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  • Digby Joplin

Speachs 7 Tips


It may be just possible to go through life without ever delivering a speech in public. But I doubt it. It is almost certain that you will want to say a few words at your own wedding. Below are some tips that may help.

The order of the speeches.

Traditional Modern

Loyal toast to the queen. (Done at military weddings.) Father of the Bride

Father of the Bride, also proposes toast to absent friends. Father of the Groom

Groom Groom

Best Man Bride

Bridesmaid / Maid of honour

Best man

The groom proposes the toast to the Bridesmaids and the Best man responds to this toast.

The reason why the father of the bride goes first is because often the bride’s family are hosting the wedding ie paying for it. If this is not the case the order may need to be revised. The father of the bride speech includes a welcome to all the guests. Do not get too hung up on this order the only real rule is that the best man’s speech is last.

Seven tips on public speaking.

1/ Remember the ABC and XYZ of public speaking. Always Be Cheerful, and eXamine Your Zipper. When you stand up to speak, have a smile on your face, and make sure that your clothes are in order. ie You haven’t left your fly undone or a bra strap showing that shouldn’t be. If you have then people will focus on this mistake and never listen to your speech.

2/ Write your speech out in full and practice. Practice in front of a mirror, practice in front of your partner or trusted friend. Practice and then practice again. Transfer your speech to cue cards, a tablet or phone have them in a font that’s easy to read and a size you can read at a distance. Number your cue cards.

3/ Slow down. Most people speak too fast and don’t give their audience time to keep up with what they are saying. Pause for laughter do not try and speak over it.

4/ Think about your body language. The way you stand and the gestures you use, will say more than the words you speak. Your stance and gestures should reinforce what you are saying not detract from it. There are lots of books and video clips about this subject, if you are not sure, I strongly recommend that you consult them.

5/ Relax with any heckles. Enjoy the moment and the interaction. This is not a competition and if the person gets a laugh, the guests will remember your speech and not the interruption. Be ready to be flexible with what’s happening in the room. If someone starts coughing turn it into a joke saying “I’m pretty choked up about what I’m saying as well”.

6/ Do not drink before you speak. There is nothing worse than an intoxicated person proposing a toast.

7/ The audience is on your side. They want to enjoy your speech so relax and give them the chance. They will forgive any mistakes or fluff ups just go with it and have fun.

I have done coaching on public speaking if you need help contact me.

There are some very good web sites as to what to include in a wedding speech. Coarse language and obscene jokes have no place at a wedding. An excellent web site is which I referenced.

See the blog on being a Master of Ceremonies.

Digby Joplin

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