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After-dinner speech - please help

Lucky Strike

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Right, so next Saturday I'm supposed to hold a speech after a very traditional lutefisk club dinner. Background: This is an annual event for enthusiasts (around a hundred people, I think), most of them far older and more important than me. As I'm the new boy, it's a bit like an initiation, although very civilised. The subject is typically supposed to be praise of the food and company, etc., and I'm also supposed to be funny. OMFG, why did I accept this? Please help.
 

Thomas

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Let me get this straight?

You've got to sing the praises of lutefisk to a bunch of older guys who love the stuff?

You're fucked.





I'll post again later once I've thought a bit more.
 

why

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Lutefisk is awesome.

Make of French people and their cuisine and talk about how manly Lutefisk is.
 

Al-Wahid

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It always helps to start with some self-deprecating remark. My advice would be to not try and sound smarter, more eloquent, urbane or (insert adjective here) than you are. It's a very old adage but just be yourself. Try to figure out the best way that expresses who you are, add a little bit of gracious flattery, and emphasize your humble gratitude for having the opportunity to speak to them. Crowds love when you kiss their ass.

If all else fails there's always unanticipated nudity.
 

Thomas

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Originally Posted by Al-Wahid
It always helps to start with some self-deprecating remark. My advice would be to not try and sound smarter, more eloquent, urbane or (insert adjective here) than you are. It's a very old adage but just be yourself. Try to figure out the best way that expresses who you are, add a little bit of gracious flattery, and emphasize your humble gratitude for having the opportunity to speak to them. Crowds love when you kiss their ass.

If all else fails there's always unanticipated nudity.


That last sentence made the whole post worth reading.
 

Thomas

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Originally Posted by why
Lutefisk is awesome.

Make of French people and their cuisine and talk about how manly Lutefisk is.


Actually, your best bet is to be yourself. If you're a jokester, be a jokester.

If I were doing such a thing, I'd start be mentioning haggis and why haggis is so spectacular. After a few sentences (looking for puzzled looks in the crowd), I'd break off and check a cue card. Ohhh...LUTEFISK. THANK GOD - that haggis is CRAP. Lutefisk - that's some good eating there..

And then get started on why you find lutefisk appealing, and why you choose to eat lutefisk with these fine masochists.
 

Dmax

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Umm.. You can mention that the Lutefisk is so good, even people in US eat it. Madison, Minnesota claims to be the "lutefisk Capital of USA". I remember seeing a TV special about it. I am sure you can come up with an appropriate US related joke, since making jokes about USA must be a popular past time in Europe
.
 

acidboy

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i'm pretty sure there's a lot of lutefisk jokes out there if your audience doesn't get tired of them
 

fredfred

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For the core of the speech I'd go for a "Tradition" approach, with the common theme throughout a set of stories being Lutefisk.

If possible, contact some of the members of the group and ask them about their earliest and their most memorable times that were accompanied by lutefisk. Make sure to get descriptive adjectives about sound, sights, smells. Then use these stories as content in the body of the speech. (throw in the word tradition when you can - I didn't do it well below)

E.g.
"Bjorn Anderson remembers his first experience with lutefisk. It was out on his grandparents farm north of Oslo, at the end of the dirt road where you weren't quite sure where the road ended and the driveway started, especially when the snow hadn't been plowed, which was about 8 months out of the year. Bjorn was 8 years old and was quite excited about visiting his grandparents, since they always had something to give him. Sometimes it was a toy. Sometimes it was a new shiny coin. But it was always something. He could count on it.

He would always be given this new object just after dinner. This meant, of course, that he had to behave properly during dinner. But on this occasion something strange happened. Instead of the usual (insert common meal name here) this time there was something new on the plate. Something un-us-ual... something foreign. It was so unusual that he in fact saw it coming.... well no, that is not quite right, he actually smelled it coming before it arrived.

(add material and end with Bjorn feeding the lutefisk to the family dog). Since then, Bjorn has changed a bit, though, as we all do over time. Bjorn has come to like lutefisk and appreciate all that it stands for - and of course Bjorn is here with us tonight.

