Wedding Tip #16: 8 Tips on Making a Great Wedding Speech
20 July 2017
Have someone within your bridal party particularly anxious about their speech? Why not arrange your speeches for earlier in the day. While tradition once demanded speeches for after your reception meal, nowadays the choice is available to plan your speeches for a more convenient time. Arranging speeches for before your meal, or even between initial courses can help certain nervous speakers get the monkey off their back and allow them to enjoy the remainder of the reception meal.
Practise, Practise, Practise
An obvious tip would be to practice your speech at every opportunity to help you get used to the flow and delivery. But going even further, why not practise your speech in situ? Arrange with the wedding venue a few weeks beforehand to call down and practise to familiarise yourself with the banqueting suite. If you will need a microphone, a prior rehearsal will also help with microphone technique. And if you’re really brave and adventurous and planning the use of PowerPoint for your speech, a run-through beforehand on site would be definitely recommended.
Cue cards – don’t memorise
Try not to memorise your speech word for word – this may result in your words coming across as unnatural and over-rehearsed. The key to a great wedding speech is ensuring your personality shines through. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, don’t wing it! Even if you are naturally a gifted speaker, weddings have the power to empty all logic from your head due to the emotion. Instead, why not use small cue cards to keep you on track. Once used right, they can give you the comfort needed to deliver a great speech.
Unfortunately, this could be easier said than done. But once you’re well-rehearsed and have your cue cards for a safety net, you should be more at ease. Limit your alcohol intake beforehand – you want to be nice and relaxed but not too much to have you slurring your words and making untoward jokes!
Less is more
We can all recall that one wedding where the speeches seemed to last a lifetime and yet no one can remember anything specific said. Don’t be that wedding. Remember, less is more. Keep your speech under 5 minutes and have guests wanting more, rather than heckling you off!
Humour is king
Weddings are a fun occasion, so why not incorporate laughter into your speech. A good joke helps everyone relax and ensures people are tuned in and laughing with you. However, it is important to know your audience. Try to keep everything PG. Stick to the golden rule - WGFTF (would granny find this funny).
Tug at the ol’ heart strings
Once you’ve loosened guests up with your wit, melt their hearts with a bit of romance (this is especially meaningful for the groom’s speech). It’s these sort of things that turn a speech into a great one, and crucially, one that you’ll enjoy giving. Make sure to turn to the subjects of your affection (e.g. when thanking parents etc.) to ensure a more natural deliverance of your words.
Lastly, the most obvious tip is probably the one that may be the most difficult to do: have fun! Delivering a speech and offering words on those you love is a joyous celebration, not a punishment. Remember, people understand how difficult public speaking can be; they are willing you on to a fantastic enjoyable speech and their warmth will assist in helping you enjoy it too.