Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Prince's Speech (Memo to Prince Harry)

Your Royal Highness,

Allow me, as current head of the world's professional speakers, to offer a little guidance for your upcoming best man's speech on the occasion of your brother's wedding to Ms Middleton.

I know that you are no stranger to speaking in public, and that you do not suffer greatly from nerves. However, the occasion is a momentous one, and I'm sure that you will wish to deliver a speech that does it justice, as well as offering some light entertainment to the company gathered for the wedding buffet.

So here are some tips which may help.

1) Don't repeat jokes from a joke book or from a comedian you've seen on TV. Jokes should be left to professional stand-up comedians. Otherwise, there's a high chance of either failing to get a laugh, or of offending the audience, or both.

2) Funny stories work really well, and it's worth sitting down with a notebook (and whatever gives your creativity full rein, such as a small glass of ale) a few weeks before the ceremony, and thinking of incidents that have happened to your brother. Take a couple of stories and work on them so that you know them by heart, and ensure that they take no longer than two or three minutes each.

3) Remember that the humour needs to be appropriate. Probably best to test it out first with your father to be on the safe side.

4) Keep the speech down to around ten minutes. Short, witty and warm.

5) Wish the bride and groom well in their future careers, though speculation is not necessary here.

6) Just a little lemonade before you speak. Decorum at all times.

7) Remember to thank everyone for coming and offer a toast to the happy couple for their future success.

Lastly, I know it is often within the best man's remit, but I'm sure Pippa can look after the bridesmaids on her own.

Enjoy the day.

Your humble and obedient servant,

Alan Stevens, FPSA, PSAE, MCIPR, President, Global Speakers Federation

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