Our friends at Kleenex set us a challenge: Is it possible to calculate how to write the perfect wedding speech?
As you can probably guess if you have visited any other page on our site, our first instinct was ‘no’. Great wedding speeches have to be personal, relevant, original and magical. There’s no template. You can’t just fill-in the gaps as you would colour the spaces when painting by numbers.
But then we thought again. Actually, there are certain numbers that mean everything when writing a speech. So we started to tot-up some averages:
- With three months notice, we have time to help a speaker focus on exactly what they want to say, write it, edit it and still leave ample time for them rehearse and make it their own. Yes, we can turn the content round in 24 hours, but a few more weeks can make all the difference when it comes to delivery.
- We never recommend speaking for much less than five minutes, but more than ten can be too much. We looked at a bunch of recent speeches that had been received brilliantly. And they averaged out at eight and a half minutes.
- We suggest that you speak at approximately 120 words per minute. Or slower if you have the confidence. Which makes a great wedding speech 960 words long! Not that much when you list everything you want to say, and everyone you need to thank.
- So many of our clients call us and ask what we think about their drafts. And the first thing we notice are the cut-and-paste jokes from the internet. The ideal number of those? That’s a big fat zero!
- Pausing matters. But don’t overdo it. Three seconds of silence will feel like an eternity when you are speaking. You’ll never need to pause for longer than that – even if you’ve just toasted ‘Absent Friends’.
None of this will help you sound brilliant or original. However, it will ensure that you write with certain boundaries in mind. There are many more stats and facts below. If you’d like our help writing between the numbers, please feel to contact us any time!
Please note – we want your audience to shed a tear or two, but not you. Here’s an article that explains how to keep the emotions in check when delivering your speech.