Been prompted to think what makes a good after-dinner speech and directed by a search engine to read an article by Gyles Brandreth.
Bullet points –
1. Know your audience
2. Entertain your audience, not yourself
3. Stay sober
4. Speak before 11pm
5. Don’t be lumbered with a set text
6. Don’t get rattled
7. Don’t out stay your welcome
In the last 8 months, I have learnt not to read speeches, but setting out to be funny, knowing what will make people laugh ain’t a strength I have.
Pride in your home city / town ought to be a sure-fire winner for a home audience, but point 1 applies, cos knocking a “rival” city ain’t the way if people from that city are there. And of course, in the Nottingham & Derby scenario, we’re trying hard to develop a new partnership. Cos really, if taking on Derby is the limit of your ambition, there’s a lot of the world you’re missing out on.
Equally, knocking your home city / town can be a winner if you still live there. Scottish emigrants to Israel once took exception to a Billy Connelly speech to which he replied “C’mn, I love Scotland so much, I actually live there”. (35+ years on, I still remember that.)
Less struck by the idea of knocking neighbourhoods; especially if with some kind of genius, you’ve moved on and left them behind. Maybe those who’ve aspired for them since haven’t achieved enough – maybe we should take some stick. But I’m not keen on looking down on people, even fellow guests.
Though I thought the remark against right-wing protesters of “very stable geniuses” by Sadiq Khan was a peach of a put-down, even if I think the idea of trying to stop him speaking cos he’d opposed a Trump visit was quite witty.