How To Deliver An Excellent Wedding Speech
There is great honour in being asked to make a wedding speech and many people approach this task with a lot of fear and trepidation. The pressure this can create is not to be underestimated and can make even the most confident amongst us question our abilities and approach to the most public of parts of that day.
Sadly many wedding speeches are remembered because they are just plain awful and cringing – that said there are four basic things that you can do to ensure that your speech is understood – and remembered – for the right reasons!
Prepare: plan the structure and draft the speech including an introduction that grabs the attention and sets out your message; a middle in which you move logically from one point to the next (get to the guts of your speech quickly); an end that summarises what you have said (without repeating it), and leaves the audience with a good impression of you as a speaker.
• Decide on your objectives for the speech – if there were only three points that you would like to leave your audience with, what would they be? Think humour but also think about the positives of the day and how these should be remembered by your audience!
• Know your audience and tailor your message according to their background and knowledge of the happy couple.
• Practice, practice, practice – not just in front of a mirror but in front of a test audience (a friend or a colleague) too.
Deliver: ensure a flawless delivery by following these steps:
• Use prompt cards so that you can maintain eye contact
• Observe audience reaction and use methods like changing your pitch and pace to draw them back in if they seem bored or distracted
• Use open body language – using your arms to stress key points of your speech always gets the audience involved in your message
• Engage the audience on an emotional and intellectual level
• Build up to a resounding conclusion in which you send a clear message about the couple and their future together
Review your performance: It can be hard to judge your own performance. Ideally, ask a member of the audience to give you an objective opinion on your performance.
• Did you meet your objectives?
• Did you engage the audience?
• Did you make your points clearly and effectively?
• Was the timing right?
As ever failure to prepare results in failure to achieve!
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