Now this might be a little extreme but I have heard from many different sources that speaking in public is feared more then death itself. Doing my own quick Google search revealed speaking in public to be number one on most comprehensive lists of human fears. Personally, I believe speaking in front of a large group of loved ones may be even more intimidating then a random group of people. There is extra focus directed at you on your wedding day. If you bomb a speech in front of a random group you will never have to see them again, your family can bring up embarrassing moments for years! The following are five rules I followed when making my own grooms speech.
Make Everyone Laugh
Weddings can have serious heartfelt moments and even tears. However, when addressing your guests you want to make them laugh and entertain them. Tell an embarrassing but tasteful story about your bride or best man. If you are passing the microphone to your best man to speak after you tell the crowd how he has a wild imagination and things he says can't be trusted. Telling jokes (even corny ones) and funny stories will keep the crowd interested and amused. While I do suggest being funny and incorporating jokes don’t let it take over your speech.
After making your guests laugh make it clear why everyone is gathered together. Tell your bride how much you love her and how beautiful she is (she has spent a lot of time and money on her dress, hair and makeup for you). Tell your bridal party how much they mean to you. These people are the foundation to your future and have been there for you in the past. Everyone appreciates some kind words.
Don’t Talk too Much
Try to keep the speech to three to five minutes. I know this seems short but it is the perfect amount of time for some laughs, some serious moments and to leave a strong lasting impression. As much as the party revolves around you and your bride, at this point in the night the guests will be anxious to get out their seats and dance.
Thank your guests but do not be too wordy or take much time here. Remember after the wedding you will be writing thank you's to every individual who attended.
While some can go on stage and “wing” a charming and funny speech, most of us do not possess this talent. Read your speech to the best man or a trusted member of your wedding party for some honest constructive criticism. Even read your speech to your pet or nobody at all. This repetition will help you speak more fluently and give you confidence before standing up in front of the crowd.
In the end if you follow these simple five steps you can’t go wrong. Everyone is present for you and will appreciate what you have to share with them. The pressure will soon be off and the party will begin.