It is summer. Wedding bells are ringing and men of all shapes and sizes are desperately surfing the internet hoping to find an instant cure for the wedding speech they have been dreading since the date was set.
Beating the nerves is all about preparation in two areas: Writing the speech and giving it.
It’s worth contacting friends and family who have known the bride and groom at different stages of their lives to gather unusual anecdotes and insights.
What will your audience want to hear? There is nothing worse for Grandma than a best man’s speech focusing exclusively on the Stag’s drinking exploits in Amsterdam dressed as Spiderman. Try to include something for everyone.
Try to map out a framework for the speech that combines a sensible balance between sincerity and humour. An over-sentimental speech can be dull. But a stand-up comedy routine can miss the point entirely.
There is no ‘perfect’ shape or style for a speech. You may want to take a thematic or chronological approach. But the key is brevity. Avoid rambling paragraphs in favour of short, punchy, deliverable sentences.
This punchy style means you’ll be able to give the speech much more confidently. Practise it out loud over and over again, reading very slowly and emphasising key words.
Get to know your speech so well that you only need to glance at your notes to remember what comes next. The slow pace will make this easy and allow you to make eye contact with your audience.
Find out where you’ll be standing, whether there will be a microphone, and if there will be somewhere to rest your notes. This will avoid nasty surprises that might keep you awake the night before.
If you are still worried, please call me. I’d love to help you write something truly original, memorable and easy to deliver.