You’ve crafted the perfect wedding speech to express your joy for the happy couple. Now all you have to do is deliver it in front of all of the guests. Don’t start sweating yet! We sat down with David Marcotte of Ovation Communication for some pointers on how the professionals handle public speaking. Forget imagining everyone in his or her underwear and check out our tips for kicking the stage fright.
- Practice, practice, practice. Read your speech or toast out loud with full volume. Don’t rely on winging it–you will say things you don’t intend.
- Speaking of saying things you don’t mean..Limit your drinks beforehand. You can cheers and enjoy your beverage afterwards as a reward.
- Warm up shortly beforehand! Step aside for a quick minute beforehand if possible. Shake out your hands, babble to warm up the muscle in your face and mouth and stretch out your body.
- Smile and breathe! Not because there are a ton of pictures being taken, but because it somehow sends relaxing happy thoughts through your body. Long, slow breaths will feed your body the oxygen it needs to feel like you’re back in the yoga studio.
- Practice pausing whenever you want to say “um, like, so, you know.” Marcotte calls these “verbal viruses.” It will distract less and allow you to breathe more normally.
- If you aren’t familiar with a microphone, keep it by your mouth. It will be a shock to hear yourself loudly, get over it. The worst is when half the guests can’t hear you.
- Remember whom you’re addressing. The couple is a only part of your audience. Direct your eye-contact to them at the beginning and end, but also address the other guests there to celebrate!
We’ve witnessed some great toasts and some truly horrible (yet memorable) wedding speeches. What other tips can you add to this list?