When you think of wedding speeches, who do you think of? Probably just the father of the bride, the best man and the groom, right? You're not alone. Here we are in 2017 and yet many people are still often surprised when they hear that the bride, maid of honour or mother of the bride (or groom) has decided to give a wedding speech. But why? It's not like we live in the dark ages anymore where women at weddings are seen and not heard.
These days, anything goes. In fact, it seems the more unique and creative the wedding is, the better. We have mixed bridal parties so why not mixed gender speeches? Having a woman's perspective can be refreshing change and provide a bit of balance to the traditional all male line-up.
So if you're a woman preparing to give a wedding speech and looking for some hot tips, then read my hot tips on How To Give A Great Bride's (Or Bridesmaid's) Speech At A Wedding in the Huffington Post.
Very chuffed to see the great write up about my business in today's Sydney Morning Herald and The Age about unusual small businesses. You can outsource anything these days!
As a professional wedding speechwriter I’m often asked for my top tips for delivering a great speech so I've pulled together my favourite six.
1. Practice but don’t memorise
Don’t feel you have to memorise your speech because you will only trip yourself up if you try. That’s not to say you shouldn’t practice. You should – a LOT. The trick is to know your speech well enough so that you only need to refer to your notes to jog your memory. The more you can look up and connect with the audience, the better.
2. Turn nervousness into excitement
Remember it’s a privilege to get up and tell the people you care about how important they are to you so try to look forward to it. You’d be surprised at what a different this change in mindset can make. When you think about it, anxiety and excitement feel very similar: butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms, increased heart rate. Don’t try to squash the feeling just try to refocus that nervous energy.
3. Resist the urge to start speaking right away
This one is a great tip from Simon Sinek, one of the TED’s most-watch talk presenters. He says, “A lot of people start talking right away out of nerves. Take a deep breath, find your place, wait a few seconds and begin. It may feel excruciatingly awkward but nobody notices this and it helps you gather your thoughts and shows the audience you’re totally confident and in charge of the situation.”
4. Slow it down...a lot
When you’re nervous there is a tendency to speak too fast. Your heart is usually racing and so your words follow suit. The problem with this is when you don’t leave any pauses in between your sentences you make it really hard for your audience to follow what you’re saying. Make a conscious effort to slow down and don't worry, you’re not speaking as slowly as you think you are.
5. Make eye contact with audience members one by one
Richard Branson once said that when you need to speak in front of a crowd, close your mind to the fact that you’re on a stage with hundreds of people watching you and instead imagine yourself in a situation where you’d be comfortable speaking to a group. He likes to imagine he’s in a dining room telling a story to friends over dinner. Work your way around the room making eye contact with each person and it will feel more like an intimate conversation.
6. Remember that the audience likes you
Remember, at a wedding everyone in the audience is there in high spirits and full to brim with good will. They aren’t there to heckle you and they’re not expecting a perfectly polished performance. They want to hear from and want you to do well so try not to be too hard on yourself. Relax and enjoy the moment.
What about you? Can you share any great tips that have worked for you?
I can’t tell you the number of times I've inwardly groaned (and sometimes outwardly when I haven't been able to stop myself) when someone has told me they are going to wing their wedding speech. It's almost always a terrible idea.
I think most of us will agree that what usually follows the words: “I’m just going to ‘wing it’ and see what happens” is often disastrous and leads to embarrassment and regret – not just for the speaker.
Even if you are a master at public speaking on the fly and thrive under pressure, it's always a good idea to give a good amount of thought to your speech.
If you're thinking about winging an upcoming wedding speech then maybe you'll change your mind after you read my guest blog on Polka Dot Bride.
For some people writing a wedding speech is easy peasy but for others, it's seriously stressful. If you fall into the latter category, a professional wedding speechwriter like me could be your saviour. But not everyone is convinced it's a good idea.. Find out on my guest blog in the Brisbane Wedding Weekly.
When it comes to wedding speeches the best man speech is usually considered, and expected to be, the highlight of the night. Funny, witty and entertaining in equal parts.
But times, they are a changing! A new contender has emerged. The maid of honour speech is on the rise and the ladies are giving the best men out there a run for their money.
The best thing about the maid of honour speech is that are no official duties or rules to follow. Yes it needs focus and structure (like any speech) but you can pretty much take the opportunity by the horns and make it your own. And don't feel you have to stick with sweet and heartfelt if you don't want to - the maid of honour speech can be just as funny and entertaining as the best man‘s.
Ready my ultimate guide
If you’re a maid of honour looking for some inspiration or advice, read my ultimate guide to writing a maid of honour speech in Modern Wedding magazine.
Why not have it written?
Not much of a writer but still want to give a polished performance? Have your speech professionally written. Get in touch with me and I'll write you a ripper.
If you're a groom or best man, you'll know that writing a wedding speech is no easy task and there's a lot of pressure to get it right. Fear not, help is at hand.
