Nervous about your wedding speech? Here’s our top tips

Love signage in Baronial hall

5 steps to delivering the perfect wedding speech

Speaking in front of a crowd can be incredibly nerve-wracking, but our tips will give you the confidence you need to deliver a wonderful wedding speech.

Speeches are a longstanding wedding tradition, offering an opportunity to toast the bride and groom and thank guests for attending. But whether you’re the groom, best man, father of the bride, or even the bride herself, if you’re expected to give a speech, it’s likely that you’ll be feeling at least a little bit nervous.

The good news is that this is completely normal – in fact, public speaking is considered to be one of the most common phobias. However, you don’t want nerves to spoil your day. As one of the premier wedding venues in Essex, we’ve seen our fair share of speeches, so, here are our top tips to help you deliver yours in a natural and confident way.

Use prompts

Many people worry that the pressure of the moment will make their mind go blank, causing them to forget what they’re supposed to say. If this applies to you, don’t be afraid to use notes to help keep you on track. However, try to avoid burying your head in a sheet of paper; instead write key phrases on cue cards to help jog your memory should you need it, and try to maintain eye contact with your audience as much as possible.

Don’t be too serious

The best speeches include a little light humour, so try to include some jokes and amusing anecdotes in your speech. Some light-hearted teasing of the person you’re toasting always goes down well, especially if it’s linked to a time when they did something silly or made a fool of themselves. However, balance any teasing with a big dose of love and be sure to keep your audience in mind. A wedding is probably not the best place to tell rude jokes or make inappropriate comments about ex partners, so try to keep things tasteful.

Think outside the box

If the thought of giving a traditional speech terrifies you, you might want to think outside the box and use props or visual aids to help things along. For example, a humorous slide show highlighting the bride or groom’s ‘best’ moments will always go down well with an audience, and it helps to take the pressure off you. Just remember to check with the venue beforehand to make sure they have the necessary equipment to support whatever you have planned.

Practice, practice, practice

As the saying goes, practice really does make perfect – especially when it comes to speeches. The more you rehearse, the easier it will be to remember your speech, and the more confident you will feel delivering it on the day. If possible, try to practice in front of a small audience (just one person will do) who can give you constructive feedback on the content and delivery of your speech.

And, relax…

Last but certainly not least, try to relax. People at a wedding tend to be in a good mood and nobody wants you to fail – in fact, it’s probably the easiest audience you’ll ever speak in front of. Before you take the microphone, practice a bit of positive visualisation, take a few deep breaths, and above all, smile. This will all help you to relax, enabling you to deliver a confident, engaging speech that your audience will remember for all the right reasons.