TheMalePlaybook.com was a blog I authored when I was 23 years old. I was pleased with it in terms of followers and reaction, but when I started a new job, I discontinued it. Now, the 40+ plays in The Male Playbook will be making appearances in Writing Bareback over the next year. Enjoy.
Public speaking holds a rare place in the ultimate male lifestyle. It’s like playing pro sports or having more than ten children. It’s an enviable skill that puts you in an elite class of masculinity, but chances are good you lack the ability and should probably avoid it like an argyle sweater. It will only make you look stupid.
Unfortunately, there are times when making a public statement can’t be ducked. Classic cases would be a Bar Mitzvah, a wedding, or after bringing the house down with a particularly strong round of karaoke. If thrown into any of these situations, the only thing less manly than bombing the speech is declining to attempt it. So you might as well stand and deliver.
If you’re not capable of delivering like Gale Sayers (and who is?), then your only option is the Beanie Campbell. The key to a Beanie Campbell is remembering that short is sweet. This is a three step play (with or without the cherry) that should be executed in under thirty seconds.
Step 1: Grace. Thank the appropriate party for the opportunity to even be at the event. You should be stricken with humility by simply being in the presence of whoever’s presence you’re in. And even though you know you’re about to kill this speech with a perfect Beanie Campbell, you ooze the humility of plebeian scum.
Step 2: Quote. You aren’t witty, and someone else already said it better. If you’re not stealing (and tweaking it to make it more applicable), then you’re not trying. Fit something in that’s tried, true and meaningful. Funny is too risky, but a seemingly heartfelt quote can never disappoint. Pick a catch-all you can remember like, “My dad used to always say, follow your heart and you’ll never get lost.” Don’t dally here. This is merely a bridge to your big finish.
Step 3: Love. Tell the appropriate party how much you love them. You can’t over-emphasize this. In fact, a strong statement is, “I can’t over-emphasize how much I love you guys.” Always end with love.
The Cherry: It’s not for everyone, but if you’re feeling dangerous or have just had too much champagne, wrap this number up with a parting shot. This is a statement that drifts as you pass off the microphone. The classic Beanie Campbell cherry is “I’m not a talker.” Other options include a final compliment or an inside joke with the appropriate party. Never, under any circumstances should the cherry be overtly self-aggrandizing. That only undoes the subversive self-aggrandizing of the first three steps.