If you’re not used to public speaking, then making a wedding speech can be very daunting. With this in mind, I have prepared a few important tips to help you overcome your nerves and deliver a great wedding speech.
1. Remember these people are on your side. They aren’t secretly hoping you’ll mess things up. The reason you’re there giving a speech is because you are connected with the wedding couple and so are the audience. Bearing this in mind, you can rest assured that anything you say in your wedding speech will be listened to and respected fully. Also, people listening to speeches at weddings are wanting to laugh as this breaks the tension. So any vague attempt of a joke will get you a response.
2. Practice your wedding speech thoroughly. The more your practice, the less nervous you’ll feel on the actual day. Remember to practice the intonation of your voice and the pauses. By showing you’ve put effort into your preparation, any mistakes you may make on the day will be easily forgiven.
3. Learn your speech by heart. Whenever you have some spare time, in the car on the way to work, in the shower or wherever practice your speech. Repeat it over and over again as many times as you can before the big day. You will feel much calmer on the wedding day as you’ll know the whole speech inside out.
4. Remember to breathe. As simple as this sounds, it is often overlooked. Practice where you’ll take a breath in the speech, and learn to breathe correctly. Diaphragmatic breathing, as used by singers and public speakers, will help you here. If you’re unfamiliar with this, a quick search on Google will show you.
5. Think of a funny story before you stand up. Nothing so funny that you lose your focus, but something mildly titillating that will bring a smile to your face. This will loosen you up, and give a nice energy to your wedding speech that will improve the delivery immensely.
6. Have a banana 20 minutes before you make your speech. This tip is often used by professional public speakers, and helps the nerves of many people. It also gives a nice energy boost which also helps reduce your nerves.
7. Speak slowly and clearly. If you are nervous, you will feel the urge to speed up and your speech will become unclear. So try to consciously slow yourself down and speak clear so people can hear what you say.
8. Make eye contact with people in the audience so it feels like you're just chatting with everyone who is there.
9. Lastly, remember to simply enjoy yourself! Your life isn’t going to end if you make a few mistakes and the speech will be over in just a few minutes. Have fun!
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Neal McFarlane is a full-time Toronto Wedding DJ ,VJ and MC who enjoys sharing his decades of knowledge to elevate every single event he can.