Speeches are tough. It’s that simple. Wedding speeches, maybe most of all. When you’re forced to, or even voluntarily decide to address a large group, it’s never an easy process. For beginners, having to stand up in front of a crowd and speak can be a scary thought and for the introverted it can be downright terrifying.
Wedding speeches can be the most nerve-wracking of them all because its not just that your career is on the line or that your classmates are waiting in anticipation for a word-slip. No, the wedding speech represents some of the most meaningful relationships you have in your life, and you not only wish to succeed, but you want it to come from the heart.
It’s speech time!
Just before you begin to address the crowd, maybe you’re hoping that the “Wedding Punch” will give you the liquid courage you'll need--without giving you too much courage. Maybe you’re hoping that the crowd has enjoyed their Wedding Punch too and will find you just that much more charming and funny.
Your time in the spotlight is now: You have your speech planned and ready. You are going to regale the wedding party with that funny story that only you know. The one about how the groom got sick off shellfish at his company retreat, and the bride to be had to drive 2 hours to pick him up. She had to stop in at four different stores before any place had Pepto-Bismol. Everyone will find this heartwarming and funny.
But as you tell this story, it is most certainly not going the way you imagined. You look down and realize that the preferred dinner option on everyone's plate is clams casino, and you’ve just told 120 people about accidental food poisoning. The story that was supposed to be funny and sweet, a true example of the bride and groom’s love and commitment to each other, has fallen flat.
As you stand at the head table, mic in hand, you desperately try and recover with a different joke while the silence of the crowd creeps down your spine. As you wrap your speech, you get the pity cheers and applause you need while you slink back into your seat. The thought going through you head, over and over “Maybe I should have saved that one for just the bride and groom”.
Of course, not all speeches crash and burn this dramatically at the podium. But still, who of us doesn't have a great memory that is worth sharing which might not be suitable for a large crowd? These private and personal memories can be the most meaningful and the most cherished precisely because they are so unfiltered, funny, oftentimes-awkward. The best speeches come from the heart and without any fear of 'speech-regret'.
For those who want to share a funny story or heartfelt message that is better suited for just the bride and groom here are 3 useful tips:
Come as you are. Face flush from dancing the night away? dress ruffled? shirt untucked? Leave all of it! It adds to the special moment. Bring the enthusiasm. Trust us, your 'audience' will love it.
Grab the mic, don't drop it. The microphone is your scepter, when you hold it, the power is yours. Take the opportunity to say whats on your mind and forget appealing to 'the crowd'.
Speak from the heart. Take the opportunity to speak with the Bride and Groom one-on-one. No one will judge you for being overly heartfelt and emotional.