A Week in Speech
Ramblings from the laptop…
If at some point you’ve had any real fantasy about becoming Father Christmas, then I can safely say from experiencing one aspect of the job remit, that it’s really rather great. Santa, has the insight in to families all over the world, knows how they work, and sees if they’ve been bad or good, and then acts accordingly. Well, a wedding speechwriter operates in very much the same way.
Writing a wedding speech you sometimes have to know as much about the things you can’t talk about as the ones you can, and very often the people I write for are more than happy to talk about the former rather than the latter. There have been secret children, deceit, betrayal, crimes and the odd fatality, but it’s the other more apparently mundane stories and how the speakers want to approach their speech, that can be really enlightening.
So with that in mind I’m starting a weekly round up of the slightly weird but ever so wonderful world of speech writing.
Last week was an interesting one in that I receive many enquiries from best men who also happen to be the groom’s brother. Nothing unusual in that, but the extent to which the best man wanted to roast his brother was quite eye watering. He demanded that I list and name all the former girlfriends and list and name all the brides former squeezes. When I pointed out this could be a game changer in their relationship he responded by asking me to verbally take apart his brother’s business, aspirations and appearance. I think he was tired.
Sometimes the insight into people’s lives that comes with writing a wedding speech can be staggering, sometimes the lack of it can be equally mind boggling. I have just received a thank you note from a client for whom I wrote a best man speech. He had known his friend for 30 years and yet couldn’t provide me with a single anecdote. I knew he liked dinosaurs when he was little and music when he was older. Managing to write a relevant 7 minute speech out of that lot, made my head hurt. How on Earth are you best friends with someone for 3 decades and know nothing about them? Still, great challenge though.
I have just completed one of the best speeches I’ve ever created. I know you shouldn’t say that but I can because nobody is ever going to see it or hear. Why? Because the client I have written it for can’t decide if they now want funny or serious. Doh!
People have some very interesting pastimes. I’ve just written for a guy who met the groom aged about 30 when he invited him around for a huge session of naked computer games. If that’s not too bonkers, there’s a groom out there who’s daily breakfast is to mix tuna with orange juice and eat it out of the tin over the kitchen sink. Our thoughts are with his lovely new wife. And couples do meet in the strangest of circumstances. A recent groom first saw his wife aged around 20 going to the bathroom in the street…and thought that she was the girl for him…
And finally this inaugural speech week post is for the guy who helped his brother out by dressing up as the Pizza Hut Pooch only to receive a semi aggressive welcome from local feral youths in the park. I bet none of them will ever forget being violently threatened by a giant dog. Good for you my son.