Planning 101 1st April 2015

Memorise Your Speech

You’ve been asked to speak at the wedding reception of someone whom you deeply care about. Depending on your personal comfort level, that request can evoke any number of emotions. Once you have settled on the reality that you will have to stand in front of a room full of people, on what will undoubtedly be the most special occasion for the bride and groom, the next thing to do is to prepare. When beginning to compose a speech, most people are faced with the conflict of whether they should read their prepared speech, jot down notes on a card to refer to when or if they need, or to memorise their speech.

Should you memorise your wedding speech? What if you are the one getting married; should you have something prepared or just say whatever you feel in the moment?

There is no standard answer, if you have been asked to speak at someone’s wedding, you would do well to ask his or her preference. If the couple leaves the decision up to you, determine how comfortable you are speaking in front of others. If you are a natural talker or you don’t mind public speaking, memorise your speech; people will connect with how personable you are as well as with your words. If the thought of all eyes being on you frightens you or you fear forgetting everything you want to say, write down some notes.

Maintain Focus

Regardless of what you choose, your speech and the focus should remain on the bride or groom. The last thing you want is to steal the spotlight because you’ve broken out in sweat as you stand at the microphone trying to remember your speech. The same goes for you if the wedding you’re speaking at is your own. If you worry that the excitement or emotion of the day may cause you to forget your speech or fail to thank people whom you want to recognize, write down some notes.

More importantly than worrying over whether you read from paper or speak without, it is to give a speech that is heartfelt and thought out. Don’t leave your speech until the last minute assuming that you will just make something up on the fly. Wedding guests will stop eating, drinking, and listening to music so they can give the speaker their full attention. With a captive audience and a room full of happiness, deliver a speech that has been well thought out. Memorise as much of your speech as you can, even if you keep your notes in hand for comfort. As you speak, make eye contact with guests and turn and face the newlyweds often. This will most likely be the only time you will have to stand before them and the people they love and express how much they mean to you and what your wishes for them and their future are.

Write a well thought out speech and memorise it. Take note cards with you just in case, and keep the focus on the couple.