Saturday, July 26, 2008

Outline for an intimate, touching, stress-free wedding speech

I recently returned from a wedding where I was asked to give a speech – with less than 30 minutes to prepare. If you’d like to share a few words at a similar gathering I offer you this outline for an intimate, touching, stress-free wedding speech:

  1. Select a theme that illustrates a trait about the groom or bride (like how they're imaginative, caring, terrible dresser).
  2. A short introduction on how/why you know the groom or bride.
  3. Share a little-known anecdote that illustrates their wonderful trait (the more people present you can refer to in the anecdotes the better it will be received).
  4. Share another anecdote that illustrates how the bride (or groom) helps make that trait even better (or fixes a bad one).
  5. Pause for a moment, raise a glass, and toast the bride and groom with the lesson from your theme.
Extra tips:
  • Smile and make eye contact with tables in each area of the room while you’re talking.
  • When you talk about a specific person, look at them. If you’re telling an anecdote where you can’t look at the person you’re talking about pick a different one (seriously).
  • You’re not out there to look smart, clever, funny, etc. – just make everyone feel good and you’ve succeeded.
  • Keep it short - 2 to 5 minutes at most.
  • Talk slowly – there’s a natural tendency to talk quickly when addressing a large audience. You’ll be better understood if you make a point of talking slowly.
  • Practice in front of a mirror or friend.

No comments: