Speeches Toasts New Ideas and Preparation – Plan my Wedding
Usually three speeches are given – by the giver-away of the bride, the bridegroom and the best man – and these include the toasts. Although there is no need for the bride to make a speech, she may wish to say a few words. In which case, she would probably speak after the groom. The speeches are traditionally announced by the toastmaster, Master of Ceremonies or the best man.
The first speech is given by the giver-away (usually the bride’s father). It is about the bride and is best kept brief and fairly serious.
Traditionally, it contains words of affection and praise for his daughter and perhaps one or two stories about her childhood and adolescence. In welcoming his new son-in-law into the family, he expresses his (and his wife’s) happiness in getting to know him and his family. He declares his confidence in the couple’s future happiness and wishes them a long and successful marriage. In
conclusion he proposes a toast to the bride and groom.
The groom responds on behalf of the bride and himself. The tone of this speech is straightforward and sincere. He begins by thanking the bride’s father for proposing the toast.
He pays tribute to his wife’s parents for the way in which they have brought up their daughter and expresses his happiness at having such a lovely wife. At this point he may also wish to thank his parents for their love and support.
He may talk about how they met and his intentions to ensure their future happiness together. He should thank the bride’s parents, or whoever is hosting the occasion, for a wonderful day and for their generosity.
It is important to say what a pleasure it is to see so many family and friends gathered together, and to thank them for their good wishes and generous gifts. He closes by thanking his best man, the bridesmaids, the pageboys and anyone else who has contributed towards the success of the day and proposes a toast to the bridesmaids and pageboys.
The best man gives the final speech. If he is a confident Speaker, he can make his speech witty and amusing. However, he must be careful it does not become embarrassing or in bad taste. He begins by thanking the groom for the toast to the bridesmaids and then offers his congratulations to the bride and groom, wishing them every happiness for the future. At this stage he may tell an amusing story or two about the groom’s schooldays or adolescent years, particularly if there is any shared history between them. He could also relate how the couple first met. He may propose a toast to any absent friends and then read out any greetings cards, emails and telemessages. Final ly, he announces the cutting of the cake.
There is no substitute for careful planning and preparation. Decide on the length of the speech and then break it up into small sections, by noting all the points to be covered and allocating the time accordingly. By prioritizing and ordering the points logically, a framework will easily be developed. Consider the use of props to add variety and humour.
The best method to Practice and deliver a speech is by writing the key points on cue cards. A separate word should be written boldly and highlighted on a plain card, perhaps with a few memory-joggers. Each of the cards should be numbered.
To ensure success three main areas should be considered – words, voice and body language.
Choose the right words to convey the message and consider including some quotations that can be used as an introduction, perhaps to an amusing story.
The voice can be used to add meaning and emphasis. Speaking in a leisurely manner and varying tone and volume will avoid it sounding monotonous. Pauses can be a powerful way of getting attention and adding emphasis, as well as giving time to take a breath and collect one’s thoughts. If you are nervous, try and think of your breathing so you do not mumble and so that everyone in the room can hear you. Speak in a natural accent and not too quickly.
Keep your gestures natural and restrained, avoiding the tendency to fiddle with props or cue cards. Use eye contact and stand with feet slightly apart, turning your body from time to time to face all the audience.
• Plan the content and prepare cue cards.
• Time your speech and be brief – five minutes is ample.
• Rehearse in front of a mirror, video or a close but critical friend.
• Do not swear, blaspheme or tell lies.
• Do not tell embarrassing stories, repeat crude jokes or say anything of a sensitive nature that may cause offence.
• Enjoy giving your speech, keep to time and to your planned script. Speaking in front of a live audience will transform a careful by prepared speech into a great one and everyone will appreciate your efforts.