If the thought of standing up in front of assorted friends and family members delivering a wedding speech makes you want to run away screaming, or the thought of the emotions it will incur fills you with dread then you are in the right place.
Weddings are very happy occasions but often that happiness can by tinged with sadness when we think of the people who should be there but aren’t.
The swirl of emotion that this can cause can prove problematic for anyone tasked with speaking at a wedding.
Of course a few tears are expected on the big day, but there are ways and means of keeping a speech heartfelt and emotional as well as being decipherable!
Here are three tips from Andy Naylor of I Will Write your Best Man Speech to ensure that your tearful toast doesn’t become baffling blubbing!
Andy is a speechwriter who background wise has performed stand up and sketch comedy at the Edinburgh festival and on the circuit in London.
He has also had the honour of being a best man five times so knows how nerve wracking it can be!
Practice Makes Perfect
It’s a huge cliche but when it comes to public speaking it’s essential that you know your material inside and out.
On the big day you will be full of emotion, adrenaline and probably prosecco.
If you don’t get a handle on your speech beforehand then it will almost certainly be too much for you on the day.
Get a good friend round, bolt the doors and saying the words to them. Initially it will seem more awkward than speed dating but at least it will give you an idea of what it’s going to be like.
Get your friend to turn their back on you if you have to but make sure that you get used to saying what you want to say out loud.
Leave The Liquid Lunch Till Later
Unless you have the discipline of Bruce Lee on dry January there is every chance you will tip back a couple of glasses of champagne before you are required to speak in front of some of your closest friends and family.
However there is a reason that most speeches attempted off the cuff at boozy engagement parties don’t last long in the memory.
The combination of seeing your best friend ecstatically happy, thinking about relatives who are no longer with you and a few too many glasses of bubbly can be linguistically lethal.
Fortunately most speeches at weddings are after the meal but that may not always be the case.
It’s far better to pace yourself, stay on the water and deliver a speech to remember than start weeping when you are two lines into it.
Do Speak From The Heart
Following these tips will get you pretty far but it’s still highly likely that at some point you will get a lump in your throat.
If this is the case, give your eyes a dab, have a swallow and take a few deep breaths.
Perhaps have a few really funny memories stored up that you can go to if you start feeling a little too sad but don’t be annoyed with yourself if you do well up.
The beauty of most weddings is the personal nature of the day and it is only right that the memory of someone special should be toasted.
With a few precautions in place you will be able to do this in style and still deliver a memorable speech that everyone will be talking about for a long time.
If all else fails you could always try the old favourite of imagining the guests are all naked.
Remember to finish speaking though rather than staring into space with a look of complete horror on your face. Best of luck!
Thank you so much to Andy for sharing his invaluable advice on holding it together when delivering a really emotional wedding speech.
Delivering a speech can be a really intimidating process when you are not a confident speaker and when emotion runs away with us it can be even worse.
With these tips hopefully you will be more confident in delivery and manage to keep cool and collected.
To Contact Andy Naylor