How to make the crowd laugh, cry and reflect in 10 easy steps
Have you felt the honour of being asked to give a toast at a wedding, only to realise you have never made a toast in your life and have no idea what to say? Don’t worry we have been there too.
Whether you are in your best friend’s bridal party, the Mother of the Groom, planning your own wedding, or a guest at your cousin’s wedding, these few handy pointers are here to help you put together the speech of your life!
1.Assess the room:
Think about your opening address and who you will be saying it to. Draw them in with a knee slapping one liner or instead ask them a question to gauge their attention. The trick; be sure your opening address fits the theme of the wedding, and your audience will relate to the tone of voice you are portraying. This will help you speak with intention and hook the audience in, to avoid the sound of crickets during your time in the spotlight.
2. Introduce yourself:
If you are making a speech at a wedding, chances are the majority of the guests will know who you are, though, this is not to say everyone will! Be sure to introduce yourself and make comment on how you know the couple, this will help to add purpose to your speech as a whole.
3. Congratulate the couple:
Be sure to address and congratulate BOTH parties you are there to celebrate! Even if you have only met your best mate’s spouse a handful of times.
If you can’t think of a memory or story you experienced with them, think about things your friend has told you about them which makes them the perfect partner-to-be for your mate.
4. Read the room:
As the saying goes, this is a toast, not a roast…
Remember who is in the room, and choose your ‘funny’ stories wisely. In other words, leave the crude and embarrassing stories at home. Your besties’ new in-laws do not want to hear about what went on during your footy trip to Bali. Instead, make reference rather than recounting, you will thank us later.
This also goes for personal jokes, although they are great and hold meaning, they aren’t something the whole guest list will understand. So best to keep these to a minimum otherwise those crickets may appear.
5. Remember your focus:
The couple! Or if you are the couple, show your appreciation to your new life partner and all of your loved ones who came to celebrate with you.
6. Congratulate and thank:
An important one – hence the second mention.
Congratulate & thank the couple, the family, the bridal party and those who made the day possible.
7. Eject personality & bring the energy:
If you are shy and hate public speaking, we apologise in advance, but we highly recommend you smile, laugh, change the tone of your voice and praise the couple you are there to celebrate! This is what makes your speech heartfelt and sincere, we want to steer clear from monotone as much as possible.
If you are good at singing or if you are a poet, write something for the couple and perform it as your speech. Or, maybe dance is more your style? But remember, only go for something out of the box if it is relevant to the couple themselves.
And lastly, some liquid confidence will never go astray – though don’t go overboard.
8. Less is more:
Get in, say what you need, and get out, no one likes a rambler, especially when the D-Floor is calling their name. The most ideal time for a speech is 3-5 minutes, so keep it short and sweet in order to keep your guests engaged.
9. Write it out and say it aloud:
This one may seem like common sense, but there is nothing worse than forgetting to say something you wanted to tell the couple because stage fright got the better of you. It’s also a good idea to write out your speech as dot points on paper, in case you run the risk of your phone battery dying during the day. Plus, reading off of a phone is not the best look.
And remember, practice makes perfect, so practise reading it aloud prior too.
10: Don’t forget to toast:
Wrap up your speech by raising a glass to the couple, to love or to something relevant. Pause for a moment, take a sip, and relax knowing you have delivered a speech you are proud of.
So, to sum up:
🎤 Practise makes perfect – we recommend against ‘winging it’.
🎤 Stay off the booze prior to speaking to reduce the risk of any potential embarrassment (a little is okay but know your limits).
🎤 Use note cards if you need to keep on track – this looks better than reading off of your phone and reduces the risk of your speech going missing because your phone died.
🎤 Remember your body language & eye contact.
🎤 And last but not least, don’t forget to toast 🥂