Most of the people I write wedding speech jokes for for are not afraid of standing up in front of people and speaking. Many jobs nowadays require everyone form IT heroes to construction site managers to communicate en masse, whether you’re letting everyone know just how whoopy doo the latest software is or guiding people through the finer points of the coffee machine that’s just been installed, it all means speaking out loud to a group of people.
However, these same people have an automatic and overpowering fear of the wedding speech because in corporate life there’s no room to be funny. In a wedding speech there’s no room not be.
Being funny, either or paper or out loud, is not easy. People build a lifetime’s work around the art of making other people laugh and it’s hard won experience. Some out there are naturally funny and others will have a delivery style that will carry them, but for most it is undeniably difficult. Everyone from stand ups to wedding speakers live in fear of delivering a joke which lands flat; it’s hard for the person making the speech and very often harder for the guests.
But Wedding speech jokes are not about anecdotes. There is very little that’s genuinely funny about a procession of tales about the grubbier details of the stag do or about that time he landed up in a foreign jail. Funny really is about observation; looking at the bigger picture and thinking about how you can comment on that in an amusing way. When I’m writing a best man’s speech I’ll only ever have room for one genuinely fully recounted story, unless the client demands it. In the rest of the speech I might allude to them but there’s simply no room and no apetite to hear them.
Instead of leading us through the time when the groom was found with his pants on his head, think what that says about his character in a funny way and then make a slight reference to the story. Nobody wants to see both sets of parents openly shocked and nobody wants to see the guests bored out of their minds. If you venture down the Avenue De L’anecdote, that’s what you’re guaranteed to find.
So if you’ve sketched out some wedding speech jokes and they read like an extended feature from Loaded Magazine, then start again and incorporate thoughts from those stories in a much more subtle way. Either that or be prepared for some serious yawning.