Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why we "do speeches" in English.

And that, Ladies and Gentleman is why we do speeches in English!

Today is my son Alex's 22nd birthday. I posted this on another blog after his 21st birthday last year and on re-reading decided to re-post it. As we all wind down for the holidays, English teachers take a well-deserved pat-on-the-back for your efforts in teaching, facilitating, cajoling, encouraging and supporting all those students in your classes who have to "do" speeches. It's worth it!

“Good evening Ladies and Gentleman. For those who don’t know me, my name is Ben and I have known Alex since we both started school aged 5. I even have my name written down in case I was to forget it after taking advantage of the free alcohol, Thanks Bill.”  
And so began the best 21st speech I have ever heard from a young man speaking about his best friend. In our family we have all had opportunities to speak in public  from Captain’s speeches after a rugby match, 21st’s, weddings, funerals, family functions, assemblies, staff meetings etc.In fact, my husband Bill is seen as someone you don’t want to follow if you are speaking at a family occasion. However, last night this young man stole the show.
From this cliched start he proceeded to discuss George Washington’s revolutionist ideas with a quick reference to Napoleon and Che Guevara, a passing comment on Barack Obama’s charisma and finally a picture of Richie (McCaw of course). The speech detailed some of our son’s adventures and escapades, without the embarrassing tales that can occur on these occasions. He was witty, perceptive and absolutely genuine in his friendship with our  son. At the end he mentioned All Black Captain Richie McCaw and listed his qualities of leadership, modesty, intelligence, being trustworthy and dependable and referenced our son. However, all present were able to recognise the same qualities in the speaker. 
This morning as we all gathered for a clean-up and de-brief about the evening, we were all still amazed and delighted at this fabulous speech. We were all in awe of Ben’s wit and intelligence, something that is not always applauded in our sporting culture. Ben, you made your friends, your parents and I am sure your teachers proud last night.
Stepping up and delivering an unforgettable speech at your best mate’s 21st – Legend!!

This was originally posted on my other blog.

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