The traditional order for wedding speeches is as follows, but remember that the venue may have a differing order of formalities or you may want to do it your way.
- Welcome by your Black Tie MC, Close family friend or your Black Tie Disc Jockey.
- Toast to the Bride and Groom, Brides Father or close family friend or relative.
- Response and toast to the Bridesmaids by the Groom.
- Response on behalf of the Bridesmaids by the Best Man.
- Toast to the Parents of the Bride, by Family Friend
- Response by Brides Father.
- Toast to the Parents of the Groom, Family by Friend.
- Response by Grooms Father.
- Reading of Black Tie Events Lettergrams.
- Any other speeches
For people who are uncomfortable with public speaking (and isn’t that all of us) there are no hard and fast rules for speech making. The main thing to remember is to be as natural as possible and remain true to your own style and manner of speaking, using words and phrases that come naturally to you.
- Use The Microphone Correctly – Keep the microphone a couple of inches from your mouth and speak into the microphone, if you move your head move the microphone with it, great speeches are not remembered if they are not heard.
- Be Confident – after all everyone wants to hear what you have to say. Your audience accepts that you’re not a professional speaker, and you’re probably trying to keep emotions in check, so never apologize for your inexperience or nerves.
- Be Relaxed – you’re speaking to friends, not being employed as a corporate motivator or one person act.
- Be Well Prepared – a little preparation work beforehand makes the job much more effective and easier on the night.
- Make Point Form Notes – the biggest trap in speech making is reading a prepared speech. Having your speech in note form assists you to be more natural, and is far more convenient and less cumbersome to manage. Speech notes allow you to engage your audience. Good “speeches” are never “read”.
- Speak Clearly and Slowly – because it is important that you can be heard and understood. If you are not using a microphone then raise your voice slightly so that it projects to the back of the room.
- Know Where To Look – seek a familiar face for reassurance before you start if you feel the need. When you commence your speech pick three points around the room as your focal points and look towards them.
- Be Concise and Precise – try to avoid adding to your prepared and original thoughts, and try not to be side tracked by outside influences.
- Ignore Interjections – if you are interrupted, wait until the interruption has stopped and then proceed with what you were saying. People will miss your words if you try to speak over an interjector.
- Involve Your Audience – if you are referring to someone in particular (your parents or partner), don’t be afraid to turn toward them and meet their eyes. This can be quite an emotional experience, so be sure to pause and compose yourself before proceeding with the rest of your speech.
- Use Humour Wisely – and only if it enhances your speech. Jokes and one-liners are rarely appropriate. A Brief humorous anecdote can keep a speech interesting, provided you are using your own brand/style of humour, the humour is relevant and the joke is on you. Always remember: Humour ill-used is an embarrassment to everyone.