Public speaking is a fear many share, even the most confident of people can feel a little apprehensive at the thought of standing up in front of an audience. Add the pressure of making sure it’s entertaining and you have the feelings of many Grooms, Best Men and Fathers all over the world. Wedding speeches can be a daunting task!
To ensure you deliver the best and most memorable speech possible, we have a few handy tips to help you:
Make a list
Note down all the memories you have shared with the person such as embarrassing stories from their childhood or teenage years. You may not mention every memory on your list, but it gives you inspiration to get started.
Keep their eyes occupied
This is particularly useful for the nervous ones. You can be quite clever in diverting the audience’s attention to something else, allowing you to relax and not feel like every eye in the room is watching. An example of this is to create a selection of print outs with information on each table, label them 1-5 and refer to them during your speech so that each table is looking at the photos or reading the words as you continue to speak.
Don’t put pressure on yourself
Entertaining doesn’t have to mean funny. If it’s not natural for you, don’t do it. It’s more excruciating to witness someone trying too hard. Just as long as it’s interesting that’s all that matters.
The wonder that is prompt cards
Prompt cards are fantastic, as long as they’re used in the right way. The clue is in the name, they’re there to prompt your memory meaning you mustn’t write the entire speech down; this will encourage you to engage with the audience. It also hides those shaky hands, which by the way is normal, don’t fight it. You’re only human and what you’re experiencing is adrenaline!
Keep it short
Well, we say short but what we really mean is between 5-7 minutes max! Less is more…
Try not to swear
Keep them guessing on your chosen explicit words and blank them out. This avoids potential offence.
If you’re nervous, address it
You’d be surprised how much weight will be lifted off your shoulders by letting the room know you’re nervous. It’ll make them feel more comfortable too and you won’t feel the need to wipe your forehead or clear your throat.
There are some great websites out there dedicated to wedding speeches. They even upload real speeches that you can rate, print out and use as inspiration. Some even provide classic one liners which are hilarious to read, so will be sure to create some laughter on the day.
It doesn’t have to be purely about the happy couple, filled with jokes and funny stories. Make sure you compliment the bridesmaids and say thank you to the parents and family members who have helped plan the day and if appropriate pay tribute to those who cannot be there for whatever reason.
Practise makes perfect
Practise your speech in front of others as many times as you can. The more you practise, the more you can perfect it and the more confident you’ll feel on the day knowing it back to front. “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” and no one wants to see that!