Pre-wedding jitters are often thought to be exclusive to the bride and groom, but with speeches being a token part of the day, this is not the case. An unfortunate fact of life is: some people are public speakers, others are not.
At a wedding, everyone in the room is a friend or family member of the bride and groom. Messing up in the middle of your gag about the grooms perusal of diamond engagement rings is not an option, and jitters take over. Especially when you have a hundred other duties to think about.
The trick to making a speech at a wedding is to plan it in advance. You are less likely to go wrong that way. Practise over and over until you’ve memorised and are comfortable with what you are going to say.
(photo credit: Phil Hawksworth)
Take note cards with you. The trouble with nerves is they give you minor blips in memory.You could forget your own name if you weren’t careful. Make sure you have cards on hand to prompt yourself. Try not to write the entire speech on the note cards, and opt for key notes that spark your memory.
Drink a glass of wine or water beforehand to calm your nerves. Try not to overdo it though. The bride and groom won’t appreciate a slip of the tongue because you had one too many. Also it could make your speech less clear to the other guests if you slur. Water will quench your dry mouth, but don’t drink to the point you need to rush to the toilet.
One of the best tips we can give is this: don’t rush! Rushing will only impede a good joke, or force you to trip over your words. Additionally try not to use words in your speech that could be construed the wrong way or be turned into something rude by accident. Hearing a best man get tongue tied and accidentally say something inappropriate is amusing but embarrassing for him.
Above all else, enjoy it!