Planning a wedding can be a stressful enterprise. However, many brides and grooms come to worry about their speeches at the wedding reception above all else. Easy Weddings explains:
“Of all the fears faced by humans, public speaking is No.1. Yes, believe it or not, we fear speaking in front of a group more than heights, bugs, financial woes and even DEATH, which comes in at a mere No.7 on humanity’s list of greatest terrors. So, whether you’re a groom, a bride, a bridesmaid or a best man contemplating writing – and then delivering – a speech at a loved-one’s wedding, you’re not alone in being terrified, but you don’t have to be!”
Why do we find public speaking so intimidating? It turns out there’s a biological reason. Our brains have been geared for survival, and we balk at standing alone in the open, with nowhere to hide, unarmed in front of a large group of people. You’re vulnerable and exposed, and you may feel the fight or flight instinct kick in.
It’s completely natural that people feel anxious at the thought of making a public speech.
If you’re shuddering at the thought of your wedding speech, fear not. We have some great tips to help you compose yourself and sail through your speech like a pro.
Prepare and Deliver
Take time to prepare your speech. That means don’t leave it to the last minute! It’s best to sit down a few months before the wedding and put together some ideas on what you would like to say. Having a clear plan in your mind will help you feel much more at ease.
Keep your speech short. There are usually three speeches at a wedding: the groom, the father of the bride and the best man. It has become more popular recently for the bride and the bridesmaids to say a few words too. With so many wanting to speak, the speeches can take up quite a lot of time. To avoid losing the attention of your audience, keep your speech brief, and try to make it less than 10 minutes.
Rehearse your speech in front of a small group of people to boost your confidence. This will also allow you to tweak the wording based on their feedback.
When writing your speech, jot down notes and list them as bullet points rather than writing down a full script. You could use cue cards on the day to help you remember. This step will make your speech flow better and sound more natural.
On the day you may be tempted to have a few drinks to steady your nerves – which is fine, but don’t over do it. You need a clear head to deliver your speech. Remember to breathe and don’t rush it.
Your speech is an important part of your wedding day, but the most important thing of all is that you enjoy it!