How to Make a Speech that Lasts
With an increasing number of brides and grooms planning to say a little something on their special day, we have some top tips for wedding toasts from a public speaking expert.
1. Plan, prepare, practise
Don’t leave preparation to the night before – these things take time! The spotlight will be on you more than anyone else, so it’s even more important you’re fluent and prepared.
2. Be unique
There’s no formal etiquette for the bride or groom speech. Other speakers have specific roles that need weaving in, but you can be as original as you like.
3. Don’t forget anyone!
It goes without saying, but always give special thanks to your in-laws for welcoming you into their family, your partner for loving you, and your own parents for all they have done.
4. Ask around
Your biggest risk is covering ground that has already been mentioned in the other speeches. I would recommend that, however original you think your speech may be, you have a quick chat with others you have asked to speak to ensure there is no embarrassing overlap.
Some want to use their speech to mark the end of the celebrations, but this isn’t always sensible. Guests might have left, many will be tipsy and you may miss the moment.
6. Doubling up
If your spouse is a nervous speaker, you may want to suggest a joint speech. It will help take the pressure off and give you a chance to thank your loved ones together.
7. Rhyme time
I’ve often been asked by brides to write their speech in rhyme. This can be a nice change of style from the other speeches, but be careful! Rhyme isn’t easy to sustain. If you want to use it, go for a few verses, instead of the entire speech.
8. Always end with a toast
This is a fantastic opportunity to include others or say something a little bit different. You could toast your spouse, the hosts, or give a more general toast to ‘friends and family.’ W
Source: From the files of Ottawa Wedding Magazine.