Celebrity voice coach gives Prince Harry tips for a top speech

PRINCE Harry will have to make the best man’s speech of all time next Friday. Yes the guest list at this wedding will be quite different to your average event but Harry will still have to win them over.

PRINCE Harry will have to make the best man’s speech of all time next Friday.

Yes the guest list at this wedding will be quite different to your average event but Harry will still have to win them over.

How can he transcend the smutty humour of the mess-tent to make a memorable and funny speech on his brother’s big day?

Celebrity voice coach Caroline Goyder who has worked with Royalty and stars including Kate Winslett, Sarah Jessica Parker and Ewan McGregor, has advice on how Harry, and any best man, can make the best best man’s speech with charisma and style without resorting to dirty jokes and red faces all round.

She has developed a foolproof toolkit of expert advice and tips from some of the world’s most famous stand-up comedians, public speakers and actors on how to deliver a stand out speech.

Some of her top tips include:

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

Spontaneity, ease and 'natural' charisma are universally achieved by hard work and thorough rehearsal. The biggest mistake best men make is to think that once they have written the speech, they’re ready. Don’t be one of them. Writing your speech is only ten per cent of the job - the real work is in practising and practising so you look polished and natural. You have to practise to make perfect.

Get Good Material

If you want to have people shaking your hand at the end of the speech, and saying it was the best speech they’ve heard, then you mustn’t do it like everyone else does. You must find your own style. Don’t just scour the websites for best men jokes, scour your friends’ memories for great stories about the groom. Talk to everyone, write their stories down. Find the drama, the comedy, the characters and the location. What’s the journey of the groom in each story? And what’s the punch line? Once you’ve gathered stories put them up on post -it notes on the wall. Then over a few days filter and organise them into a sequence, and find out how to link them together.

Then the art is in editing. Keep it short and punchy. Watch stand-ups to learn how they remove all but the essential detail, and find the comic moments and lines to make an audience laugh. Eddie Izzard, Billy Connolly, Bill Bailey are all worth watching. If you really want to be brilliant, do a stand-up comedy course for a few weeks.

Stay Sober

Harsh, and crucial. Dutch courage may make you feel better but it doesn’t help you with the speech. If you’ve done enough rehearsal you'll be able to stay sober (one glass of champagne allowed only) until you’ve done your speech. When your head is clear you can respond faster to the audience and, as a result, you’re funnier. Then, when it’s all over stand at the bar, drink in hand, and enjoy praise being lavished on you.

Be The Pilot of The Plane

When you board a flight and the pilot’s voice comes over the intercom, you derive comfort from the authority in their voice tone. If they sound calm, you know they will look after you, when turbulence hits. If their voice were high and shaky you would panic. The same is true for your audience. So, take John Wayne's advice: Talk low, talk slow, don’t say too much.

Pause Before The Punch line

Timing is everything. Fear speeds you up, but if you want to get a laugh, you have to slow down. If you want to get a laugh you have to put the brakes on and really own the story. Emphasis matters: That’s why it's called a punch-line. And what all good stand-ups know is that if you want a laugh you have to take a pause before the punch-line. Don’t rush on too fast either, letting the audience laugh is crucial, if you cut them off, they won't laugh again. So hear the laughter peak, and just as it starts to wane, that’s when you cut in, not a moment too soon.

It Ain’t What You Say, It's The Way That You Say It

Only 20 per cent of your message is words. Above all fake confidence until you make it. Watch how stand-ups start a show, they go really slowly, tuning in to audience. Then, when they do start, they own it. Be animated in face, eyes and body. Move with precision, speak with focus. Be deliberate, nothing left to chance. Respond and react to the audience (the best jokes are often impromptu). So, make genuine eye contact, really see your audience and adapt the speech to them.

For more information visit www.caroilnegoyder.co.uk



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