Sunday 22 April 2018

Brevity is the soul of wit for a Best Man's speech - and steer clear of nether regions

There's a correct way to hold your wine glass. File photo: Getty
There's a correct way to hold your wine glass. File photo: Getty

John Daly

Ever stood in front of 250 expectant faces, their eyes fixed like lasers on nothing else but you? Thought not. It may be one of life's great honours to deliver the Best Man's speech, but handled badly it can become an unwelcome albatross attached to your personal history.

For many of us, public speaking began and ended with saying the few words after hoisting the under 9s muck-hurling trophy to a congress of 10 proud mammies. Fact is, few of us are born public speakers, and discover it is an art to be learned, practised and honed to suit the needs of the occasion. Like a deft McIlroy pitch to the centre of the green, it mixes discipline with rehearsal - sprinkled with that all- important element of individuality.

Having done the gig twice myself - disastrously first time, smarter the second - experience teaches that brevity is indeed the soul of wit for this occasion. Minimum five minutes to maximum seven - that's your lot, buddy, if you haven't managed to get them tearful and tittering in that window, exit stage left to a triple shot of malt whiskey and sad glances for the rest of the night.

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