We see a lot of speeches and have learnt a thing or two over the last 500 weddings or so.
As one of the most-booked wedding bands in Melbourne, Byron Bay and Brisbane, here are our tips for giving a great wedding speech.
You’ve been given the honour of speaking at your friend’s wedding. At first you are excited and feel honoured to be given such a personal task. Then… the crippling self-doubt sinks in… The most you’ve ever spoken in public was yelling out to hail a taxi or bus! How are you ever going to deliver a speech in front of those you know and love and those you’ve never met before?
It’s easy… the biggest tip is to have fun! Everyone there wants you to succeed so get rid of any negative thoughts and maybe don’t picture Aunty Viv in her smalls…
Here are some more helpful tips:
DON’T JUST GOOGLE – I know it’s an easy way out.. however; the best speech is the one YOU write. Set aside some time. Pour a glass of wine or crack open a beer. Remember… it’s not a thesis. Have fun with it!
LESS IS MORE – Try and keep it as short as possible. As soon as your mind starts losing interest your audience will be sure to follow. Leave them wanting more!
DON’T MEMORISE – Don’t force yourself to memorise your speech. Holding paper is no sin! You don’ want to forget any vital points or and stand there ummmming and ahhhhh’ing.
LIMIT UMMMS AND AHHHS – Nothing worse than listening to someone making strange noises than actually talking and telling a story.
STRUCTURE –Structure your speech so that it has a beginning, middle and an end. Have it go somewhere. Don’t randomly throw events together. This helps make things a lot clearer for both yourself and guests.
BE COLOURFUL – Be engaging! Telling a story and delivering a speech requires colour and personality in the voice. The kind that comes naturally though. Think that you’re at the bar with mates retelling a recent event that was hilarious or emotional in some way. Don’t go overboard like your hosting play school.
HUMILIATION – There is tasteful humiliation and then there is just plain inappropriateness. Remember that you’re in the company of different generations of family and loved ones. Don’t go overboard with the vulgar stories that you may find hilarious. Remember that you’re celebrating them… not punishing them…
GET FEEDBACK – Read your speech to a supportive and honest partner / friend. Feedback is always good.
SOBER UP - There is nothing worse than witnessing a speech from someone who looks as though they are going to throw up in the bouquet or pass out. Don't do it. Just ... don't. Water and food are your friend. Always have a glass of water handy when delivering your speech too just in case the nervous dry throat arises.
BODY LANGUAGE - Stand tall and proud and don't be afraid to look at your audience. If you begin to feel nervous and the twitches are coming out in force don't let this bring you down. Pick a point at the back of the room and focus on that. This will give the impression that you're looking out across and speaking to the whole room and engaging everyone.
INTERRUPTIONS - If someone interrupts you don't start a match of fisty cuffs. Go with it... especially if it is a funny interruption. Have some heckle responses ready to go.
MICROPHONE - SPEAK INTO IT! It's your friend. Not your enemy. Fact - Microphones DO NOT have the ability to bite. They will not bite your face. I repeat... they will not physically bite you. Hold it about 1 inch away from your mouth and let it do its thing. People want to hear what you are saying. Not look at you and constantly wonder what you are saying.
Always remember that the audience is on your side and that being given the honour to speak at a wedding is exactly that. It's a huge honour. Have fun with it and respect the role. Don't get trashed and treat it like you're at a loud club trying to impress someone.
As a standard part of our wedding package, we provide microphones for speeches and some basic MC services. Have a chat with us if you need help with doing something spectacular for your speech – think group sing-alongs, quizzes or games..
BEST OF LUCK!