Did Your To-Be-Wed Bestie Ask You for a Speech? Here’s How to Write and Deliver a Good One!

They say one of the things that people fear the most is Public Speaking, maybe even more than snakes! And we get it. Standing up in front of hundreds of people, some you know and some you don’t, and delivering a speech that hopefully won’t bore them can be a daunting task. You might even question your friendship with the Bride or Groom for asking you to do this (maybe just a little!). Think of it this way, though. Your bestie trusted you with the special task of delivering a speech during the reception because you’re the one with the fun and heartfelt stories to tell, and precious memories to share. You know the bride and/or groom so well, which means you have the ability to make them feel loved and honored on such a significant day in their lives.

But we also know that speech writing and delivery are skills that take some practice. And to help you out on this very important task, here are tips and tricks so you can make the most heartfelt speech for your bestie!

Did Your To-Be-Wed Bestie Ask You for a Speech? Here's How to Write and Deliver a Good One!

Talk About a Message or Life Lesson You Learned from the Couple
Share heartwarming and funny stories about the couple, follow it up by talking about a lesson on love or life that you learned through witnessing their relationship. It can be how they showed you to never settle for less than who and what you genuinely deserve, lessons about healing your inner self before finding “The One,” lessons about being open to love or to love again, or lessons about finding a partner who supports your dreams and goals. It can be any lesson that inspires you and would serve to inspire everyone else in the room!

Recall Funny and Heartfelt Stories
Think about a funny yet heartfelt story related to either the bride or groom, or both, but make it relevant: How you found out they were dating, their first impressions about one another, what you witnessed about their relationship journey, how they knew each other was “The One,” and the like! Make sure to keep the content appropriate and family-friendly, too. Avoid topics such as exes or anything that could be a little too  scandalous for the families of the bride and groom or inappropriate for children to hear. Being funny doesn’t have to come at the expense of the bride and groom, either. You can share humorous stories without embarrassing anyone.

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Give a Blessing or Share a Wish for the Couple
End the speech by giving a blessing or saying well-wishes for the couple. Wish them a happy and joyful marriage, good health, and to continue inspiring others with their love for one another. You can also be more specific by talking about their unique goals for the future whether that’s buying a house, traveling to all seven continents in the world, or anything their hearts desire. If you’re giving a toast, of course don’t forget to invite the guests to raise their glasses and altogether shout, “Cheers!”

Take Your Time
The couple should be notifying their entourage members if they are expected to deliver a speech or toast during the reception, welcome dinner, or other wedding-related festivity. This means you’ll have at least a few weeks to sit down and focus on writing your speech. Speech writing is a process that requires attention and patience. We recommend not rushing this process nor leaving it to the last minute – like the night before the wedding – because that will only stress you out. Spend some time in a quiet room where your mind can be at ease. Give yourself the space to reflect on your relationship with the couple, special memories you share with them, and fun stories that would be good to share during the celebration.

Keep it Natural
Now for the delivery! Obviously speaking in front of an audience feels way different, and more nerve-wracking, than having a conversation with a friend. But that’s the trick! You can keep your speech delivery natural and engaging by thinking as if you’re just having a heart-to-heart with your friend. Keep your focus on the bride and groom, address the audience once in a while, and remember to shake it off and just have fun.

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Ask for Feedback
As the saying goes, “practices makes perfect.” After you write your speech, you can now practice your delivery. Record yourself through video so you can see the gestures you’re making, how you stand, and listen to your manner of delivery. Watch out for moments where you feel like you’re speaking too fast, sounding monotonous, or a bit too sing-song where the pitch of your voice goes up and down too much. And then ask a friend, whom you can trust to give constructive criticism, to watch your video and give you feedback or some notes for improvement. Watch your practice video, too, so you can identify what you might want to improve on. But be kind to yourself! No one expects you to deliver “perfectly” or like you’ve been giving motivational speeches all your life. For sure, in the end, the couple just wants a heartfelt message from you.

Read Your Speech Aloud. Don't Memorize!
Here’s the good news! You don’t have to memorize your speech. For events, like a wedding, a speech is meant to be read. Now, to keep the delivery natural, you can opt to print out an outline of your speech rather than having it written out verbatim. But if you’re more comfortable reading the whole speech word per word, then that’s fine, too! Just make sure to look up from what you’re reading from time to time, so it still feels as if you’re talking to the couple and the guests and not to a sheet of paper. And, just a bit more friendly advice, try not to wing it nor improvise. The last thing you want to happen is to come off unprepared and scramble for what to say on the spot! So, do the prep work and practice.

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Remember: The Speech is About the Couple
Take the pressure off yourself by reframing your mindset! Remember that the speech is for the couple and is focused on them. It’s not about how well you wrote it or how amazing your delivery is. Sure, you can practice and prepare because you want to give it your best, but always remember the purpose as to why you’re doing this in the first place. All the guests will be focused on the couple, so shake off those nerves and go make the most amazing speech ever!

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