We at the Groom List know that planning a wedding is a stressful enough affair. We also know that nothing fills a groom with more dread and worry than having to stand up in front of your guests (and your new wife) and deliver a masterful speech full of charm, wit, humour and romance.
Of course, stage one in your delivery of a truly outstanding speech is to make sure you have quality material, so make sure you have a look around the Groom List website to find some great speechwriting hints and tips.
Stage two is to make sure you overcome your nerves and gain control of the situation. It can be difficult to work through the fear and anxiety that can surround public speaking and even though your audience will be made up exclusively of people who love you and want you to do well, it is no doubt a challenging task for most grooms. In order to help you break through the worry barrier here are some helpful tips that should make the whole thing a lot easier.
Don’t drink too much
Having one or two drinks to help steady the nerves is probably just fine, but over-doing the Dutch courage can be a fatal error. You know your own limits when it comes to booze and it’s up to you to make sure you stay well within them.
You may not notice it, but when you have had just one drink too many your speech will become slurred and difficult to comprehend; you will find it tricky standing still and – worst of all – you may forget your words and go off on some rambling incoherent rant. All your guests will be able to tell if you have had too much and it will embarrass you, them and most importantly, your new wife.
It can be tricky to stay sober when everyone around you is ploughing through the table wine you paid for, but try to stay focussed on the job at hand. Later on you will enjoy it even more knowing you have delivered a quality speech.
Make and keep some notes
The Groom List does not advise you read your whole speech verbatim from a script – it will prevent you from projecting your voice or sounding sincere. Instead have a set of cue cards to hand when you get up a start talking as this will dramatically help you remember your words and deliver your speech effectively. The pertinent points and keywords should be written in big letters so that you can see them quickly and easily when you glance down at the cards. Write down the names of everyone you need to thank as well to make sure you don’t forget anyone.
Think positive thoughts
It may sound clichéd but as the speech nears try not to think negatively about it and stop worrying about all the things you fear might go wrong. You may be feeling troubled by the anticipation of forgetting to thank someone or not getting the words out right, but with good preparation and a healthy dose of self-belief you will do just fine. The speeches are an integral part of wedding tradition and should be savoured and enjoyed; if you start being all down about them you will only encourage a self-perpetuating downward spiral of negative thought.
Everyone is on your side
The only reason anyone is there to listen to you speak is because of you and your wife. You are the star of the whole day and absolutely every one of your guests is willing for you to do well – especially if you are visibly nervous. They will laugh at your jokes and they will cry on cue, they will be patient and thoughtful and encourage you through to the end. This will be the easiest audience you will ever play to, relax and make the most of it.