Book review: A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech, by John-Paul Flintoff

Published by Claire Gould on

Some books really do stay with you. Today I want to tell you about one of them.

This is a paid blog post (sort of), but the content is 100% genuine and from the heart. (Read my note at the end!)

I loved reading this. I’d spoken to the author and JP’s voice and gentle, considered way of talking won me over from the start.

This book is full of his personality – and unlike many “how to make a wedding speech” books, its pages are softly spoken and thoughtful. They guide you gently through how it feels to prepare and make a speech, without being in any way bossy or prescriptive.

A modest book about how to make an adequate speech by jp flintoff

This is recommended reading for anyone making a speech at a wedding – I absolutely loved JP’s book and it has stuck with me. It’s changed the way I write the blog. It’s given me quiet confidence to speak honestly and openly, not just when I make speeches, but when I write blog posts and give calligraphy workshops.

I love that this is a book which will help you prepare a wedding speech – but it’s also a book to settle down with and read from cover to cover. It’s full of personal stories including real experiences with speaking in front of huge crowds. Reading this, you will learn how that can feel – and that’s ever so important.

A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech is written from the heart. Its focus is on how it feels to have to prepare a speech. And that’s the crux of it, isn’t it? From the moment you realise you’re going to have to make a speech at a wedding, something happens inside your belly. And often, that’s fear.

Fair enough. The build up towards making a speech is pretty intense. Anyone can make a wedding speech – so whether you’re the best man, the bride, the newlyweds’ best friends, or the mother of the groom, if you’re invited to speak at a wedding reception, it can be scary. We get that.

And JP gets that. Because he’s been there. In all kinds of settings, with all kinds of people, from huge conferences to small gatherings. And here’s the thing: he shares how it feels. He’s open and honest about being human and having other things going on in his life. And that wonderful authenticity really has you a) rooting for him and b) really liking him.

This is a book for people who enjoy reading.

It’s not a book for people who want to grab jokes and follow a formula to make a wedding speech. (Although you can still do that – we’re absolutely not here to judge!)

It’s a book about how to be human and stand up in front of people and relate to them. It’s a book which will really help you to understand why you’re about to stand in front of a crowd and say words. It’s a book which will hold your hand while you do that. It’s a book which will stay with you for life, quietly reminding you that you’re absolutely capable of talking to crowds. And it’s a book I loved.

John-Paul Flintoff’s A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech is available now.

Full disclosure: JP’s publishers got in touch last summer, I think, and paid for a sponsored post on the blog. I said it would be nice to maybe share some guest posts about wedding speeches, and I chatted to JP. We were both looking forward to sharing some advice on here… but time just ran away. I didn’t want to just keep the payment Hachette had sent over, so I thought I’d write my own little review for you on here. It’s not the most eloquent, I’m merely a wedding blogger… but I do hope it does the book justice. I would love for you to read it.

I also tried to leave a review on Waterstones’ website, but it timed out on me. So I may have left two, or none. Claire's signature

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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