Points to remember
- Breathe – Not shallow little breathes but DEEP steady intakes of air. Plenty of oxygen in your blood keeps your brain alert.
- See the end before you have begun – Imagine the rush of delivering a good speech, everyone laughing and clapping as you sit down. Start your speech with this visual image. You are going to do a good job.
- Just before you get to your feet – Think of an enjoyable story, make your self smile. This is not a 100 metre sprint, take your time. Speak clearly at an even pace. Aim for around a 5 minute speech if you are the best man.
- Eat – Even if you do not feel like it. Eating can help you feel less nervous. If you start to feel overwhelmed remember point 1.
- You are with friends – You will be speaking to people who want to listen to you. This is a joyful occasion. Speeches should be fun.
- Smile – Make eye contact as you look around the room and you will hold people’s attention. Never talk through laughter. If you make a good joke let people laugh, take a pause. Resume your speech when the laughter subsides.
- Be selfless not selfish – This is not about you. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Any jokes you make should not be at other people’s expense.
- Life or death – Your speech is NOT life or death, enjoy it, you will get a buzz of satisfaction when you have finished.
- Practice makes perfect – Ideally you should be able to perform your speech without reading it from a piece of paper. Have notes or bullet points to help you along but try to avoid reading your speech word for word. By practicing you will become more confident in what you say and how you say it.
- Be honest – Speak of the real emotions as you feel them. Love, friendship, joy and hopes for a bright and happy future. Heart felt emotion in a wedding speech will always work very well. Do not be afraid if you shed a tear or two.Weddings are emotional occasions and most people at some point will have something in their eye!
- The bride traditionally is not required to make a speech but if you wish to say a few words why not? This is your day and you should do as you wish.
See also: The Groom – Dressing For Your Big Day