Professional speaker, presenter and humanist celebrant Stewart Struthers reveals the importance of getting your wedding speech right!
As the wedding looms closer, all the elements of the day will begin to fall into place. The ceremony, reception, food, rings, cars and, of course, that all-important dress. So why is it that the speeches are always left until the last minute?
Although weddings have evolved over the years “ 10 years ago you’d never have been able to have a humanist ceremony or even seen a dog or owl deliver the wedding rings! “ guests still expect the speeches to be entertaining and sincere.
Many couples still have the conventional speech line-up before or during the meal with the father of the bride, the groom and the best man taking the mic. Tradition has ebbed away for others, however, with brides, bridesmaids and mums now joining the speech line-up at some weddings.
People delivering speeches tend to fall into three distinct camps. First up: the confident, competent and capable. They are used to public speaking and have done this effectively before. They have rehearsed and have done all they can to prepare.
IMAGE | Tracy Gow Photography
The second group contains the confident but often not competent (even though they think they are!). These folk are still considering what they will say in the minutes leading up to the speeches. They like to wing it, creating an off-the-cuff speech and hoping it’ll all go well.
The last group lack both confidence and competence. They are new to public speaking as they haven’t done anything like this before. They worry, have sleepless nights and have been stressing about it for months. They represent the majority of people “ one recent survey revealed that above the fear of spiders and heights, people were most scared of public speaking!
Whichever group you or the rest of your speech givers fall into, the risks of getting it wrong are high, and the last thing you want is a dodgy speech being captured on someone’s phone and shared on social media. For those giving a speech at a wedding, the reality is you will only get one shot at it “ so it is worth investing in getting it right.
IMAGE | The Gibsons