Tips to Giving Wedding Toasts and Speeches
All preparations have been made, the vows have been said and the most anticipated you-may-kiss-the-bride part. Everything’s perfect, exactly as planned. Everybody’s elated and happy with the perfect ceremony; even the new in-laws are talking to each other. Then, you come to the reception.
You hear the tinkling of champagne glasses and the people closest to you have said heartfelt words and funny lines. They have finished their part and now, everyone is smilingly looking at you. You realize that they are expecting you to give your own speech.
You look for the right words that would make all these friends and guests know how you appreciate them for coming, yet you couldn’t find any. You return their smiles, you stammer, cough and finally get some few words together that didn’t sound right. Finally, you see your guests still staring but their smiles were replaced with shock and dismay. You sit down, flustered and embarrassed.
This may sound like some scene from a bad dream, but giving toasts and speeches during weddings can be as nerve-wracking for many people as the “I do” part. It is not always the bride and groom who find the situation stressful, even the best man or the parents of the newly-weds can find the situation quite daunting especially if they are not particularly fond of speaking publicly.
One doesn’t really have to master public speaking to be able to give a sensible speech during weddings. Your audience is people close to you and they are not expecting a verbose speech like a campaigning politician. Nor do they expect you to use polysyllabic words that would make them think of searching the dictionary after the reception.
Speak to them as you would in an ordinary setting when you tell them something that happened to you in the past. Make them smile with your sincerity and help them feel that they are listening to a friend. Trying to make your speech too formal can make them feel alienated and wonder if it is really you speaking in front of them.
For someone who’s new to public speaking, it would help to create a list of all the things you want to say. Do this at least a week before the wedding to avoid cramming. Cut down on all the unnecessary stuff like stories of how you met and how you love each other. Leave this to your friends.
Concentrate on the ‘thank you’ part. You can say some words to your new spouse but don’t be overly dramatic nor too formal. It would help to look him or her in the eye and say the words as if you are alone. After all, it’s your wedding and nothing matters more than being true to each other on your first moments as husband and wife.
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