Public speaking may not be everyone’s forte, but being approached to give a speech at your friend or family member’s wedding should be treated as a great honour. Penning and delivering a wedding speech is difficult ground to tread, whether you’re a public speaking pro or a complete novice. There’s tons of advice available, both online and off, regarding how to deliver a great wedding speech. Being aware of the don’ts as well as the dos is vital.
Read on to discover five tips that will help you create a legendary wedding speech and make you the talk of the occasion for all the right reasons.
Whether the bride and groom have opted for an intimate wedding or a grander affair, as a wedding speaker you must ensure that part of your speech is dedicated to saying thank you to all the special members of the party.
The groom’s speech in particular should contain quite a few mentions to keep everyone satisfied, including thank yous for the bride, father of the bride, bride’s family, groom’s family, bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen. Still struggling to compose your groom’s speech? Check out these top speech writing tips. Whoever is delivering the speech, be sure to thank anyone who helped make the big day what it was, not forgetting to thank your guests for attending too!
2. Speech length
No one wants to sit through speeches that last a lifetime. While the speeches are an important part of any wedding, keeping things short and sweet will ensure dedications can be made, anecdotes delivered, and sipping and celebrating can begin. BrideBox offers some great advice on keeping your speech the right length:
“If you’re the only one speaking, your speech might need to be fairly long. If there are several other speakers, you may only be up there for a few minutes. If you are confident in your speaking abilities, you might aim for a seven to 10-minute speech, but otherwise, three to five minutes is fairly common for a toast. Confer with the bride and groom beforehand to get their ideas on the subject, but if they’re at a loss, go with what you’re comfortable with. A few minutes might not seem very long when you’re speaking, but when you’re nervous, you speak more quickly. Each page of your speech will probably take you around a minute to deliver, so use that as an estimate when crafting your speech.”
3. Your alcohol levels
Having a few drinks before you deliver your speech may give you the confidence boost you need to deliver, without nerves getting in the way. That being said, alcohol-fuelled speeches rarely work out well. Get your timings right and save the shots for after your wedding speech!
4. The content
The wedding speech you deliver shouldn’t be about you if you’re the best man, maid of honour or father of the bride. The content of your speech should be about the couple getting married, so make sure you do your research, aiming to strike the right balance between humour and sincerity.
5. The no-nos
There are a number of things that it’s best to completely avoid when penning and delivering a wedding speech.
Stag do and hen party stories, exes, crudity, character assassination, long stories or in-jokes that the rest of your party won’t understand should all be omitted from your speech. The key to delivering any wedding speech is to entertain without causing offence. Keep this in mind when preparing your speech, getting a second opinion if you’re not sure about a story or joke.