You are out with family and friends celebrating your son or daughter passing the Eleven Plus. At some stage of the evening you decide that you would like to make a little speech.
Your brother, however, reminds you of the little speech you made when you were his best man. As you are rising to your feel he reminds everyone how you nearly pulled off a speech to the bride and groom – and how you landed up a little mixed up.
This is a family occasion. You need the speech to say good things about your son or daughter. You need to be able to make a few jokes – that take into account the children that are present. You need to be able to speak up and sit down.
It is essential that you do not speak too long about any one topic. A long and involved story about a largely forgotten `funny’ incident involving your child may only make your audience crumple with embarrassment. You child too could be scarred for life by the unfunny revelations.
If you are going to make a very short joke take into account the range of people who will be listening. If you forget to mention the contribution of grand dad who actually paid the Eleven Plus fees you could offend him. You will need to mention your sister who once had to collect your child from an extra lesson because you were stuck in traffic. You will need to recall the moment when you realised that you could not do a question set in a mere Eleven Plus paper – and that you needed help.
And finally you need to pay tribute to the work that your child has put into the examination. After all if it wasn’t for him or her you would not be on your feet at all.