Tips That Will Assist You With Public Speaking at a Wedding

Some people cringe at the thought of public speaking. The thought of standing in front of a bunch of people and making a presentation is scary for a lot of people. If you happen to be a best man at a wedding, or even the maid of honor, or the father of the bride, chances are you will be asked to pick up the microphone and give a toast in front of the entire audience. Many people overcome this fear by drinking – which is a huge mistake! Do you really want your words of love coming from someone that’s maybe had a few too many? Of course not. This is why it is very important to practice public speaking. In this article, we’ll give you some basic tips to improve your delivery and give a great toast.

Make sure you wear a supportive pair of shoes when picking out your tuxedo. For the ladies, this might be a lot harder, since the shoes will always have to match the dress and don’t have the luxury of having a choice between style and comfort like the guys do. You want your posture to be tall and confident, with open and relaxed shoulders so you portray confidence. If you get tense feet, knee or low back pain, it will affect your speech greatly. Make sure your posture is good and that you do not lock your knees.

The way you look can determine how well you do at public speaking. If you are not well-groomed or dressed at your best, you are not going to feel very confident with yourself. This lack of confidence may cause you more fear and could mess up your whole speech. So, be sure to look your best! If you need to, run to the bathroom to make sure your hair is in place or your makeup is touched up so you know you are looking your best. In terms of the length of the speech, try not to have it go longer than five minutes. This is the average attention span of most individuals, so speaking for longer than this is going to risk boring them. If you have to speak for longer than this, find some way to change gears in the middle to liven things up.

Practice your speech frequently once you have it memorized. Work on issues where you lose your flow. Learn to breath with ease and pace your delivery. Make sure that your speech time allows some open space for interruptions, which are hopefully rounds of applause. When you can, practice using your speech equipment. Just do not practice so much that the whole thing sounds fake and rehearsed. The best speech givers understand that importance of sounding like they are winging it, which ironically comes with a ton of practice. Always be yourself when you are giving a speech and you will have better luck with the audience. Sincerity is a quality that many people respect and admire. If it is clear to the audience that you are not putting on a show when you are speaking to them, they will receive your message better.

Avoid fidgeting when speaking in front of an audience. Playing with your hair, chewing on your nails and other similar behaviors serve to distract the audience from listening to what you have to say. Instead of remembering your message, they may remember that you continually smoothed your hair. If you find it difficult to stop fidgeting, clasp your hands together in front of you or behind you, or place them on the lectern. If you will be speaking for longer than five minutes, be sure to have a glass of water handy since your mouth could go dry.

Public speaking may seem difficult at first, but the more you practice or at least go in prepared, the easier it will become. You just need the right tools and some self-confidence. Remember, all people want to hear is your heartfelt words for the new couple. If you share those openly and eloquently, you can make those words last a lifetime.

Toasting Tips for the Best Man

Perhaps the biggest duty of the Best Man during the reception is giving the all important toast to the new wedded couple. For some, this is the single biggest point of fear in taking on the job because it calls for the Best Man to come up with a great speech and give it in front of a large audience. As the old adage goes, people tend to fear public speaking as much as death, making this task daunting to say the least. However, here are a few great tips for making the toast memorable and successful.

Tip: Talk Briefly About the Past

The special part of a wedding stems from the fact that it is a singular point of origin in time that you and others will refer to for the rest of your lives. It’s the undeniable, most memorable start of a new era, perhaps with the only exception of when that couple becomes parents for the first time. Nevertheless, the wedding day is the start, not the end. There’s no need to expand on the past, or any  trials and tribulations people have gone through to get to that point. The important emotion that everyone is feeling is the fact that they are at something singularly unique, something previous and something fleeting. Going back and talking about ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends is passe and frankly in bad taste.

Tip: Talk a Lot About the Future

While you don’t want to go on predicting a million kids or huge fame and fortune, the tone of the wedding is hope, love and togetherness. These three elements should be the basis for all the prognosticating you do during the speech for the happy couple’s future. Fill them with hope, fill them with love, fill them with the knowledge that they will not be along on their journey – that everyone on-hand will be there with them along the way. Talking about the future, as opposed to the past, lends the tone of the speech to a romanticism that many in the audience will latch onto and enjoy.

