I guarantee that by taking on board my ‘Tips to Give a Great Wedding Speech’ advice, you’ll have all the guests on their feet applauding you.
I’ve been lucky enough to have listened to hundreds of wedding speeches from a whole range of different people, different ages and different cultures, the content is very much always the same, its heartfelt, warm, and written from a place of deep caring for the couple. However, in terms of how the speeches were delivered…well, that’s where there may have been some ‘cracks in the pavement’ for a few of them.
I know its not easy to get up in front of a room full of 100, 200 or 300 people, many will be strangers, to then be expected to deliver a flawless speech, so I honestly take my hat off to anyone who takes the decision to put themselves in this situation and also having the courage to give a speech.
Some speeches had an ‘edge’ to them – they were delivered loudly, clearly, and humorously, others however had some ‘issues’ that could have been easily resolved, which would then have made them even more well-received. So based on my experiences of listening to many wedding day speeches, here’s my six top tips to help you give a great wedding speech, its divided into 2 categories, sound issues and delivery issues.
By far, the biggest problems are always sound related, not being able to hear the speakers – there was a lot of “what did she say?” going on, but there was nothing wrong with the sound system at all, so speakers, take note…..
Speak into the microphone. Bring it right up to your mouth if necessary. Each sound system is different, but chances are, if it’s more than 4-5 inches away from your mouth, you won’t be heard very well by your audience.
Speak clearly and slowly, and don’t mumble. In person-to-person discussions, many of us speak ‘under our breath,’ meaning that our voice lowers and we don’t say things as clearly. Just as difficult to understand are the fast talkers. When we’re happy and excited, some of us tend to speak a little more quickly. While this may work with one-on-one conversations, it doesn’t when you’ve got a microphone in hand and 300 people who are straining to hear you, so remember to slow it down and speak clearly.
Make eye contact with all sides of the room when speaking. Yes, the speech is about – and FOR – the bride and groom. But never forget that there’s a full audience listening to your speech, and they deserve to be addressed as well.
Smile, be animated and energetic, and pretend you’re happy to be there (even if you’re so nervous you want to throw up) and don’t worry if you’re trembling and your paper is shaking, no one expects you to be perfect, and most (if not all) of the audience will give you credit for getting up there in the first place, rest assured there’ll be many people in the audience who would not be willing to give a speech like you are…..ever!
How about the content?
Add stories. Everyone loves to hear stories about the bride and/or groom, just remember to choose your stories carefully, and make sure that they have a relevant point….Example:
“Lauren was able to learn a fully choreographed First Dance routine in a matter of hours, which just shows what a passionate and driven person she is.”
Make sure that the story backs up the point you’re trying to make about the person.
Switch between 2nd person (“you”) and 3rd person (“John”). When you want to speak directly to the groom, feel free to do so, as in “John, I can’t believe how you lucked out with this girl.” vary it up with speaking to the audience ABOUT Jon, as in “Who would ever believed that Jon would luck out with such an amazing girl?” This way, you’re having a conversation with the audience AND with the bride/groom, and everyone feels included.
Subjects to avoid
- Don’t mention ex-girlfriends
- Don’t mention divorce
- Don’t mention heavy drinking, drugs or fighting
- Don’t mention race or religion
- Don’t swear
- Don’t mention people who refused to attend
- Don’t mention last-minute threats to call off the wedding
- Comment on how great a day it has been
- Thank everyone who has been involved in the planning
- Compliment the bride and groom on how well they look
- Compliment the bridesmaids
- Read out texts, cards or messages from absent friends
- Finally toast the happy couple
Ten steps to a perfect speech
- When you are giving your speech always make eye-to-eye contact
- Don’t look down whilst making your speech, you will probably have notes with you, but try where possible to glance down briefly
- Don’t mumble when making your speech, always speak loudly and clearly
- Make sure to take breaths throughout your speech
- Set a pace that you want to speak at – not too fast or too slow
- Pause briefly after you make a joke to give people time to laugh, but move on swiftly afterwards
- Keep smiling
- Grab the rooms attention with an excellent opening line
- Make sure your speech has meaning
- End your speech with a toast and sit down when you have finished
Finally remember giving a wedding speech is no different from giving a speech in any other venue, remember that you’re speaking to a full room of people, not simply the bride and groom. Create a speech that is heartfelt, funny, and full of stories that have a point, rehearse extensively and when its your turn to speak, make sure to speak loudly and clearly into the microphone, then enjoy the kudos of delivering a memorable speech that you’ll get complimented on for a many years to come….Good luck.
To start planning your Dream Wedding, Contact Nick Chatten today