After a bit of a break, the wedding tips are back! First up is one for the guys – 3 top tips for how to give a wedding speech. It’s that point of the day that the groom, best man and father of the bride dread! Having to stand up in front of everyone and give a speech. As the time draws nearer, they often start to fidget, checking their notes, running through lines.
Eugene, owner of Public Speaking Scotland, provides a specialist coaching service to help business people feel more comfortable and confident in a public speaking situation. He has kindly written his three top tips for giving a speech.
“Yippee! I’m going to a wedding!
And then it hits you. You’re the bride’s father or groom’s best man. And you’ve to do a speech!
So the next few months pass and nagging away at the back of your mind is the thought: “I’m going to have to do this awful thing.” But worry not. Here are three guaranteed tips that will make you confident and relaxed on the day.
One of the reasons we feel awkward about giving a speech is that it means standing up and speaking to an audience who are sitting down. This is not normal or natural and so of course we feel uncomfortable but we can do something about it. In the lead up to the day practise standing up when you’re speaking to others. In the pub or even at home take every opportunity to do this and you’ll be impressed with how quickly you become comfortable with the experience.
Wedding speeches are notorious for revealing “embarrassing” anecdotes about the person who is the centre of attention. Usually the bride’s father is indulged when he relates the details of Polly appearing in public with the contents of her potty but the best man has to bear in mind that the hilarious story of what happened in Prague might not go down too well with the older family. The secret here is to think of what characteristic of the person you want to display and choose an appropriate story. Make it a real one because that way you’ll be able to speak about it naturally without detailed notes.
You do really need to practise your speech beforehand. And this means saying it out loud, standing up, to preferably a live human audience. Listen to yourself doing it (record just the audio on your phone) and if you hear something that doesn’t sound right then change it. This also helps with timing if you want to be even more organised – you can’t time in your head.
Now don’t try to memorise it as that will only put more pressure on yourself. Try to reduce the details to an A5 sheet of paper and only use notes as headings – don’t write complete sentences. Make sure you type rather than hand write and use a big font so you can read them at a distance.
Finally, avoid the temptation to “relax” yourself with a few drinks beforehand. All that happens is that you will feel fine but your audience will hear a gibbering idiot!
Incidentally the tips above can apply to any public speaking situation.”
Many thanks to Eugene for his useful tips. If you feel you need more 1-2-1 help with public speaking, you can contact Eugene on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07790 881760.
If you feel yourself starting to panic, close your eyes, take a deep breath in, and let it out slowly. Repeat as many times as required to calm yourself.
If your speech givers are really stressing about their role, be kind and get the speeches done before the meal, so they can relax and enjoy their food.
I hope that you now feel a little more confident in how to give a wedding speech. If you found this post useful why not sign up to receive EBM Photography’s wedding tips direct to your inbox! Sign up here
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