It’s a known fact that most grown men would rather wrestle a tiger in their underpants than stand up in front of a crowd of people and speak for five minutes. This is understandable as, apart from our own families, many go out of their way to avoid any form of spoken communication with anyone not in their ‘circle’. Whilst commuting we prefer to inspect our shoes or pretend to be asleep and in supermarket queues we stand there fixated on the contents of the trolley we’ve just filled. Now of course we have smartphones that can fill every single second of our waking hours. If somebody you don’t recognize looks like they might want to talk to you, just pop out the iPhone and check up on the weather in Jeddah.
For the time being, however, wedding speeches are going to require people to stand up and speak out loud. Chances are if you’re somewhere in your 20’s or 30’, you haven’t had to do this for many years and even then it was probably for some misdemeanor. And that’s maybe part of the problem: we associate public speaking with being in trouble. Standing up in class, standing up in court, standing up at a wedding reception; it’s all the same sort of thing.
Now you might be thinking that in order for it not to be a Route 1 pathway into therapy that every single detail of the speech must be taken care of. You’d be right. Sort of. There is no substitute for a killer speech with plenty of practice; some good lines, clever observations, a bit of mush and then you’re outta there. If the microphone is playing up, if most of the guests can’t see you because of that brick pillar or if you decided to speak whilst most of the guests are still stone cold sober. Then you’ve had it.
There is one banana skin that could be a real blessing in disguise: the wedding speech hecklers. You will always get a heckler at a wedding and usually it’s the ‘wedding clown’. This tends to be one of your uncles unleashed from his domestic routine, fuelled by complimentary booze and almost certainly wearing his wife’s hat half way through the meal. He feels the world has a right to know just how witty he can be and/or just what a knob he thinks you are. But the great thing about these people is, they’re great for a put down and if you can manage that, then whatever you have to say afterwards is going to be treated as gold.
Have some generic ammo in your pocket. Those that start heckling are likely to be older guests, but these will work nicely for anyone
Sorry, do you need help visiting the bathroom?
Oh, hello there **** how is the drink problem?
As I said at the beginning welcome to all those we love and care about. And you ***
Yeah, my mum never liked you. She was right.
…You get the idea. Make it confident and witty you’re not trying to destroy the person just have some fun with them, so do it with a smile on your face. When you land it your confidence will soar and you’ll practically waltz through the rest of the speech.
Quite simply they’re the magic dust to sprinkle on your performance. Expect them. Dispatch them. Revel in the glory.