There’s no doubt speeches are the most nervous part of the day for those involved. Below is my advice of how to deal with them whether you are a groom, best man, the happy couple’s family or even the bride!
Introducing the Wedding Speeches
Always make sure the room is absolutely quiet before starting your speech. This is particularly an issue at Asian weddings, where people are hard to keep quiet, so a toastmaster’s presence really helps with this as it is part of our duties as a wedding toastmaster.
Sometimes the DJ is likely to announce when they are starting, but a toastmaster is the best person to get the room the guests ready for speeches. Usually a family member would give a signal to the toastmaster that they would like to get the speeches underway and everyone involved is ready.
At that point the job of a wedding toastmaster is to get the microphone, tell the guests what is happening and introduce the speakers fairly quickly. The more time you can save here the more it means the speakers don’t feel the need to rush and the more time you get on the dance floor!
Wedding Speech Advice – The Opening
When you start speaking do make sure everyone is listening and paying attention and it’s nice to greet the guests and hear them responding to you so you know they have got your attention. Also make clear who you are at the start. Rather than just saying “I am a university friend of…” it’s much better to say “The groom and I have been friends since university, we’ve known each other for over 10 years, we’ve been on holiday together, we’ve passed exams together, we’ve partied together…”
Remember a good idea is to make sure the wedding toastmaster ensures the bar is closed 5 minutes before the speeches. This helps with reducing noise and making sure everyone is seated.
Wedding Speech Advice – Inspiration For What to Say
What to say depends on the individuals who have been given the responsibility. The key things are to know who you are talking about, who the audience is and most importantly the messages you would like to convey.
As a toastmaster I can help with this and we can go over some of the content if you think it would help. It is always good to remember what you enjoyed at previous weddings and use friends, and of course the internet for good ideas or inspiration.
However apart from one or two jokes, do not copy what you find online – keep it authentic and original! And do not worry about the guests – they are all on your side and eager to learn new things about the happy couple!
Wedding Speech Advice – Make it Fun
There are lots of ways to make your speech stand out. Here are just a few of my favourites:
You can use photographs of the groom from when he was younger or at university if it would help your best man’s speech! It’s a great way to make other people pay attention.
Think of anecdotes, memories, funny moments, precious times together. Explain them, talk about how things have changed, bonus points if the story is humourous!
Ask friends and family about funny moments when the groom was growing up. Enlighten guests with things they never knew about the person you are talking about. If you are sharing speaking duties make sure you co-ordinate what you say with the other speakers. That way you avoid repetition and can flow together and complement each other nicely.
It’s also worth mentioning, I would always advise to avoid swear words – they are never needed and are not appropriate on a special day. Remember your audience is made up of friends and families of all ages.
Have a Range of Content
And with that audience in mind try to have something that the different age groups can relate to.
Wedding Speech Advice – The End Bits
I feel that it’s always important to end the speech on a positive note. Identify with your audience that you are coming to an end, so they are ready with some applause! Summarise what you have said and end on the positive attributes of the groom or the person you are talking about. For example, It’s always nice to end with something like “The three things that impress me most about the groom are….”
And finally, always get ready to toast. At Asian weddings you can stick to etiquette about who you should toast at the end of your speech, but you can always amend this.
Good luck and do get in touch if I can help as a wedding toastmaster for your special day.