A good wedding speech is just like the bride’s nightie: long enough to cover all the good bits, but short enough to keep things interesting. Here are our eight hints for a toast that doesn’t burn.
- Spend time carefully planning and practising your speech. The more time you spend thinking about it, honing your writing and practising delivering it, the more polished it will be.
- Keep in mind that a toast is given to honour someone, not to embarrass them. It should be heartfelt, sincere, and respectful. (Okay, okay, this is Australia so there’s bound to be a bit of joshing, but keep it clean – and whatever you do, don’t mention previous partners.)
- Stories and memories are a great addition to a speech. Funny is fine, but it should never be embarrassing. And make sure everything you say is relevant to the bride and groom.
- It’s fine to refer to notes, but don’t read the entire speech directly off the page. Use a large font for your notes as venues often have dim lighting.
- Be aware of the running order for the reception, and the time scheduled for your speech. However tempting, don’t drink too much beforehand.
- Smile! People enjoy listening to someone who appears happy and comfortable. So even if you feel the exact opposite, fake it. Stand up straight and use a clear, strong voice.
- When thanking anyone who helped to make the day possible, say why you’re thanking them. And do your homework – make sure you pronounce all names correctly.
- Keep an eye on the time. Rambling strolls down memory lane will quickly challenge your audience’s attention span. Keep your speech to around four or five minutes – no longer. Or, as one saying goes: “A good wedding speech is just like the bride’s nightie: long enough to cover all the good bits, but short enough to keep things interesting.”
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