Here’s a piece I wrote for Groom & Guy – Australia and New Zealand’s premier gay wedding destination. So honoured to be a part of this exciting magazine. For more tips check out my other posts or contact for more info on how I can make your speech great too! Full link at the bottom.
Giving a speech can be daunting at the best of times, and many of us have no doubt seen countless blogs and articles discussing the perfect formula for how you can get it right, as well as how you can get it horribly wrong! But what we really want to know is ‘How do I give a great speech?’
Lucky for us, Lynda from Silvertongue Speeches is here to educate us.
“Just for a moment, let’s put weddings aside – what makes a great speech in general? Think JFK, Obama, Winston, Abraham Lincoln even – they lifted nations to action, brought people together, made you want to yell at the radio (if they had a radio) and join the rally. And they all had a few key elements in common – they had purpose, united their audience around a cause and aspired to, or spoke of greatness. You know what else? They got to the point.
“Whether you’re speaking at a wedding, a funeral, or calling your nation to arms, these elements are universal to great speeches. So to translate this to weddings, you must also speak with purpose, unite your audience and speak of greatness – just with a bit more love, not war. Let me explain.
Speak with purpose
“Ask yourself a few questions first –
- why are we here today,
- what do we want to achieve,
- what is your purpose as Best Man/maid of honour/father of the bride etc?
“Answer these questions and I guarantee you’ll form the base of your speech, you’ll gather a few stories in your head and you’ll be thinking about the couple and marriage. Then use this to tell your audience who you are, what you’re going to do, why we’re here. Keep it brief, let them in on your goals – you’re their leader for the next five minutes but we’re all taking the journey.
Unite your audience
“What is the one thing everyone in the room has in common? The newlyweds. Yes, tell stories about them, but you need to do it in a way that unites the rest of the room. Too many in-jokes and you lose your message and audience. Take it too far and it’s not fun. You must find the stories that bring everyone in on the same joke – invite them in, be descriptive, share the energy that was there that day so you all feel part of it.
Aspire to greatness
“With your room united you need to take them somewhere special. Fundamentally, you are all here, we are all here, to find someone. Love is what everyone needs and wants and for these two lucky bastards, they’ve found it. You’re here to celebrate love and their future together. Make young lovers feel hopeful, make old married couples kiss their partner’s hand because they know they are lucky too. Yes, you can get a bit mushy here – keep it short, keep it simple and always from the heart. It’s why we’re all here, share the love.
“Once you’re done with the mush, offer congratulations, and end on a high. Do this by very cleverly circling back – close with a joke, a linking line or a reference back to your earlier announced purpose or a story from earlier on in your speech. This concludes the journey and leaves the room upbeat and a smile on everyone’s faces.
Add some great presentation skills, a dash of confidence (fake it ‘til you make it) and rehearse the hell out of it and you just might pull of a great wedding speech.”
Well, we think Lynda makes this sound easy as pie (right?!) but if you still simply can’t get the juices flowing, Lynda can help you out. And if speaking in front of a big crowd isn’t one of your favourite things to do either, she can coach you on delivering your speech without getting stage fright! Your wedding, or a wedding you are lucky enough to make a speech at, is a once in a lifetime opportunity to WOW, so get in touch with Lynda to ensure you get it right.
Full link here.