CHAPTER 15

Social Events: A Different Challenge

Be sincere; be brief; be seated.

—Franklin D. Roosevelt, American President

This book is primarily about conference speeches and business presentations, but once you get a reputation as a competent speaker, you will inevitably be asked to speak at many other occasions. These will range from staff leaving parties, industry or association dinners, family occasions, and even funerals.

At the top of the list of social occasions to fear for many people are the speeches made at weddings. Almost everyone will be able to recall a wedding where they have sat through one or more excruciatingly awful speeches. There is really little excuse for this. At the very least, following Franklin D Roosevelt’s advice ...

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