Twice in my life I’ve had the chance to deliver a best man speech. Both times I’ve been very nervous, and both times my speeches have been widely reviewed by the guests as “the best best man speech” they’d ever hear.

So – how did I do it.

First things first – I didn’t use a website which automatically generates a speech for you, and this isn’t what you will get from this article either. I only once took something from the internet for my first speech which was a nice statement about future happiness together. Ironically the exact same quote was used earlier in the day by a registrar. I learned my lesson for the second speech (plus I’d done it once so I felt a bit more confident).

In both cases I stuck to a fairly simple structure:

  • Introduction with a quick joke
  • Three stories about the groom (linked in some way)
  • Conclusion with some nice ‘awwww’ comment about the happy couple etc.

A great piece of advice that I recieved from a close friend of mine (and owner of http://preselipartnerships.com/) was this. Use ‘brackets’ in your stories. So you start with one anecdote or story “We were walking down the street when the unimaginable happened…”. But leave that unfinished, with a mini cliffhanger if possible. And then complete another story, before looping back and closing the bracket of the first story. “But before I tell you about that there’s something you need to understand”. This technique can be used more than once, but don’t go nuts or it’ll spoil the flow or confuse people.

Gather together as many stories as you can about your victim, either from your own memory, or from friends and family (or both). Try and find a common thread that you can use – either as an open/close bracket at the beginning and end of the speech – or for the conclusion section of the speech. It can be really nice to say something along the line of ‘he doesn’t do those kind of things anymore since meeting the bride, which is a great relief for everyone’ or something along those lines.

Another great tip (if you haven’t gone to the website yet it may help you understand that the company does coaching of soft skills and the like), is to do some small motion or gesture to make the area you’re standing ‘your stage’. This doesn’t have to be anything weird or excessive. It just lets the audience know that you’re here, ready and about the start.

For example the first speech I did I got up, walked out from behind the table I was sitting at, put my wine glass on a shelf nearby and flourished my printed copy of the speech. I looked up, and I was ready – and so was the audience. The second time I simply stepped to one side, once again so that I wasn’t behind the table and there was no barrier between my and the listeners.

And finally what I imagine will be the least popular piece of advice (which worked for me anyway). Make a lot of time to write the speech. Each speech that I delivered took about three months to prepare – it gives you time to make sure you’re pitching it at the right level in terms of the insults and innuendo.

It’s a post format apparently. So:

Twerk: The rhythmic gyrating of the lower fleshy extremities in a lascivious manner with the intent to elicit sexual arousal or laughter in ones intended audience.

It may surprise you when I say that I have had ideas for blog posts to write over the last year. The complete dearth of content obviously suggests otherwise.
I’ve decided to call this a lack of creative inertia.
Let me explain. I have the idea. Perhaps even do a bit of research and gather some material to use towards a post. But then for one reason or another, I’ll stop. And never pick the idea up. I’ve lost the inertia.
In some cases this is legitimate. For example if I’m at work then I don’t feel that I can spend time writing for a personal blog. In other cases other things in my life take precedence.

Can I promise to write more from now on? No of course not, but I really hope that I can start creating on a more regular basis.

The patient and eagle eyed readers (hi Mum!) will notice that the tag line to randomtask is now ‘Robs randomness relocated’. This is to celebrate a successful move to wordpress.com from my own hosted website.

Given that my last post way over a year ago this makes a lot of sense, it’ll save me money on hosting. The instructions for moving from one place to another in the wordpress support section are very easy to follow and made my life very easy. I’d like to think this will increase my blog post frequency.

But that’s what I said on 8th August last year, so I’m not making any promises!!

This is a legal battle which seems to be lighting up the technology blog space. Even though I don’t count myself as a “technology blog” I still feel the urge to throw my two cents into the ring.
From the snippets of evidence that I’ve seen, it seems quite obvious that Samsung has copied Apple, it also seems to me that several of the patents that Apple has should never have been granted.
So, my ideal outcome would look something like this: Samsung is fined, but a relatively small amount (especially compared to the amount that Apple seems to be after), maybe a few tens of millions of dollars.
This in my mind amounts to a stern slap on the wrist for Samsung, it should develop it’s own ideas and forge it’s own path (lets face it, that should be the best for consumers anyway).
However in addition to this I think there should be a negative taint to the outcome for Apple to dissuade them from throwing around lawsuits with such abandon.
Either the simple fact that the damages awarded are insignificant enough that the whole thing seems completely pointless, or one or more of their more obvious looking patents is rendered invalid.
Having said that I don’t envy the jury in the slightest it certainly seems to be a difficult trial!

