If you are a member of the wedding party and have been asked to give a wedding speech or toast, you may be quite nervous and perhaps are even racking your brain for the right words to make your speech as special as the event. When it comes to giving the ideal speech or toast, it is important to avoid a few common fumbles that could make your toast a flop instead of a success. If you can avoid the flubs listed below, you will be sure to be successful in your efforts.
1) Don't Fidget and Sway
Fidgeting and swaying while speaking in public is a commonly made mistake by those who are not used to giving public addresses. This type of movement is very distracting though and can often take the attention away from your words and having guests wonder what in the world is the matter with you. Instead, you should stand with your feet apart and your knees slightly bent to keep from getting light headed. Push your shoulder back, make eye contact and make your wedding speech in a confident manner for the best results.
2) Avoid Filler Words
Filler words such as "uh" or "um" are sayings that are commonly inserted into speeches when individuals are not confident in what they are saying or when a speech has not been properly practiced. These filler words can also get to be annoying when heard often enough in a short period of time and have the potential to ruin even the best written speeches. Having confidence in the words you are saying and practicing beforehand can keep these filler words from entering your toast or speech on the big day.
3) Don't Wing It
Some people think that it is better to simply wing a speech and talk from the heart. While saying what you really feel is a good idea, it is not best to do it on the fly. There is too much room for error when you do not practice a speech or at least write down what you plan to say. Those who try to give their speech without forming it beforehand often stutter and stagger along awkwardly until their duty is done.
4) Don't Read Off of a Paper
Just like swaying, fidgeting and winging a speech, reading one directly off of a piece of paper can be a huge distraction. It can also give the impression that you were not prepared and that you did not care enough to take your time and practice the speech before the wedding day. Having a few note cards for reference may be a good idea, but reading word for word off of a paper is not.
5) Don't Make It a Joke
On their special day, the last thing a bride and groom want is someone revealing embarrassing memories about them or making a joke out of their wedding. If you have been charged with making a wedding speech, you should avoid turning the whole thing into a joke. Telling a funny story or two to lighten the mood and get a laugh is one thing, making the bride and groom the laughing stock of the room is another.
Giving a wedding speech or toast does not come naturally to most people and can be a daunting responsibility to face. When you avoid commonly made mistakes like those listed above however, you can ensure that your speech will be a success.
Feel free to share your own wedding speech do's and don'ts in the comments section.