Planning 101 6th February 2014

Be Remembered for the Right Reasons!

Use the Right Humour

When Speaking One of the easiest ways to keep an audience captive is to make them laugh. When giving a speech at a wedding, you don’t want to steal the spotlight from the newly wed by making your speech a stand-up comedy routine. However, it is acceptable and often welcomed by guests to be entertaining and humorous. After all, you yourself are more likely to remember a speech you heard that made you laugh than you are one that was dry and void of humour.

Appropriate Humour

The most important thing to remember when deciding to incorporate humour into your wedding speech is that, what you find hilarious may not evoke the slightest chuckle from someone else. Because humour is subjective, it is best to stick with making people laugh by retelling a funny story or moment rather than cracking tasteless jokes. Share an experience everyone can understand or relate to rather than poking fun at the new couple or telling actual jokes. Keep this rule of thumb in mind; if you deliver a line and insert a pause for a rim shot, avoid it. If, however, you are known for being the jokester among the group, that may be why you were chosen to give a speech in the first place, so keep it clean and light, but speak in the comedic manner that comes naturally for you.

Practice Your Speech

The appropriate humour when speaking at a wedding is a matter of being mindful that you are speaking to a diverse audience. The reception guests, who comprise your audience, will include people of varying ages and relationship to the couple, so keep your stories appropriate. If it naturally fits your personality and whom people know you as, you can go down the road of sarcasm, observational humour, or you play on a known pet peeve of the bride or groom. The ‘right’ humour to use in your wedding speech is humour that doesn’t cause people to feel uncomfortable, but rather that adds to the joy and exciting emotions of the day. The best way to ensure you haven’t crossed any lines and that your speech is humorous without being inappropriate, is to, prior to the wedding day, practice your speech on a friend or two. Have a colleague who doesn’t know the couple read your speech, and also a friend, parent, or your spouse who does know them, hear your speech.

Be Remembered for the Right Reasons!

When speaking at a wedding reception, no one is expecting you to put on a show. The expectation is that you share some words about the day, the relationship, and the new happily married couple. Use humour that naturally fits your character and style of speaking and you can be sure that it will be well received and understood. Reserve stories about the couple that they may not want their parents to know, but instead, share relatable stories. If your style of humour is sarcastic or self-deprecating, work that into your speech in a fun and natural way. The ‘right’ humour in a wedding speech should add to the positive emotions and joy of the day, not leave people wondering why you were ever asked to speak.