Giving your speech is a daunting prospect, but it’s a part of the wedding that many guests look forward to. We’ve compiled some speech delivery tips to help you through.
Memorising your speech
If you have acting experience or feel you are capable of memorising your speech, then good luck to you! However, it makes sense to at least keep some notes in bullet point form on cue cards to help you through. If you are less confident about remembering your speech, keep reading it until it sticks and prompt yourself with cue cards. This will save you messing around with a large piece of paper, and will also help you out if you go blank at any point.
Whether you plan to read your speech out word for word, have cue cards, or have it all stored on your smart phone, you must keep practising it. This will ensure it sounds natural, and you’re less likely to trip on any words.
Take it Slow
When you’re nervous you can speak too fast, so be aware of this when giving your wedding speech. Take a deep breath and don’t be afraid to pause every now and again to allow what you’ve said to sink in. If you’re saying something funny, leave a break for laughs. People will enjoy it more if they can understand what you’re saying.
Stand tall and don’t be afraid to look at your audience. If you feel too nervous, don’t hunch, but instead pick a point at the back of the room and focus on that. This will give the impression you’re looking out across and speaking to the whole room.
Leave a gap for the laughs. If a laugh doesn’t come then cover for yourself by telling the audience they were supposed to laugh and refuse to continue until they do. Watching stand-up comedians can help you with your delivery.
If someone interrupts your speech, don’t ignore it, work with it! Especially if it’s a funny interruption – have some heckle responses ready.
Try to hold off from drinking too much before your speech. You might think it’ll boost your confidence, but the next day everyone will be talking about the drunken speaker, and not in a good way.
Remember that the audience are on your side – they want to enjoy the wedding speeches just as much as you do, so relax and make the most of it!