Thursday, 5 July 2018

Tip #4 - The Speeches

Giving a speech isn't easy. Public speaking has been known to be one of the scariest things to do, even scarier than a fear of death with some people, so having watched a few in our time here are a couple of pointers to help calm the nerves and ensure good delivery of your speech on the big day.

1. Find out in advance if you'll be holding a hand-held microphone. This is important on the day because if you only have one hand free to hold your speech it's better to use A4 typed on one page if possible. If there's no mic or if it's on the table, we'd recommend writing your speech down on numbered cards and dropping each one on the table after you've read it. This not only looks professional, they fit in the sporran better than A4 paper and won't get crumpled.

2. Write your speech at least a few days in advance. Practice it as many times as possible up to the night before, video yourself if you can, to get an idea of what looks and sounds good and what doesn't. Try your best to memorise it. It may seem impossible to memorise the whole speech, but the more you can look up and smile at the audience while speaking, the better. A good night's sleep between memorising and delivering the speech will help it sink in. Brush up again the morning of the big day. Memorising also frees your hands up for gesturing (!) and making your speech more animated, and allowing you to look up, smile and gain eye contact with your audience or the bride and groom.

3. Search online to find out who it's traditionally your duty to thank, but try to steer clear of internet speech jokes as there's a good chance many people will already have heard them. 

4. When writing your speech, a good balance of heartfelt sincerity with striking humour seems to go down well. Not too soppy, not too jokey, but try to aim right down the middle - like bowling. EG "Tom's a great guy, we've known each other all our lives, and I'd do anything for him. I'd take a bullet for him. Not in the head or chest, but maybe in the leg."

5. Delivery. If you don't have a mic you'll have to keep your head up and try to project your voice to the back of the room or they won't hear you. Also if the mic has problems you may need to dispense with it altogether.

6. Keep your speech original and personal - funny stories and anecdotes are great. Try to keep it 15 rated for the sake of the happy couple and the DVD so they can watch it with their family and friends. We can bleep out the occasional F bomb, but there's a limit 

7. Traditionally it's the father of the bride, followed by the groom, and then the best man, but nowadays it's refreshing to hear something from the bridesmaids, mums or family friends.

8. Don't worry if you make a mistake - just pause and start the sentence again. If we are filming with two cameras we can edit it out easily and seamlessly.

9. Slideshows work well, if the venue is amenable, to talk through the bride or groom's early days.

10. The length depends on what you want to say and how important and/or entertaining it is, but remember your guests are probably getting hungry and looking forward to dinner.

That's all that springs to mind - the rest is up to you! 

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