The MANual: Wedding Speeches

Check Your Tech: Why You Should Give A Device-Free Speech

If you’re one of those first adapter types (the kind of guy who follows Tech Crunch on Facebook and buys all his stuff from Gear Patrol), you might be thinking that your speech needs some audio-visual aids. You would be wrong. A well-crafted speech will always be more powerful than a tech-assisted “presentation,” especially at a wedding.

True, technology has been changing every aspect of our lives: we have robots to cook our food and vacuum our carpets, and apps to help us find true love or the best Thai food in our area. Standing up and reading from some handwritten notes seems positively Neanderthal, especially when you’re competing for the attention of people with smartphones they’d rather be checking.

But the fact is, more often than not technology makes things more difficult, not less. You may have an expectation of how your tech-assisted speech will go, but the reality will be different. For instance:

The Powerpoint Slideshow

How you think it will go:

By using the most basic AV equipment, and projecting a slide show onto the wall while you speak, you will instantly make everyone else’s speech seem tame and boring in comparison.

How it will actually go:

The use of Powerpoint will make you seem like a total dweeb to that redhead bridesmaid who had up until that moment thought were kind of cute.  This isn’t a marketing presentation for God’s sake. Where’s your sense of romance?

Reception

The Easiest Speech You’ll Ever Give

The Satellite Hookup

How you think it will go:

You dramatically pull a white sheet off that mysterious item in the corner of the room to reveal a large screen TV, where Uncle Theo (who would have loved to attend but couldn’t make the trip from Athens) is waiting on Skype. You engage in hilarious banter with Uncle Theo, which captivates the kids and blows the old folks’ minds.

How it will actually go:

Just as Uncle Theo opens his mouth to speak, the Skype connection will freeze, giving everyone at the reception ample opportunity to examine his molars in glorious 1080 resolution. Nothing says “wedding” like looking into the mouth of an octogenarian Greek. The kids are disgusted and the old folks are terrified.

The Green Screen Challenge

How you think it will go:

If, like a professional weatherman, you use a green screen to change the background behind you while you speak, you will come off as smart, futuristic and arty

How it will actually go:

If, like a professional weatherman, you use a green screen to change the background behind you while you speak, you will come off like a professional weatherman: emotionally insincere, geeky and trying way too hard. The kids are bored and the old folks are wondering if they brought umbrellas.

The Video Call Back

How you think it will go:

When you use a remote to make a giant screen descend from the ceiling, and start showing hilarious videos of the groom when he was in college, you win. It’s surprising, high-tech, and hilarious!

How it will actually go:

The video is blurry because you shot it on your phone in college–and the resolution is terrible on such a large screen. Also, did you even bother to watch to the end? That last shot is really inappropriate. The kids are laughing at you and the old folks are shaking their fists.

Reception

The First Seven Seconds Of Your Wedding Speech

The Hologram Experience

How you think it will go:

Jaws will drop when you unlock that titanium suitcase you have handcuffed to your wrist, and take out that next generation wireless thingamajig that not even Elon Musk knows about yet, and start harnessing its amazing interactive powers to make your wedding toast appear as a 3-D hologram in the middle of the dance floor. You are incredibly sleek and ahead of the curve: clearly the coolest guy in the room.

How it will actually go:

Suddenly, the internet goes down. Or you don’t have the correct software, connection, or remote.  Or you forgot to get the venue’s wifi password. And unfortunately, you didn’t even bother to print out your speech because you were so sure this was going to be awesome. So you feverishly begin trying to fix the problem, and the room gets quiet in an uncomfortable way. You are sweating like a racehorse. The sweat is running in rivulets down your forehead and into your eyes. Now you can’t even get the thing to restart. Oh God, it’s started now, but it’s showing that weird Hentai clip you forgot to delete from your browser history. The kids are snickering and the old folks are looking for their glasses.

Bottom Line

Don’t use technology. Technology will let you down. This is one of those moments that calls for simplicity, sincerity and an old-fashioned approach: all you need to do is open your mouth and speak.

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