Speeches 101

Whilst its s readily acknowledged that at a wedding key members of the family and bridal party are going give a speech, the task can be somewhat daunting.  Sure there are those of us (certainly not me) that love the microphone, but given the opportunity most of us would avoid a speech if we could.

We have seen enough speeches to be able to share a few things that you can do to help make your speech more memorable.  Here is our hit list in no particular order.

Use a Lectern

What’s a lectern?  You know…that thing you stand behind that you can rest your written speech on and then hold the sides for grim-death so that people cannot see you shaking like crazy.  Oh…a lectern.  Okay, so maybe this one is not easily pulled out of a hat, however, at Hitched Productions we discuss this with all our couples pre-wedding and suggest that they use a lectern for speeches if and where available.  The lectern is also for our benefit as it helps to lock the person speaking in one spot and prevents them ‘wandering’ in and out of focus (basically…speeches are fairly dark and we shoot very shallow and if you wander, you will be in and out of focus).

Plan your speech

Plan your speeches does not mean search Google for a speech.  We have heard them all before.  The one about the groom having the upper hand (OMG…done to death) and the one about the speech taking as long as the groom making love (yep…like 100 times).  Plan your speech means saying something heartfelt that is from you…yes you, the person who has been asked to give a speech on behalf of the bride and groom.  That said, Chris used Google to assist him and when combined with his quick wit and humour worked really well (see below).

Rehearse your speech

Not all of us were born for public speaking.  Write it out, get a trusted someone to review your speech if you are unsure as sometimes the things you think are funny…might not be all that funny.  Use your written speech as a reference and if needed, do not be scared to read it.

Give a toast

All speeches should end with a toast.  Some speeches are beautiful whilst others are cringeworthy (if I am going to be honest).  Regardless…end it on a toast.  The bride will be more forgiving and your videographer will breathe a sign of relief as they now have 6 seconds of useable audio from your speech (#beentheredonethat)

Take your drink up with you

This should have been the number one tip but I cannot be bothered reformatting the post (I had a ‘no order’ disclaimer at the start).  You can’t toast without a drink.

Don’t go on and on and on about irreverent stories and then go on and on…

Maybe I am waffling with the post.  Oh well…that’s okay as it is not a speech BUT a list off tips for speeches.  We had a speech last year that was so long that the speaker felt it necessary to summarise his speech as it was so bloody long.  Speeches do not need to start with when the groom was conceived.  Typically a wedding will have 4-5 speeches and the allotted time is generally about 20-30 minutes.  In most cases, the kitchen will be planning meals around your speeches.  If you go too long…the food is coming out, trust me, I have seen enough weddings to know that the chef will not spoil 100 dinners for your fathers so-so speech.

Get a cheap laugh

Bit nervous…not sure if everyone will like your speech?  Well, my advice is to get a couple of quick runs on the board in the form of cheap laughs.  There is less pressure on you to speak when people are all smiling at you as opposed to staring blankly.