There’s no doubt about it… many grooms, won’t relax on their wedding day until their speech is delivered. With all eyes, not to mention cameras on you, there’s pressure to nail a killer wedding speech, which is the perfect composition of funny, sentimental and entertaining. This, unsurprisingly, brings with it anxiety.
With this month’s focus on grooms, it seemed only right to tackle your most important role first of all. If you fear nerves might impact your wedding speech, we’ve put together some top tips to help things go smoothly.
Speak before you write
According to several expert speech writers, an easy way to help ease nerves is rather than putting pen to paper straight away, talk through your ideas initially. With the voice recorder playing on your phone, run through what you’d like to include in your speech. Actually talking out loud, rather than jotting it down begins the process of desensitising the fact that you’ll be delivering a speech.
Remember to breathe
Believe it or not, this small, simple tip is so important in keeping your nerves calm. Have you ever seen someone coming out of a yoga class looking stressed? Definitely not! When we are in control of our breath, this actually keeps other symptoms of nerves a bay. If your breathing isn’t calm, your voice will sound stressed, which in turn increases the feelings of anxiety.
State that you’re nervous
There’s nothing wrong with kicking off your speech by telling guests that you’re nervous. If they weren’t expecting it of you, they’ll know now. Stating that you’re nervous out loud, rather than feigning nonchalance, is a trick to reduce stage fright.
Don’t try too hard to be funny
The fact is this, if you don’t class yourself as someone who’s naturally funny or delivers a laugh a minute, now isn’t the time to put your best comedy routine into practice. If you would like to inject a little humour into your speech, go for something real. Telling a funny story rather than picking up an overused one-liner is more likely to get a laugh.
Know your audience
If you’re not sure what to include in your speech, think about who will be in the room and what they would want from your speech. There’s the main elements like thanking the key players, complimenting your wife and adding in any relevant stories which would be appropriate in the circumstances.
Short and sweet
The truth is, no one really wants to listen to a long, drawn out speech, which is good news for you. Focus on delivering a short and sweet speech with the key important points – that’s all anyone actually expects from the groom anyway.
Practice makes perfect
Another tactic to desensitise yourself to the task at hand is to practice saying your speech over and over again. Do it so many times that it becomes boring. If you know it inside out, you’re less likely to trip up over words, ensuring you are in control of the task at hand.
Call on a friend
As well as rehearsing it to yourself, say your speech to someone else. While it might feel a little silly, the reassurance you receive at the end will go a long way at keeping nerves at bay.
Choose a format that suits you
Decide whether you’d like a full script in front of you or your preference is to free-style it a bit with just a few pointers at hand. Choose whichever option feels most natural, and most importantly, helps you feel calm.
Deliver it early
If you can’t imagine enjoying the meal with the thought of the speech hanging over you, opt to do it beforehand. This is becoming more popular with grooms and with it out of the way, you’re free to truly enjoy the rest of your day.
Limit your alcohol intake
While there’s the temptation to have a few in order to reduce nerves, the reality is that you probably won’t thank yourself for it afterwards. Instead, limit yourself to just a drink or two and you’ll enjoy that celebratory one afterwards, even more.
Know your surroundings
When you’re rehearsing your speech, if you can visualise the room where you’ll be delivering it, this will go a long way in keeping nerves at bay. Pop along to the venue and place yourself where you’ll be speaking. Again, this is a great desensitising technique.
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