Perhaps one of the most daunting aspects of the wedding reception for not only the bride and groom, but also the wedding party, are the speeches. That moment during dinner when you’re enjoying your entree and suddenly panic strikes that soon attention will be on you as you to approach the microphone can instill fear and anxiety. Most people don’t enjoy public speaking and even if you do, nerves can still get the best of you. So here are some tips on composing and giving a great speech so you can still enjoying your evening…
When writing your speech, whether you are the bride and groom, a member of the family or in the wedding party, remember you are talking to your friends. No need to be overly formal. Express your appreciation, excitement and best wishes. Personal stories may add a nice touch, but not overly personal ones. Humor should be used in good taste and be appropriate for the entire audience.
We’ve all attended weddings where the speeches ran way to long. Instead of adding to the atmosphere of the wedding, these can dampen the mood and make people restless. Best to be succinct. Write your speech exactly as you would like it and read it aloud. If it runs too long (a good rule of thumb is keep it within the 4 – 5 minute range) make some adjustments and cut out needless filler.
Have a Strong Layout
A good speech has an opening, a middle and a closing. As you write it, think of what you want to express and then mold your sentiments into each category. If you are the bride and groom make sure to keep a list of everyone you wish to thank so as not to leave out anyone deserving of appreciation. Finish on a fun note, perhaps a wish, blessing, congratulations or cheers!
Be prepared in advance so you can have more leeway to practise. Read it aloud at home, hear yourself pause and present each thought. Become familiar with the flow of your thoughts so that when the time comes, you’ll have well in mind what you want to say and this alone will put you at ease. You may even start to look forward to it!
Even though it may be nerve racking, a well given speech can add a special personalized touch to the overall feel of the wedding day. Try to remember that the audience is on your side and that soon the lights will fade to dark, the music will play and you can relax knowing it’s all over! 🙂