(Repeat for several stories - and include your own. Also intersperse the exportation of the tradition of lutefisk to the U.S. and mention Garrison Keillor, whose made a career with Lutefisk and Norweigans - he has a lutefisk quote in "Pontoon")



Close with something like,

"My (new) friends (if you'll have me, even after this speech), our time here tonight isn't just about lutefisk. It's about Bjorn Anderson when he was 8 years old, visiting his grandparents at the end of the dirt road. He hated it at the time, but Bjorn appreciates it now. Our time here tonight is about Trevor Fagstrom, whose parents made lutefisk at the Lutheran church every Sunday night. He didn't like it then, but he understands now. (add more 2 sentence overviews, one per story).

Yes our time here tonight is about the good food that is lutefisk. But our time here is also about Good people. Good Tradition. And a good country that is Norway.

And I thank you and God for letting me be a part of all of those things. "

That should do it.
 

Lucky Strike

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Thanks, all! This actually helps.
Originally Posted by Thomas
You're fucked.
Yep. I know.
Originally Posted by why
Make of French people and their cuisine and talk about how manly Lutefisk is.
Might work - thanks!
Originally Posted by Al-Wahid
It always helps to start with some self-deprecating remark. My advice would be to not try and sound smarter, more eloquent, urbane or (insert adjective here) than you are. It's a very old adage but just be yourself. Try to figure out the best way that expresses who you are, add a little bit of gracious flattery, and emphasize your humble gratitude for having the opportunity to speak to them. Crowds love when you kiss their ass. If all else fails there's always unanticipated nudity.
Ass-kissing yes, nudity, mmmno.
Originally Posted by Thomas
Actually, your best bet is to be yourself. If you're a jokester, be a jokester.
I'm a self-deprecating jokester - this might be a good route to go.
Originally Posted by Dmax
I am sure you can come up with an appropriate US related joke, since making jokes about USA must be a popular past time in Europe
.

Very popular, but in this crowd there will be not a few Americans...I'm better off making fun of the French.
Originally Posted by fredfred
E.g. "Bjorn Anderson remembers his first experience with lutefisk. It was out on his grandparents farm north of Oslo, at the end of the dirt road where you weren't quite sure where the road ended and the driveway started, especially when the snow hadn't been plowed, which was about 8 months out of the year. Bjorn was 8 years old and was quite excited about visiting his grandparents, since they always had something to give him. Sometimes it was a toy. Sometimes it was a new shiny coin. But it was always something. He could count on it. He would always be given this new object just after dinner. This meant, of course, that he had to behave properly during dinner. But on this occasion something strange happened. Instead of the usual (insert common meal name here) this time there was something new on the plate. Something un-us-ual... something foreign. It was so unusual that he in fact saw it coming.... well no, that is not quite right, he actually smelled it coming before it arrived. (add material and end with Bjorn feeding the lutefisk to the family dog). Since then, Bjorn has changed a bit, though, as we all do over time. Bjorn has come to like lutefisk and appreciate all that it stands for - and of course Bjorn is here with us tonight. (Repeat for several stories - and include your own. Also intersperse the exportation of the tradition of lutefisk to the U.S. and mention Garrison Keillor, whose made a career with Lutefisk and Norweigans - he has a lutefisk quote in "Pontoon") Close with something like, "My (new) friends (if you'll have me, even after this speech), our time here tonight isn't just about lutefisk. It's about Bjorn Anderson when he was 8 years old, visiting his grandparents at the end of the dirt road. He hated it at the time, but Bjorn appreciates it now. Our time here tonight is about Trevor Fagstrom, whose parents made lutefisk at the Lutheran church every Sunday night. He didn't like it then, but he understands now. (add more 2 sentence overviews, one per story). Yes our time here tonight is about the good food that is lutefisk. But our time here is also about Good people. Good Tradition. And a good country that is Norway. And I thank you and God for letting me be a part of all of those things. " That should do it.
It will! I'll work on it.
 

odoreater

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Just don't be too dramatic and drawn out.
 

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