photo by Massart Photography
Public speaking is not easy. According to a Washington Post article and Chapman University survey, it was the number 1 phobia 25.3% (second was heights, and third was bugs/snakes/other animals). This is especially true with Best Men, Maids & Matrons of Honor. Here are some tips to making the best speech:
1. Know how to end the speech. Too many speeches are off the cuff and the speaker gets caught in a loop not knowing how to end the speech.
2. Remember to add a little humor but don’t try to be a comedian if you aren’t one normally. Everyone likes to laugh, but a bad joke or embarrassing story may land poorly if you don’t know what you are doing. Have the speaker test out the story/joke with a couple of honest people before they stand in front of the entire room of guests.
3. Remember to thank those that got you there. This may be the parents of the newlyweds or perhaps another important person in your circle of family or friends.
4. Emotions are ok. No one wants a blubbering speaker on the mic, but a few tears will never hurt anyone. Some of the best speeches have emotional moments.
5. Try to stay away from inside jokes. Something might be really funny between you and the groom/bride, but this isn’t a speech written to one person. Everyone in the room needs to understand what is being said.
6. Acknowledge both the newlyweds. Even if you have known the bride all her life or the groom since you were fetuses, don’t ignore the other one sitting at the head table. Saying something from the heart about that person is important. Even if you don’t know that guest of honor, you can comment on how they make your friend/family member a happier person for being in their life.
7. Breathe. Most people speak faster on the mic when they are nervous. No matter how slow you think you are going, breathe more/go slower.
8. Keep it short. Most of the time all of the guests are standing for these toasts. Having a novel that is being read is never fun. The best toasts last no more than a couple of minutes. Say the good stuff, be brief, and make it words from the heart.
For more tips, stay tuned to Wedding Tips Wednesday, and you can always reach out to the professionals at A Touch Of Class. ATOCWeddings.com or 508.229.0009.