The Groom’s Guide to Speeches
The groom's wedding speech is definitely nerve-wracking for any groom who dreads public speaking - and that's basically most guys. In fact, many grooms are shocked to learn that as part of 'the whole wedding thing', they are required to make a wedding speech.
Many don't prepare, or don't really know where to start, and thus there are plenty of stories of grooms embarrassing themselves in front of family, friends and fathers-in-law. You know the feeling we're talking about: Sweaty palms, turning red in the face because everyone is looking at you, and a heart that is practically going to jump right out of your chest!
In terms of its entertainment value, the groom's speech should fall somewhere between that of the bride's father and the best man. In terms of sensitivities, if you are a regular presenter or speaker as part of your work or perhaps a bit of a natural show-off, you might want to consider not showing off. Wedding speeches are supposed to be sincere but entertaining, but not to the extent that it is a competition to be judged by the guests with a 'clap-o-meter'.
Tips for Frazzled Grooms
· First, Practice, Practice. Just five times before you actually deliver the speech will ensure the actual thing will go much more smoothly.
· Outline! A wedding speech has a beginning, middle and end. And if that sounds a bit like a secondary school essay, that's because it is.
· Breathe. As you’re walking up to the podium, take a deep breath. Just before you begin to speak, take another. It will get your racing heart under control.
· Keep it short and sweet. You aren't expected to be the next Jerry Seinfeld. The objective of your speech is different from your best man's speech. Let him get all the laughs.
· Imagine that everyone in the audience is naked. Just kidding. We can't imagine how that would make you more at ease, or where that ridiculous idea came from. More importantly, look up from your notes. Don't look the audience members in the eyes as that will make you nervous. Look through the audience members, not focusing on any one person.
· End the speech with a toast to your lovely bride. The groom's wedding toast is not as difficult as it might seem. Your wedding speech is not the time to pull out Shakespeare. With your wedding toast, be – and sound like – yourself.
Finally, the biggest suggestion we can make is to either write out your speech in its entirety, or prepare bullet points. But never, ever, speak impromptu. That’s just asking for trouble. Congratulations, and good luck!