Giving wedding speeches, toasts or readings can be tough for people who aren’t exactly social butterflies, but don’t follow your first instinct and try to sneak out of your public speaking duties. From focusing on why you’re standing at the mic to shaking off line flubs, there are a few tips you’ll want to take to heart before hitting the stage.
This is the introvert’s guide to wedding speeches.
It’s a blessing, not a curse
The happy couple wants you to say a few words on their big day because they love you and consider you a big part of their lives (what an honour!). They’re not waiting for you to flub your lines or make fun of you, they genuinely want to hear what you have to say. If you're palms start getting sweaty when all eyes are on you, remember the reason you’re giving the speech in the first place - them.
Whether you’re doing a wedding ceremony reading or writing a speech, you’ll want to get to know your material ASAP. (Note: we’ve created this wedding speech template to help you out.) If you leave it until the last minute you’ll make your jitters even worse. We suggest giving yourself a few weeks to get acquainted with your lines so that you feel comfortable when you take to the stage.
Practice makes perfect
Remember reciting Shakespeare soliloquies in school? You probably practiced again and again before getting it just right. Well, use that technique here, too. Write out your speech and then stand in your mirror and read it over a few times. It may feel silly, but it’ll pay off when the big day rolls around.
Ask for help
If you’re really struggling, ask another wedding party member for a helping hand. Maybe they can sit in as your audience as you practice your wedding speech and give you some pointers. It’ll definitely help you get comfortable with the idea of saying the speech in front of people.
Bring your notes
If you think you’re going to trip up in front of a crowd, it’s best to bring some notes along with you. No, you shouldn’t spend your entire time at the mic with your nose in a book, but a few cue cards can come in handy. We suggest writing them on some sleek stationery to make things look more put together (no crumpled paper here).
Ok, this tip is pretty minor, but it can work wonders. You don’t want your throat to go dry midway through your wedding speech, so make sure to get your H2O fix beforehand. Need a little something extra to get you through? Feel free to take a sip of champagne for some liquid courage (though it’s definitely not mandatory).
Skip the improv
If you’re known to blurt out awkward things when you’re nervous you should definitely be sticking to your wedding speech. Yes, going off the books can be pretty funny, but it’s also risky. If you’re not the most charismatic lady or gent, stick with what you know and leave the improv to the more seasoned speakers.
Shake it off
Did you stumble over your words or skip a line? Follow the wise words of Taylor Swift and shake it off. No one noticed, and even if they did it doesn’t matter. Their attentions will be on the open bar, dance floor and mixing and mingling with the happy couple in mere moments, not your wedding speech. The best thing you can do? Take a deep breath and soldier on.