In this post, we look at five reasons why people shy away from roasts and boasts
1) They are not comfortable with speaking in public
Many national surveys reveal that speaking in public is one of the top three fears of adults in America today. Unless a person is a Toastmaster or already comfortable with public speaking, volunteers to roast or boast may not be too forthcoming. Depending on the level of their discomfort, there are three approaches to dealing with this:
a) Encourage them to learn the truth about nervousness and that they can manage it. The page about Nervousness when speaking is a good start for understanding nervousness
b) Don’t make them go up to the lectern. Have a wireless mic and a runner to deliver the mic to those too timid to stand at a lectern. Again, depending on their level of discomfort with speaking in public, they could remain seated too.
c) Let them only do the “boast” part of the program and encourage them to write down what they want to say and read it.
2) They won’t be funny
If they use the joke approach to doing a roast, they can test the joke out on family and friends first. If the joke gets a chuckle, then plugging in the roastee’s name as the protagonist is probably a safe bet. If that doesn’t work, then encourage them to just do the boast part of the program.
3) They will hurt the roastee’s feelings
If the joke approach is utilized, sensitive topics avoided (post on sensitive topics coming up) and followed up with a boast, the tribute should be well received.
4) They don’t know much about the roastee
As explained in the myth about roasts post, an effective roast can be prepared and delivered based on just kernels of truth about the roastee and then searching for jokes and funny anecdotes about that kernel of truth. Remember, a roast does NOT need to be based on true events.
5) They don’t like the roastee
If the person doesn’t like the roastee, but has to make an appearance at the special event because it is politically correct, it is best to not participate. If participation is expected, them probably sticking to a short boast is the best way to go.