How to Give a Great Wedding Speech

How to give a great wedding speech by Lisa Hunt-Wotton.

You have been asked to give a speech.  Help!  Most people find it terrifying but it needn’t be.  Remember that if you have been asked to give a speech it is because you know the person or couple very well.

Here are some tips that I have learned over the years with public speaking.

Make it uplifting 

Practice, Practice Practice

If you are rehearsed and intentional about honouring the bride and groom you cannot go wrong.  Here are some other important tips.

  1. Introduce yourself to the audience.  Don’t just assume that everyone knows who you are.  Include your relationship to the newlyweds so your audience will know why you were chosen.
  2. Make it original.  You are giving the speech because you know the person the best.  No one else should be able to give your speech so stay away from Google!
  3. Be excited:  Express how thrilled your to be at the wedding and thank the bride and groom (and their parents, if appropriate) for inviting everyone to be a part of their special day.
  4. Less is more – keep it under 5 minutes.  It is surprising how many people try to jam too much content into a speech.  Keep it simple and let it flow.
  5. Rehearse it out loud and make sure that you rehearse it to someone.  This will help with your timing and it will also help you to edit the bits that aren’t flowing.  Keep in mind that the more you are prepared the less nervous you will by.
  6. Don’t tell vulgar stories, a speech must never be offensive.  Remember who is in the audience.  Don’t use this as a chance to humiliate the bride or groom,  if you don’t have anything nice to say then you shouldn’t be doing the speech.
  7. Don’t wing it.  Write it down or have it on your iPad.
  8. Humour is good.  Its good to be funny and anecdotal – laughing relaxes people.  Remember not to exclued people with ‘in jokes’.
  9. Its okay to get serious, follow up your funny moment with a more serious one where you ponder the deeper meaning of the occasion.  Maybe answer a questions such as: What does it mean to find love in your life?
  10. Include the bride and groom and mention something about their relationship.  Share some good points about the groom and the bride, and how lucky they are for having each other.
  11. Don’t drink to much.  If you have to drink before the speech keep it to a two drink maximum.  The worst thing would be for you to slur your words, ramble on or crash and burn because you are drunk.
  12. Make sure you give a copy of the speech to the bride and groom.

Don’t forget to check that glasses are full

Before you raise a toast, ensure everyone has something in their glass. Go with something like, “Ladies and gentleman, thank you for listening to me, can I ask you to charge your glasses, as I’d love to raise a toast to my wonderful friend…”.

I hope that this helps.






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