How to give a great speech at a wedding- Komodo Music DJs

Following on from my last blog “How to be an amazing MC”, sometimes you might not be incharge of running the night, but will still have to give a speech. This can be equally as nerve racking. While I suggest you all go back and read that one first, for your consideration:

 

HOW TO GIVE A GREAT SPEECH AT A WEDDING

Groom with jacket off holding a microphone giving a speech

Some of this advice is the same as that given in the past blog as it is still relevant, some of it is new.

Be yourself

The worst thing any speaker can do is try to be someone they are not. If you are an outgoing person, be that outgoing person. If you are quieter, be that. As soon as you start trying to be someone you are not you become fake and an audience can always see through that and it just makes the whole experience uncomfortable.

 

Confidence

This should be obvious, but how does one get confidence? By doing! I like the ‘tough love’ approach where I will berate someone until they get so sick of me that they just do it…and usually find it wasn’t that scary in the first place. Everyone will have different ways to find confidence, but just know you need it!

 

Humor

I always say using humor in a speech is like a handgun- if you are funny and know what you are doing you can kill the audience with laughter, if you aren’t funny you are more than likely to shoot yourself and die on stage. If you aren’t funny, don’t try to be funny. If you are funny, remember you are there to do a job, not be a standup comedian so keep it in moderation

 

Length and writing

Previously in the MC blog I used the acronym KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid.

However if you are the father of the bride and have just so much to say, or a best man who has the story of how the couple meet, that might not be so simple. So here are the steps when writing a speech

  1. Write down in point form exactly what you want to talk about. This is the skeleton of your speech so it is very important.
  2. Next is expand and write down each point so it sounds like a speech
  3. Third, is to revise it. Read it out loud and see if it make sense, does it address your points directly or do you waffle on about something funny but irrelevant?
  4. Now comes the hard part, get it down so it is only one (or one and a half) pages. This should mean your speech (at the most) goes no longer than 10 minutes. If you start going over that you will not only loose your audience, but you start putting the wedding schedule and the kitchen behind. This will really force you to look at what you have written and determine how much is really needed and how much is it you just wanting to say it.

 

Practice your speech

Practice in front of a mirror will you can say the words blind folded. Then practice with variations of it, then practice in front of family, friends, and roommates…just practice it lots!

 

Practice your body language, breathing, and speed

So once you have practiced the words, now it’s time to practice your presentation. Here are some of the most common problems:

  • Moving your hands- using your spare hand to gesture is fine, otherwise keep it in your pocket. What is NOT ok is using both hands to gesture as one will be holding your microphone
  • Ums and Ahs- try not to say these during the speech, it makes you seem like you are trying to remember what to say
  • Breath slowly- The temptation to say a page worth of speech in one breath; don’t! Breath normally and have pause where appropriate
  • Speak clearly but keep the pace even– when nervous you will rush through your speech, so remember it is not a race.
  • Smile– Speaking the same thing with a straight face and speaking it with a smile makes a world of difference.

 

What to say

Every speech is different, with different topics and personalised stories, but there is a universal structure to most wedding speeches:

Parent’s Speech

  • Welcome the other parent’s to the family
  • Relate funny or sincere story about the bride/groom OR
  • Relate funny or sincere story about the first time meeting the bride/groom
  • Toast to the couple

 

Best Man/ Bridesmaid speech

  • Relate funny or sincere story about the first time meeting the bride/groom
  • Say why you are friends with the bride/groom
  • Toast to the Bridesmaids/Groomsmen
  • Toast to the couple

 

Bride/Groom

  • Thank everyone for coming
  • Single out special people who made a difference (parents, best friend, etc)
  • Thank and toast your partner

 

Also be sure to close off once you have finished your speech otherwise people never know when it’s over.

 

Tips when writing speeches

  • Do not go to Google for jokes. Anyone who has been to more than one wedding knows them all

Examples:

“Wasn’t the wedding beautiful, it was so emotional even the cake is in tiers”

“(to the groom) When you are wrong say you are sorry, when you are right, shut up”

“(to the groom) Put your hand ontop of your wife’s, there you go, that is the last time you will ever have the upper hand!”

“I’ve been told to keep my speech as long as the groom can last on his wedding night…so thank you very much everyone”

  • Quotes for weddings are fine, but do not go overboard, and if you have heard it before, chances are others have as well. Instead find something that means something to the bride and groom (maybe a favorite author or singer) and find a quote from them
  • Depending on the crowd, audience participation can be either really good or really bad, so if you have not done a lot of speeches before, best air on the side of caution

 

Hopefully this has been informative on how to write a great speech:-)

 

If you are interested in having Komodo Music being your MC for your wedding, CONTACT US

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