Ever seen a brilliant speech crucified because of poor delivery? If your delivery isn’t up to scratch, the content will fall on deaf ears. It won’t be the speech your audience remember, but the way it was given.
Here are a few tips to ensure that your delivery is remembered for all the right reasons:
Be well prepared. However well written the speech, you don’t want to be ‘reading’ it. Know it well enough that you only need to glance at your notes to remember what comes next. This also allows you to make eye contact with your audience, giving you reassurance and confidence.
Talk slowly. I suggest 8-10 minutes for an average wedding speech. However, if on the day it takes you 12 minutes instead of nine, don’t worry at all. It’s worth writing your script with pauses written in for effect.
As obvious as it sounds speak clearly and loudly. If the people at the back (or the front!) can’t hear you, you’re already facing a losing battle.
Anticipate interruptions. If it’s applause ensure you pause at these points rather than speaking through it. If it’s a heckle you can pre-prepare a couple of responses such as “remind me to spike your drink next time”.
Emphasise key words. Imagine you’re telling a story without a script. You’ll say some words louder than most. And change your inflection on others.
Don’t let your nerves take over. If you’re worried about having shaky hands paste your speech onto card, or rest it somewhere you can see it. Holding a shaky piece of paper will put you off before you get going.
Work on your posture: Good posture can make you look and feel more confident. It opens up the organs, which in turn oxygenates the brain enabling you to think more quickly on your feet.
Gesticulate at appropriate moments in your speech. Body language is vital. Use your arms to emphasise a point and if you’re addressing someone, look at them.
Don’t be misguided into thinking that getting drunk will help you deliver a great speech. It may feel like the easy way to get through it, but it won’t reflect well on you or your content.
I hope these tips help your delivery live up to the speech itself.
If you want bespoke, one-to-one sessions to help improve your delivery on a specific speech, or indeed want the speech written by me or my team please call any time.