Your wedding speech could be the most important speech you ever give. You want to make sure it is memorable for all the right reasons. A bad speech can ruin an otherwise perfect day. Whether you’re the groom, best man, father of the bride, or other speaker, you want to be sure your speech is fit for purpose and enjoyed by all. This includes yourself! Don’t let nerves or lack of preparation spoil your speech or your day.
Cool Your Nerves – Find the Right Words – WOW Your Audience
Giving a great wedding speech is the best gift you can give someone on their special day. It can make you feel good too.
10 TOP TIPS for Your Wedding Speech
- Be prepared. Don’t try and wing it. Your audience is giving you their time and consideration, so rehearse enough to be confident and leave a good impression. The more you practice, the more polished your speech can be. You might want to write out your speech beforehand to help keep your focus.
- Control the nerves. Most speech makers get nervous. It is controlling the nerves and making them work for you. The more you rehearse, the less nervous you may be. Help those ‘butterflies in the stomach’ fly in formation.
- Start strong. Begin your speech with a powerful opening that will grab your audience’s attention. This could be a startling fact, an interesting story or a funny joke. It must be appropriate for the occasion and the audience. If you’re telling a joke, it can be worth checking it out with a few people first and get their opinion.
- Be conversational. Avoid reading your speech word for word. Instead, refer to notes or points from an outline to help your speech have a more free-flowing, conversational tone. Use language which befits the occasion and audience.
- Speak with passion not alcohol. Use your own words that have real meaning for you. Speak from the heart. Avoid getting speeches off the internet. When you’re truly invested in what you’re saying, you’ll keep your audience’s attention better. Whilst ‘Dutch courage’ may seem the answer, it can cause you to slur your words, overrun or use inappropriate wording.
- Think of your audience. Make the speech or toast relevant to them and not just to you. There is no ‘I’ in toast so avoid focusing on you. People of varying ages may react in different ways to what you say. Avoid being controversial, crude, or prejudiced.
- Honour the person you are speaking about. You may want to poke fun at the person as a sign of affection. You need to be careful that it is not hurtful or offensive. Again, it can be worth checking by running it past a trusted friend first.
- Keep it short and simple. Try and keep it brief, say five minutes maximum. There are other speeches to be delivered and people are there to enjoy themselves. Less is often more. It can focus your mind on finding the right words rather than fillers. Remember K.I.S.S. – Keep It Short and Simple.
- Speak up. You can have the best speech, but if no one can hear it, then it is wasted. Project your voice, or if it is a big room, use a microphone. If you are going to use a PA system, it is worth practising first, as this requires some skill.
- Close strongly. Have a short positive conclusion which leads into the toast.
If you would like further advice on confidence, content or communicating your message, please give me a call. I now offer a Diamond Shine Speech Polishing service. It provides individual or group coaching to polish your readings and speeches.
Rosie Barfoot: 01305 261540: or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been training and coaching people in presentation skills for over 25 years. As a member of Casterbridge Speakers and Toastmasters International for 10 years, I continually improve my own skills and have won four speech competitions. Last year, I proudly gave the Mother of the Groom speech at my son’s wedding in Brazil.