Need Help Writing A Speech for a Friends Wedding?

2/28/2008 10:13:00 PM

HOW DO I STOP MY KNEES FROM SHAKING?
I won't tell you that you won't get nervous, because the plain fact is,
you probably will. But you should know this: most people do. In fact,
if
there's no adrenalin, it probably won't be much of a speech. The
important thing is to keep it in perspective. Just use these tips, and
you'll find that there's nothing to worry about.

For starters, remember that you're not taking an exam, you're talking
to
your friends. Your friends and family are the warmest audience you'll
ever have. They've come to your wedding, and they're on your side.
Think
of it as a bigger dinner party than usual - and it's your turn to tell
a
story. Just relax and remember how comfortable you would be back at the
dinner party - then go ahead and tell your story.

Here's another tip. It's the waiting that's more likely to make you
nervous. Once you're on your feet, and you've started talking, as long
as you know what you're going to say, it's suddenly a whole lot more
fun. So remind yourself of that as you're sitting and waiting, and make
it easier by repeating your first line to yourself. That way when you
get to your feet, and the room goes silent, you won't suddenly freeze.
Instead, you'll just say that line you've been repeating to yourself
over and over. And with that out of the way, you'll find the rest just
follows.


WHAT ARE ALL THE RULES I NEED TO KNOW?
The usual routine is this:

*A welcome by the master of ceremonies, *who introduces a friend of the
family or close friend of the couple, who makes a speech leading up to
a
toast to the bride and groom, *followed by a speech in reply by the
groom, or bride, or both, who thank everyone who has helped organise
the
wedding, usually ending with a toast to the bridesmaids, *who have
toasts made on their behalf by the best man who then makes a toast to
the hosts - who might or might not be the bride's mother or father or
both, *who reply.

But you don't have to do any of that. It's all a question of saying the
things that matter to you, and having the people who matter to you
involved. Choose the people who you would like to say something, decide
who should be recognised and thanked, and then work out an order that
suits you best.

It's always a good idea to have a master of ceremonies, because they
can
keep it all in order, and you really should have someone to introduce
all the speakers. But apart from that, choose what seems right for you.

One of the ways you can make it particularly interesting is to make
some
unconventional toasts. For example, each speaker could choose a year
that they think is particularly appropriate to toast. (For example
"1976, because that was the year that..."). By taking this approach,
you
give people the chance to think about things in an original way, and
have more of a chance of steering away from making speeches that recite
all the usual platitudes.


HOW SHOULD I PREPARE?
Write a speech to practice as soon as you can. That'll give you more
time to hear how it sounds, and adjust it so it sounds like your usual
style of speaking rather than your usual style of writing. And, more
importantly, it'll make you so familiar with the speech that by the
time
you stand up, you'll know just what you want to say.

Once you have it written, practice whenever you can - in the car, in
the
shower. The more you prepare, the more confident you'll be.


WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR SPEECHES?
You can have the speeches at any stage you like, but generally, they
tend do be most successful before you eat, and after people have had
some time to mix and drink.


WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Be yourself, and speak your mind. This is a chance to say some things
that mean a lot to you about people you care about, in front of all
your
friends and family. That's not a chance people get very often, so make
the most of it.

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