Tip: Don’t Wing It

There’s a common trick in show business that dupes the audience into thinking that an act was all made up on the spot and improvised when in fact it was a thoughtful and explicit attempt at interacting with the audience. The greatest showmen always make it look easy, as if they made it up on the spot. Those that know better understand that many hours of practice, thought and planning win the day. You must take this approach to your speech as “winging it” will simply not be good enough. You are the best man, not the best improvisational orator, so act accordingly and prepare. Practice your speech, think about the thoughts and emotions you want people to feel and don’t be afraid to get back some feedback from other groomsmen. Give the happy couple the respect of a thoughtful speech, not something you put together seconds before being handed the microphone.

Tip: Watch the Drinking

People say stupid things when they drink, a practically indisputable fact of science and life. The last thing a Best Man should have happen during his toast is to let something slip that nobody else should hear. Be it a curse word or some story a certain someone wanted dead and buried long ago there’s always something that could possibly slip. You’re supposed to be the guy looking out for the guy getting married so he doesn’t have to worry about anything else. Man up, be responsible and represent yourself like a true gentleman when giving the toast at the reception.

How to Pick Your Best Man

One aspect of a wedding that is often not up to consultation between a bride and groom is the selection of the Maid of Honor and the Best Man. However, this is a very important decision as these two individuals take on pivotal roles during the ceremony and the reception. Not only will these two take on important roles in the wedding, they’ll also both be in a ton of your wedding photos and be featured in your wedding video, so choose wisely. While we wholeheartedly recommend that brides and grooms consult each other about their selections, we have some tips for the guys to make sure you make the right selection.

Tip 1: A Bro for Life

Certainly you shouldn’t select as your best man a guy you just met at a poker game, nor someone you tend to hang out a lot with at work. The obvious point here is that the best man should be someone you’re very confident will be someone you’ll be close to for the rest of your life. That doesn’t mean you have to select one of the boys from back in the day, it means you pick someone you know will be around for the long haul.

Tip 2: Honor Sacred, Virtue Safe

Picking a charismatic best man is definitely a wide decision as this person will be making toasts and talking with the majority of the wedding’s guests. Remember though that this is a double-edged sword! If your best man is a drunk who curses wildly and gets out of control, he has the potential to ruin your wedding and seriously ruin your big day. However, if you remember that you need to pick someone that is a true gentleman, you can rest assured that he’ll represent you well and even look out for you as the night goes on.

Tip 3: Easy Going

Anyone that has been a part of a wedding or been married before knows that nothing ever goes perfect the day of the wedding. There’s always something that goes wrong and a good bride and groom roll with them and enjoy their day knowing that the important thing is that they are getting married and they are surrounded by loved ones. If the best man isn’t on board with that attitude and is prone to panic attacks or mental instability, this could cause a lot of stress for the wedding party, something nobody should deal with.

Tip 4: Will Be There

As silly as it sounds, be sure to pick a best man that will be able to definitively make the commitment to make all the events. Sure, your best friend might make for a best man, but if he’s an international businessman who constantly has to travel on a moment’s notice, explain to him the reason he can’t be the best man. As a compromise, make him part of the groomsmen party, but rely on someone you know can be there.

Top Five Best Man Duties

Last week, we had a post on the Top Five Maid of Honor Duties. This weekend, which is all about the groom and the groomsmen, we are going to check out what the best man duties are. When it comes to these duties, some are similar but some are also very different when compared to the duties of the maid of honor.  The groom chooses his best man based on certain qualities which he sees fit. He is going to marry the love of his life and wants the right person to stand next to him when this happens.

Here are the top five best man duties:

  • Party Planner: Plan and coordinate the Bachelor party. You can plan this with some of the groomsmen and make it an unforgettable night! However, listen to what the groom wants for his party, and do not plan what YOU may like. Not all groom’s wants a Vegas, Hang-over weekend.
  • Travel Agent: Confirm honeymoon travel reservations, and make sure the tickets are in a place where the groom can find them. You also want to verify the arrival and depature time of the transportation to and from the venue. Have transportation ready for when the bride and groom depart the venue and head to their hotel or honeymoon.
  • Social Guy: Greet guests when they arrive at the wedding. Dance with the guests, including the bride, the bridesmaids, maid of honor, and mother of the bride and groom. You will probably be asked to give a toast to the newlyweds, so make sure to write and practice it prior to the wedding day.
  • Be Responsible: Attend the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, formalwear fittings, and all events related to the wedding. On the day of the wedding be responsible for your own formalwear.  Give out payments on the day of the wedding to the vendors or the officiant. A very important responsibility is holding the bride’s ring until the exchange of the rings.
  • Personal Assistant: Assist the groom with phone calls, errands, helping him with whatever is needed. Make sure the boutonniere’s arrive and the groom and the groomsmen have their on and ready for photos.