Eliminate Wedding Speech Jitters

by Jayelle Finch

Sooner or later it had to happen, right? Your best bud would get married leaving you cruising in the single lane on your own. You played that scenario in your mind a few times before.

At the same time he asked you to be his best man, which includes making a wedding toast at the reception for about 375 people. Public speaking is your worst nightmare, but you can’t let your buddy down so you said you’d do the job.

So after you get that cold sweat under control, where do you start when writing and delivering a wedding toast? How do you harness the jitters and use them to your advantage. What on earth do you say, you who are known as the strong, silent type?

Learn from these suggestions on how to make an excellent wedding toast.

– It’s important to get started early when planning, writing, practicing delivery and everything else involved in making a wedding speech. Don’t be tempted to “play it by ear”. Trust me, the results wouldn’t be pretty. Hit the books for research and the web for tips too.

– Face the fear and use it. It’s only energy after all! When making a wedding toast, it can be very valuable to have extra energy at hand that you can use to captivate your audience and make your wedding toast memorable. A speech without the energy of performance anxiety is lacklustre and totally lacking in passion.

– Write, edit, relax and don’t look at the wedding toast for a few days. Then repeat the process as often as necessary until you just know you have done the best job you can. Look at this as a journey and try to enjoy the whole thing, otherwise it will just seem like a chore that you want to get out of the way.

– A bit of laughter, some smiles, these are what you are aiming for when you use humor in a wedding speech. Never tell intimate stories, use crude language or off-color jokes. Never!

– Take a stroll down memory lane. Recount how you met the groom, about a shared experience or two. Say what a super guy he is. In your wedding toast, compliment his choice of bride and comment about the wonderful future you believe they will have together. Today’s the day you can wear your heart on your sleeve.

– Be brief. Three to five minutes is long enough for a wedding toast.

– Face time! Practice delivering your wedding toast in front of a full-length mirror, complete with props and features. Time it too.

– Take five. Try to grab a few moments in the exact place where you will be giving your wedding speech to get a feel for the mike and the room from that vantage point.

– Raise a glass. This is the actual toast of the wedding toast. Make eye contact with the bride and groom when you toast them. Lift your arm from the shoulder, toast with a full glass. This takes place at the very end of your wedding speech.

– Walk to the bride and groom. Embrace the groom and the bride and go back to your seat. You’re finished with the wedding toast. Wasn’t that a great experience?

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