Ask anyone to stand up in public and speak and they’ll run away from you…
Public speaking is the #1 fear we humans have (only slightly ahead of being trapped in a lift with Piers Morgan).
It’s been that way for as long as I can remember.
(note – as someone with ADHD, I shouldn’t make statements like, “as long as I can remember” as I have a bloody appalling memory. I’d be grateful if you forgot about this rather salient fact for a few moments).
“Why should I care about public speaking? I’m planning my wedding, not hosting the bloody Oscars!”
Here’s why you should care – some of your wedding guests are gonna have to stand up and speak.
This might not be a big concern for you. After all, if you’re the bride, you’re probably not going to be one of them. You get the pleasure of watching your nearest and dearest squirm, sweat and struggle with their “umms…” and “eerrrs…“.
You’re in the clear, right?
The wedding speeches have the potential to ruin the rest of the day.
Timing, that’s how.
Here’s what usually happens –
“How long is your speech going to be? It’s just that we need to know what time to book the wedding magician for…”
(Subtle was never a strong trait of mine)
“Oh, it’s not going to be very long. I hate giving speeches. It’ll be nice and quick…five minutes tops!”
Not deliberately – and they don’t know it yet – but they’re still lying to you.
They’re about to spoil your wedding day…
(If doing a long speech that throws the rest of your timings out meets your criteria for “spoiling your wedding day”…)
Here’s the science behind WHY the speeches always run long.
(Pay attention. This WILL be on the test.)
Wedding audiences are kind and forgiving beasts.
It’s not like the crowd at a comedy club. You’ll never see a Father of the Bride booed off or heckled with a witty “we’ve heard that one – get some new jokes Grandad!” riposte.
Wedding guests give people leeway.
A LOT of leeway.
They’ll laugh at even the slightest jokes too…
And THERE’S the problem.
Once even the most hesitant speaker gets that first laugh…
…you can’t get them off the bloody mic.
Before the laugh, speakers are racked with nerves, petrified and shaking with fear. You can virtually hear them squelching in their flop sweat.
…until they get that first laugh.
Once they have that, they start to think, “Oh! I’m pretty good at this… maybe I should tell that other story too…“
Before you know it, they’re rattled through more stories than the Osmond family special of “This Is Your Life”…
…and they’re still going strong.
You’ve had three intermissions…
…Fourteen loo breaks…
…and we lost poor Aunty Margaret to the ravages of old age during the “picked up the wrong Maltloaf in Lidl” story (poor thing – she was only 15 when the speeches started!).
You look at your watch. It’s 11 pm – THE NEXT DAY!!!
The cake has melted into a pool of sugary goo, the venue staff are turning off the lights and, most importantly, the magician has gone to his next gig!
“How do you avoid this?” I hear approximately three of you ask?
If you want to prevent your Uncle Alan treating your wedding like he’s headlining “A Night at the Apollo“, I have a few solutions for you.
Feel free to pick your favourite:
- Buy tranquiliser guns and have them loaded, ready to go.
- Write “if anyone laughs AT ANY POINT during the speeches, there will be a £50 fine” in all your guest’s invitations.
- Reaffirm how important it is that your day runs on time to your speakers. Make sure they understand it (use wrestling holds as necessary).
The good news is that most people, including wedding suppliers, allow for these kinds of delays, so you’ve got nothing to worry about.
It’s worth bearing it in mind though, just in case you’re thinking of passing the mic to someone who thinks he’s Jimmy Carr, or worse…
If you’re thinking, “Bloody hell! That’s a bit too much text for me. Have you got the same information in a more video friendly format?“, then you’re in luck! Click here to go and see me perform it live on that YouTube website.
Want a wedding magician to come round and amaze your guests AND get them laughing too – all without overstaying his welcome?