So your friend or family member is getting married, and You’ve been invited to make a wedding speech. Were you feeling nervous? Don’t worry; this article has covered you with expert tips for giving the perfect wedding speech.
How to Overcome Wedding Speech Nerves
The wedding speeches/toasts are an intrinsic part of any wedding day and are also a golden opportunity to share memories and dreams. There is usually a lot of expectation from the guests and everyone present at the occasion that can result in “cold feet” for anyone proposing the toast.
Like all public speech anxiety is a natural occurrence but this shouldn’t be a cause for sabotage of the event. Here are some expert tips on keeping your nerves in check during a toast.
Speak the Words Before You Write the Words
In writing your speech, you should avoid the temptation of writing down the words before rehearsing them out loud. A more efficient way to prepare your toast is to speak the words before writing them down. You should get a voice recorder and be able to talk through your ideas as though you were communing with a real audience. This way you’ll find out the most convenient way to pass on the message which you intend to pass.
Remember to Breathe
As obvious as this may sound, most people during their moments of stress seem to forget this very important stress-relief tool. You should breathe deeply so as to get the necessary energy behind the message you intend to convey. You shouldn’t try to breathe as this only makes you tense. Just sit back and let the breath flow in and out in its own course. You must realize that stress relief is a job for the mind.
Don’t force the jokes
Its normal for anyone of us to try too hard to be funny. You should be conscious of this because joke-telling doesn’t come naturally to us all. It is advised that you keep your messages clear and sincere instead of trying to make everyone laugh. However, if you must throw in a little comedy into the mix, you should let it come out naturally. Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t memorise the jokes; that’s disastrous.
Getting content for a toast is not quite as difficult when you know how to go about it. An easy way to achieve this is by putting yourself in the shoes of the audience. It’s easy! Just imagine that someone else were giving the speech. Would you like for them to say hello before they began their speech? Then try saying hello before you begin yours.
When you do this, you’ll find out that what the audience really wants to hear is your own version of the couple’s love story.
Keep it concise
It’s commonplace for us to associate the quality of a speech/toast to its length or quantity. We often forget that these long speeches can be quite boring. Don’t put yourself under the unnecessary pressure by trying to deliver a one-hour speech. Go for the concise approach instead. Experts advise that you write out everything you intend to say and then find a way to fit them into the allocated time. This way you get to cut off all the frivolities in your speech.
Create a distinction between quantity and quality.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Like all other aspects of life, speech writing can only be mastered by continuous practice. You should familiarize yourself with the content early enough. You should know your speech by heart before the wedding. You should write your speech in bullets formats so as to facilitate easy remembrance. Practicing in front of a friend or associate can be quite helpful as this gives you a feel of what it’s like to speak in front of an audience.
Alcohol is a definite no-no before giving your speech. You should be able to resist the temptation of boosting your morale with alcohol. There’ll be plenty of time for the alcohol afterwards.
A few more tips in making a toast
1. Know your audience
You should think about the people in the room and pattern your speech in that matter. For example, you may want to save the incriminating details for friends and family afterwards. In the reception, it is advisable to keep it clean and nice.
2. Always check people can hear
There’s nothing more irritating than a speech no one can hear. You should make sure that your audience can hear that everyone can hear what you have to say throughout the toast. Don’t be scared to ask people mid-toast if they can hear you.
3. Ensure that glasses are kept full
You should ensure that everyone has something in their glasses before proposing your toast. Use a preamble like, “can I ask you to charge your glasses as I propose a toast to my wonderful friend…”.