Many years have passed since I wrote here…
At least that’s what it feels like (I’ve just checked and it is around 2 years). Since my last post my blog has quietly slipped between the cracks, drifted into obscurity, dropped down the ranks. This is not a problem for me, I was never really writing on here for fame or infamy. Arguably I should have deleted this site long ago – it is truly neglected.
However nostalgia is a powerful thing, and recently I’ve come to realise that the act of writing – writing for the simple joy of writing – is something that I miss.
I have, over the past few years become much more of a consumer than a creator – and I’ve come to the realisation that this is not a good thing. So, as random thoughts enter my head (as per the blog name) I’ll try and expand on them and record them for the disinterested masses.
Just like the good old days :-)

I have heard this said before; that you are shaped by your internal monologue. I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks and here’s my take on it:
Yes and no.
Or, it’s easy to have an internal monologue that dissuades you from doing things – “I could never do…” but I think it’s equally possible to have an internal monologue that deceives you. I’ll endeavour to give examples of both from my own life so you can see if I’m making any sense.
Firstly self deception: I have two examples.
“I am very busy”. On the face of it this is true – it’s very easy for me to convince myself and anyone who’s listening of this, simply by listing the projects I’m doing at the moment:

  • Writing a travel book
  • Buying a house
  • Writing a speech
  • Doing a photography degree

Wow, look how busy I am! It’s a wonder that I can even find the time to write this blog post. Except if I delve a little deeper, yes all the projects I listed above have been started. But when was the last time that I actually did something for one of them? I’ll tell you – it’s probably been over two weeks since I sat down and actually put some effort into my book or my speech. Longer for the others (to be fair the house thing is in the hands of solicitors at the moment so I have nothing to do).
What do I do with my evenings (other than craft startlingly insightful blog posts)? I pretty much sit and bum around on the internet looking at tech sites and watching things on BBC iplayer or 4od.
Yet I still have an internal monologue of “Wow I’m really busy”
That’s the first deception.
Second: I’m really health. Compared to some people I am, but not as much as I’d like to believe. I’ve been using a tracking website called 42 goals and I make a record of all gym visits, swimming sessions, cycle rides and ‘naughty food’. Fact is I’ve been having a lot more ‘naughty food’ and been going to the gym a lot less that I tell myself. In fact this month I’ve had 16 ‘treats’ – that’s getting pretty close to an average of one a day.
OK that’s how I have been deceived by my own thoughts. This was my main driver for writing this post so I don’t have an eloquent positive story to tell, for this reason I’ll pass it over to someone with a more compelling story to tell:

Admittedly I can already swim, but only really the breast stroke. Which is arguably the easiest stroke available, with the possible exception of doggy paddle. Swimming the crawl is something that I’ve never been good at, last time I tried I got about 10m down the pool before I had to stop and go back to breast stroke. This was until last Thursday.
I had seen Tim Ferris talking about how to swim (among other things) in his TED talk. More specifically he was making the point that teachers generally don’t break down the stoke into the simple and important bits. Later I discovered that this technique is called ‘Total immersion‘ swimming. Tim also has a blog post about it here with videos.
I’ve only done one half hour session, under my own tuition (yes that’s right, I’m teaching myself) but already I can do a few lengths quite easily. The art of breathing without slightly drowning isn’t one that I’ve perfected yet, giving me quite a few lengths that end half way across the pool with me coughing and spluttering – however I feel I’ve already made some pretty good progress. Even though I am mainly focused on getting my stroke right and breathing without water-in-lung I have completed a length or two with a surprising and satisfying head of speed.

I think this applies equally to the UK.

You may or may not have noticed that it’s been a heck of a long time since I last posted anything. I’d like to blame writes block, struggling to come up with insightful and genius words to share and inspire.
Sounds like a good excuse yes? Well it’s not the truth, it’s more like writers apathy. I just kept putting off the task or wasting time on something largely pointless. Recently, I have been intending to write something – Sharpen the nib, get my eye back in – but I’ve come across a different and all together less expected writers affliction.
Writers amnesia.
Literally that, I forget to write a post! Here’s an example: I’ll walk to work, mind wandering as it often does. At lunch I’ll think to myself I’ll write something for my blog. This seems like a very good idea this becomes part of my ‘plan for the day’. Unfortunately lunch time comes around, and if I’m lucky I’ll have a niggling feeling that I was going to do something. Invariably I’ll read some photography or tech website. That must have been it.
Then after lunch, when I’m doing work and stuff, I’ll remember. Too late, I’ll do it when I get home. Then after I’ve taken some time making food (which usually grabs my attention quite fully) I go upstairs, turn on my computer and…. well watch some shows read some more websites generally get on with forgetting to write anything.
So how did I remember today?
Well I’m trying out a free service called Remember the milk, this is essentially a web-hosted to-do list. So far it’s pretty good, and without it you’d probably never see these words. With luck it’ll keep me remembering a whole load of other important things!

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