Whether you’re the parent, best man or maid of honour, preparing and delivering a wedding speech is of course a great honour. This popular wedding tradition gives you the chance to toast the happy couple as well as share a few funny anecdotes with the wider audience.
While the content of the speech matters, your carefully prepared words are likely to fall on deaf ears if they’re not delivered correctly.
Standing up and speaking to a room of the bride and groom’s nearest and dearest is very daunting. With our guide you can deliver your wedding speech with confidence and wow everyone in the process.
Test it out on an audience
As the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’, but you’ll only truly have confidence in your speech once you test it out on an audience. Try to gather a group of friends and family members of different ages. Their feedback will help you craft an even better speech and give you the confidence you need to perform it on the wedding day itself.
In addition to road testing your speech, try to attend the reception venue to practice your speech in the space where it will be eventually delivered. Become familiar with your wedding day surroundings, check out the acoustics, and enquire about equipment.
Those using PowerPoint presentations and microphones to deliver their unforgettable speech won’t want to spend their time worrying about whether the equipment works on the big day.
Memorise your speech
Memorising all or part of your speech will give you another confidence boost. Again regular practice over time ensures you can familiarise yourself with the content and flow of your speech.
Don’t underestimate big-day nerves however. Prepare and take along cue cards to provide a few helpful hints if nerves get the better of you on the day. Here’s some great guidance on making cue cards and using them effectively.
Don’t rush things
If you’re nervous about delivering your speech, you may be tempted to get it over with in lightning speed.
Taking your time however, is the key to delivering your wedding speech with confidence. Speak clearly and slowly to ensure no one misses a word. A slow and clear speaker demonstrates control and confidence.
Look and feel confident
Appearing confident, even when you’re not, is a skill that everyone should master. As well as your tone of voice and pace, your body language matters. Verywell Mind explains more about how your posture alters your entire demeanour:
“Don’t slouch! Those with social anxiety tend to try and take up as little space as possible, which can mean sitting slumped over in a protective pose. Straighten your back, pull your shoulders away from your ears, and uncross your arms and legs… Do you look at the ground when you are walking? Is your head always down? Instead, walk with your head up and your eyes looking forward. It might feel unnatural at first, but eventually, you will become used to this more confident pose.”
Eye contact is also important. You may not be able to stare into the eyes of every audience member, but looking up and scanning the room will make the speech more personal and help identify cues where you should pause for laughs.
The best body language tip we can give you is – smile! Smiling will help you and your audience feel more at ease, whilst ensuring the fun that every wedding speech should be about.
Delivering a wedding speech that’s a little different? Read our speech writing tips for weddings that are far from conventional.