You’ve been asked to be the best man or maid/matron of honor and you couldn’t be more pleased. Then you remember, “Oh my goodness! I have to make a speech!” Public speaking is a big fear for a majority of the population. Well, never fear, young Paul Robert is here to give you a simple how to. My tips won’t just get you through it. You may feel like a stand up comic if you just devote some time and implement these tips in your big speech.
1. Burn the Groom, Flatter the Bride. If you are going for comedy, that is. Classic crowd pleaser. It goes like this. “I’ve known groom since I was a little boy. When I met bride, I wasn’t sure about her at first. As I got to know her, I began to realize that she is the kindest, smartest, hardest working person that I’ve ever met. I mean, she (insert admirable action here)’s in her spare time. She’s pretty, she held a ridiculous GPA. I mean, what are you doing with this guy?” A smooth segue to “But seriously folks…”
2. Be Sincere. I truly feel like I could have just written that for the entire content of this blog. It is the most important element. If you are sincere, and don’t take too long, it’s very hard to go wrong.
3. Save the stories about past escapades for the hunting trip. No matter how impressed you are by all of the good looking women the groom has gotten to know, much of the rest of the crowd won’t be.
3. Keep your face and the microphone still. Your Colorado wedding DJ had better have a great voice, perfect pronunciation and great announcements. For the best man and maid/matron of honor, we just want to hear what you have to say. Hold the microphone chin high, one palm’s length from your mouth. Keep it there.
Speeches, just like stories, should have three parts. Beginning, middle and end.
1. Beginning: “Hello, my name is ______. I know the bride or groom through _________. I’m so happy to be here.”
2. Middle: Pick a theme and stick with it. Stories have one plot. So should your speech. Think of a specific experience with your friend that demonstrates a wonderful quality about him/her. Example, “When _____ and I worked together, she was the rock I needed to lean on to get through the day, so you are so lucky to be married to such a rock.”
3. End: “So, a toast, to ____ and ______.” Don’t be afraid to use something that’s already been written. Quoting someone is not plagiarism. It’s flattery, and a great comment about the situation may have already been said.
How long should my speech be? Not long. If you go more than three minutes, they’d better be rolling in the aisles. Less is more.
You needn’t rush yourself. If you go in with a plan, you won’t have to worry about going too long. Much can be said and conveyed in 3 minutes.
With all that said, I wouldn’t be opposed to going in without any content planned and just speak from your heart. Some of life’s best moments come from just being in the moment. Keep a little bit of structure in mind, speak kind words from your heart and enjoy it!