Just as you’re summoning up the courage to deliver your perfectly prepared speech, you hear yourself being introduced by the Master of Ceremonies in less than flattering terms. And worse still, the audience giggling away at his joke. Unless you have a truly witty response up your sleeve, the safe and mature way of acknowledging this dig is to thank him for his ‘kind’ introduction and then move on to your pre-prepared speech. An ad lib comeback could be tremendous if it works, but you’re not sure, don’t try!
The speaker before you steals your material
Okay, he or she might not intentionally pilfer your ideas, but you may find they make many of the points you’d included in your speech. If you don’t have the confidence to rethink your speech at the last minute, your best bet is to start by thanking them for ensuring that you won’t need to speak for as long as you’d planned. But remember, the best way to avoid this issue entirely is to chat to the other speakers before the wedding.
The microphone doesn’t work
Don’t panic; this can actually work in your favour. It’s an excuse for you to create a Blitz sprit! If people can’t hear you, ask them to stand up and move closer to the front. Speak even more slowly (and obviously much louder) than if you had a microphone. As with any technical issue of this sort, your audience will feel sorry for you and should be even more supportive of your speech.
There’s a heckler
Whilst it’s unlikely, it’s possible that someone might have a drink too many and decide it’s funny to interrupt your speech. Remember this is their problem, not yours. The rest of your audience will want to hear what you have to say, and most irritated by the interruption. Bearing this in mind, pause, try to smile politely, thank them for their ‘helpful’ feedback (!) and then continue.
Moments after your speech finishes
You’re probably expecting a round of applause, and may be shocked to be met by complete silence. But it’s nothing you’ve done wrong – simply that you’ve just asked the entire audience to stand up and make a toast with a glass in their hand. This makes clapping a bit tricky, so expect them to need a moment or two before they sit down again and cheer you to the rafters!
You simply can’t prepare for every eventuality. If the lights go out, something smashes, or you forget something important, just stay calm. And remember to have a sense of perspective. The guests are here because two people are getting married, not just to hear you speak.
Very best luck on the day. Feel free to contact me for any further advice or help on your speech.