How to Deliver your Wedding Speech
Tips from our experts on how to combat nerves and deliver your speech like a pro.
While some people’s worst fear is being handed a microphone, others take to it like a duck to quicksand and will happily talk for hours no matter how bored their audience looks. The real trick is to look confident (even if inside you feel like running for the nearest exit) while keeping your audience engaged in what you’re saying. If you do suffer from glossophobia (fear of public speaking) then don’t panic yet. Our team has years of experience performing around the world so here are our tips for delivering a great wedding speech.
While you might think Mr. J Daniels’ will help take the edge off your nerves, too much Dutch courage can be a bad thing. Alcohol can dry your mouth out and/or cause you to find your speech far funnier than the guests so go easy on the liquid bravery.
While you think you might remembering to breathe is second nature (after all you’ve been doing it for years and haven’t forgotten yet) focusing on your breathing really can help. According to the brains at Mindtools.com “Adrenalin causes you to breathe shallowly. By breathing deeply your brain will get the oxygen it needs and the slower pace will trick your body into believing you are calmer.” Controlled breather is trick sportsmen and performers have used for years and it really does help.
Don’t Dry Up
The adrenalin associated with nerves can also cause your mouth to dry up. Keep a glass of water handy and take sips as you need them. But try not to reach for the glass too often, this might show people you’re nervous and nerves can be contagious, if people get a feeling that you’re nervous they too will be on edge listening to you.
It’s unlikely you’ll be memorizing your speech print it out but try to avoid simply reading it straight off the page. Use your speech as a reference rather than something to hide behind. Using bold or large print can also make your speech easier to glance at.
Take Your Cue
Cue cards can be easier to use (especially if you’re worried about your hands shaking. Simply write your speech on to a piece of card, they’re easier to hold and you can highlight the key points or jokes making them easier to read.
Making eye contact with your audience contact gives a sense of confidence. Use your speech as a guide to fall back on rather than just staring at the page and reading it like a drone. Take time to look at the guests’ faces.
Take your time, your speech should be a slow steady run rather than a sprint. Make sure you speak loudly and clearly, SkillsYouNeed.com suggest “Speak more slowly than you would in a conversation, and leave longer pauses between sentences. This slower pace will calm you down, and it will also make you easier to hear, especially at the back of a large room.
Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
Practice reading your speech aloud as much as possible prior to the big day. If you can read it to someone else so they can give you feedback on your timing and delivery if needed. You’ll also find it easier to remember your speech which in turn will give you more confidence.
If you’re using a microphone there are some simple rules to keep your speech audible. Don’t rest or press the mic against your mouth, this muffles the sound. The mic should be roughly one to two inches from your lips. If you turn your head make sure your hand and mic travel in tandem to stay close to your mouth. And you’re not a rapper, holding the bowl (metal, domed mesh at the top of the mic) won’t make you look more “street” but again will muffle the sound.