Don’t you just love wedding speeches? You get to share stories other guests might not have heard of before, and tug at heartstrings with tear-jerking words. Whether you’re the best man or maid of honor, or the bride and groom yourselves, delivering your wedding speech is a big part of the program. If you’re feeling nervous, don’t worry. Many people are afraid of public speaking, but there is a way to manage your fears. The secret is to practice and prepare! To help you out, here are some ways you can deliver a wedding speech like a pro!
Just like an athlete or a singer, you need to warm-up your vocal cords and facial muscles so you can speak comfortably. You can do warm-ups everyday until the event and right before the program. Start by gently massaging your forehead, cheeks, jaw, and neck to loosen up your facial muscles. Trust us. The more relaxed you are, the better your speech will turn out. Try doing a couple of breathing exercises to calm your nerves as well. Inhale through your nose for five counts, and exhale through your mouth for another five counts. To further relax your facial muscles, pretend you’re chewing a large piece of gum. Then, exercise your enunciation by doing a couple of tongue twisters.
When nerves get the best of you, the tendency is to speak too fast. Rushing your speech will make it hard for people to understand you, and you will most likely lose the guests’ attention. So, it’s best to speak a little slower than usual. Once you have your speech written down, mark the parts where you can pause. This gives your audience a chance to process what you’re saying. If you’re telling a joke, pauses will also give them time to laugh!
Don’t forget to smile! Stand up proudly and confidently. You want your body language to convey that you are happy and you appreciate everyone else’s presence. Here’s a fun fact: 93% of communication is non-verbal, and only 7% of our messages are conveyed in spoken words. So, if you’re frowning or slouching, it might send the wrong vibes to the rest of the guests.
You don’t have to change the way you speak in order to deliver a speech well. Just speak as if you’re talking to your friends and be natural. Public speaking is a form of communication after all. So, be yourself! Another helpful tip is to record yourself while practicing your speech. Listen to your audio recording afterwards and try to determine if you sound monotonous or stiff. Maybe you can switch-up your intonation a bit to sound more natural.
Remember that you are talking to a room full of people and not empty space! Even if you are reading your speech, you must still make eye-contact with the guests. When you are thanking certain people, acknowledge them properly by looking at them or gesturing towards them. Your audience is not on the screen of your phone but in front of you and around you!
A wedding is a day full of love and happiness! Throw in some fun anecdotes in your speech that guests can relate with or laugh at and just have fun. When you’re enjoying your speech the people listening will surely enjoy it, too.