And one of the biggest roadblocks mentioned was the pressure to be funny.
So off you go, you best men, fathers of the bride, maids of honor, brides and grooms – to search Google for ‘wedding speech jokes.’ And jackpot, you find some! But when you put them in your draft, they feel clunky and generic. Because they are.
Great humor is personal. It’s truthful. And I have some great news for you – your truth is unique, and your truth is funny.
The keys to articulating that truth are self-awareness and specificity.
Self-awareness, for this purpose, simply means having a sense of how you come across to other people, and acknowledging it.
I’m a five-foot-nothing soccer player with short hair. In a floral, flowing bridesmaid dress, I look like, well, a five-foot-nothing soccer player, with short hair.
If I had to give a maid of honor speech in that outfit, the fact that I was way out of my comfort zone would not go unmentioned. I’d point to it as indisputable evidence of my love and affection for the bride – and then, using specific examples, I’d show the audience how she’d earned that level of devotion.
Here’s an example of self-awareness in a father of the bride speech.
My client was an old-school guy who worked in the concrete business in Chicago.
Kelli’s always been great at getting me to try new things. I know you may find this hard to believe, but I’m not the most adventurous eater in the world. This kid talked me into eating sushi. Turns out it’s delicious!”
Simple. True. And FUNNY.
Now let’s talk specificity.
By specificity, I mean don’t just say it, SHOW IT.
Here’s an example of specificity in a maid of honor speech I wrote.
“I think everybody here knows how Rachel feels about her cats. They’re her fur babies. But to poor Dave, they’re kryptonite. He’s super allergic to cats and has to take Claritin by the handful just to live in his own house. That’s true love. By the way, if you see Dave tearing up today, it’s not from emotion. It’s because one of the cats slept on his tuxedo.”
TRUTH IS FUNNY.
Did those examples get you thinking? Are you seeing more potential for funny in your speech?