The Father of the Bride

Deliverying Your Speech

Delivering the Perfect Speech

"If a man is talking in the woods and no woman hears him... is he still wrong?"


Dutch Courage

"Just a little something to calm the nerves" might seem like a good idea but too much 'Dutch courage' can actually increase anxiety or worse, make you overconfident. Also its worth remembering alcohol is a diuretic so can leave your mouth feeling drier. If you really feel the need for some Dutch courage keep it to a minimum.


Relax

All the wedding guests will be hoping for a great speech and willing you to do well. Mostly they are just hoping you won't drag it out too long (we've all suffered wedding speeches that feel like an extended version of War and Peace). It's a great occasion so relax and enjoy the day and your speech.


Breathe Easy

Take a deep breath to steady yourself. That might sound crazy but you will have heard of actors and singers doing breathing exercises. Physiologically slow calm breathing helps lower the heart rate and decrease the adrenalin in your body which creates nerves.

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Well Watered

Make sure you're hydrated and have a glass of water on hand to wet your whistle. However try not to keep taking sips as this might let people see how nervous you are and this in turn will make them nervous. If you show confidence this will make people relax and feel confident in you which will in turn will make them laugh more freely.


Large Print

Keeping your speech printed but use it as a reference rather than something to hide behind or simply reading it word for word off the page.



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Be prepared

The best way to make sure you’re prepared is to know your speech well. If you have a good idea of what's coming next you won't feel so nervous, so practice your speech ahead of the wedding. If you can, get a test audience to try your speech out on someone beforehand to get feedback on the speech and your delivery.


On Cue

Alternatively cue cards are easier to hold and you can simply highlight the relevant points or gags.

How to deliver your wedding speech

Give 'em the Eye

Make eye contact, don't get so lost in reading that you forget to look at your audience


Don't Look Down

That also means don't focus too heavily on the page rather than your audience. Eye contact is a very important part of public speaking and will show people you’re feeling confident (even if you're not normally comfortable speaking in public).


Speak Up!

Speak loudly and clearly. Try not to rush through your speech, give pauses for the laughter (hopefully in the right places) and don't be afraid to acknowledge anyone who heckles you but you're not a stand-up comic so best to avoid any witty put-downs or ad-libs.


Smile

According to MindTools.com smiling is "...a natural relaxant that sends positive chemicals through your body."


Enjoy!

Most of all enjoy it. It's a wonderful and truly memorable occasion so take the time to enjoy every moment.