Check out my tips on how to write a knockout groom or best man speech on Easy Weddings.
Read all the speechwriting tips but still need some help?
I offer professional speechwriting services to help you articulate your emotions and organise your thoughts.
We’ll work together to create a thoughtful, moving and enjoyable speech that ticks all the boxes.
Feel free to give me call in Melbourne on 0418 120 551, or contact me.
It surprises me that some people feel embarrassed to hire a professional speechwriter to help them with their wedding speech.
For some reason they feel ashamed for seeking help to say the right words on one of the most important days of their life.
“It’s cheating isn’t it?” Clients sometimes ask in hushed tones.
Let's see. Do you consider it cheating to hire someone to bake your wedding cake? Or to use a florist to grow and arrange the wedding flowers? Or a photographer to take your wedding photos?
Of course you don't. Like many things in life, you hire professionals when you want a top quality job and you know you can’t do it yourself. Why should writing a wedding speech be any different?
A wedding speech is an important detail of the day and it can be remembered, and talked about, long after the invitation design and flowers have been forgotten.
For many people the thought of getting up in front of a room of people is terrifying enough, but when you add the extra pressure of coming up with the perfect words, any excitement about the big day turns more and more into dread the closer it gets.
So, if you’re a groom, best man or father of the bride and you’re worried about an upcoming speech, here are five good reasons why it’s totally ok for you to hire a professional speechwriter for the big day.
1. You'll enjoy the day more
Knowing you have a great speech in your hand will boost your confidence significantly, which means less time on the day worrying and more time enjoying the festivities.
2. You won't embarrass yourself
You won’t be the guy who delivers one of those speeches - painfully long or so inappropriately awful that everyone in the room is extremely uncomfortable and talks about you all the way home (and for years to come) for all the wrong reasons.
3. You won't sound like a broken record
You won’t repeat tired phrases, corny clichés and recycled jokes that people hear over and over again. We don’t churn out cookie cutter speeches and we don't use templates. We use your personal stories and words to create your unique story.
4. You'll still sound like you - just better!
Don't worry, you won't lose any of the sentiment or sound like somebody else. We take note of the words and phrases you use so you sound like you - just better.
5. You'll avoid an expensive mistake
It’s not uncommon for couples these days to spend tens of thousands of dollars to create the perfect wedding. Great care is taken with every detail. Why risk spoiling such a special - and expensive - day with a half-baked or rushed speech where the results could be horrendous?
So there you have it. I hope you feel more comfortable about the idea of hiring a wedding speechwriter. Personally I think it's a terrific gesture and shows you recognise the significance of the event and want to do a great job.
Get in touch if you'd like me to write you a great speech for your big day.
So the big day is almost here. Your suit is ready. You survived the buck’s day. Everything is sorted. Well, except for your wedding speech (gulp), one of the most important speeches you’ll ever make and possibly be remembered for in your life. Hopefully for the right reasons.
The good news is the groom’s speech is also one of the easiest. You essentially have two jobs: thank people (read this handy infographic for a rundown on who to thank and why) and pay a loving tribute to your new wife.
The bad news is there are plenty of ways to get it wrong. Many of us have sat through one of those speeches, which may or may not have been the result of a few too many pre-speech champagnes (never a good idea).
To help you succeed, and ensure any tears your bride sheds on the big day are ones of joy, I’ve created a checklist. If you follow these you’ll be well on your way to delivering a speech that sets you up for years of wedded bliss.
1. Show the in-laws some love
Thank your father-in-law for his pearls of wisdom after his speech but also show some gratitude to both parents for accepting you into their family and giving you their blessing to marry their beautiful daughter. Tell them what a great job they did to raise the woman you love and assure them that you will always look after her.
2. Tell her she is beautiful
The research is in and it confirms what we already know. Every single bride wants to hear that she looks amazing on her wedding day. There may have been some blood (metaphorically speaking), sweat and tears in the lead up to the wedding and you need to show her that you appreciate the effort. Just don’t mention that effort in your speech – her beauty is effortless, remember?
3. Wear your heart on your sleeve
Your new bride is waiting with anticipation to hear an honest, heartfelt statement or two about how you feel about her so make sure you do this. What you love about her. Why she is ‘the one.’ How she makes your life better. And don’t forget to call her “my wife” during the speech – your bride (and your guests) will love it.
4. But go easy on the mush
Like any public display of affection, there is a fine line between making people awww and making them gag. Yes it’s about the two of you but you are not the only two people in the room. If you want to recite mushy poetry to your new bride that’s fine – you have every day for the rest of you lives to do it. A good quote or short poem is fine but avoid any cheesy clichés and anything too sappy.
5. Ixnay on the ex-girlfriendsay
Avoid any reference whatsoever to previous girlfriends unless you want to create a really awkward atmosphere. Even if you think you’re making a favorable comparison. Don’t. On this day your bride sees you both floating around in a safe and magical bubble where no other woman exists. Don’t burst it.