The wedding speech. Gulp. It’s one time in life when there are no second chances—for most people, anyway! If you have a big occasion coming up, here are some wedding speech tips to help you ease the big day nerves.
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
Boy, wedding preparations can be stressful!
I’ve been there and done that, so I know exactly what’s involved.
One aspect that often gets a back-seat in terms of preparations, becomes a bit rushed, is the wedding speech.
It’s almost assumed that people will be able to stand up, entertain or share their innermost feelings with a room full of people—just like that!
It kind of bugs me. Because it’s not that easy!
If you’ve been in the hot seat you’ll know what I mean.
Wedding Speech Tips, 1: Avoid the Avoidance Tactic
I know, I know, I know. We’re all familiar with it.
If you’re worrying about the speech the best advice I can give is simply this.
Stop thinking about it and start doing something about it!
There’s no magic wand to make nerves vanish. Think about what you want to say.
Then script it. Get it out of your head and onto paper.
Then get practising. And get practising out loud. There’s no substitute for voicing your words aloud.
Wedding Speech Tips, 2: Be Yourself
It’s a pithy little quote often attributed to Oscar Wilde, but more likely to be a paraphrasing of some writing by Thomas Merton.
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
It’s that one moment in your life when all the people that you care about are gathered in a room to share your special occasion.
You have this one opportunity to say something that really means something to you and them.
So ask yourself: What do I really want to say?
Be yourself, be honest and be natural.
Wedding Speech Tips, 3: Breathe!
This is vital.
Give yourself time to concentrate on your breathing. It’s so important for combating wedding speech nerves, or any speech nerves—or any nerves at all, for that matter!
One of the best things you can do on the day, when you look out to a sea of faces, and you feel your heart jumping (for the wrong reasons) is to remember to breathe.
If you don’t allow yourself to breathe correctly, you may speak too quickly, perhaps get a dry mouth, blush, or even sweat.
In other words, you’ll start to lose control.
So don’t forget to breathe.
(Bonus tip: A smile will always create feel good hormones, so remember to smile! It might sound crazy but it works.)
Suit yourself – it’s your party, so cry if you want to!
I attended a wedding recently where bride, chief-bride maid and mum were the speakers.
The groom and best man didn’t give a speech, the girls wanted to speak, the boys were petrified of the task.
So why put pressure on people on what is supposed to be a wonderful day?
Another wedding I attended the groom took up a guitar and sang a Bob Dylan song for his bride—I thought that was kinda cool!
Conclusion: Three Steps to the Perfect Wedding Speech
- Don’t avoid it, and don’t leave it to the last minute (and when you start practising, make sure to practise aloud)
- Be yourself
- Practice correct breathing
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ConfidentSpeak is a specialist S.T.E.M Communications & Coaching Consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives at home and abroad. Contact us for details on our range of corporate/private programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.