger, falling off a mountain, eating a lovely wild mushroom, or being in an air crash. No, death in all its forms is rarely pleasant, and frequently gruesome. In fact, the most painless exit any of us can hope for, is to be bored to death, and as yet, despite some of the 'professional' speeches I've read, there are no recorded cases.
So, whilst most grown men would rather drink a cold cup of sick than stand up and make people laugh, there's an easy way to make yourself feel instantly more confident about your best man speech. Simply Google images of air crashes, man eaten by tiger, and man becomes kebab...and you'll find yourself running up to the mic. Trust me: death isn't a cosy alternative, it's the best public speaking motivator we have.