Planning 101 2nd May 2014

Your Wedding Speech - Inserting a Pause!

Making a meaningful pause when delivering your speech

When delivering a speech, believe it or not, sometimes the things you don’t say are more compelling and telling than those you do. When you are delivering a speech, you desire for those listening to receive what you’re saying, so, sometimes it is essential to allow them time to process what you have said. Pausing for effect is the art of inserting a pause to allow time for a reaction, but you can also pause to build anticipation and to allow a moment for your audience to absorb and reflect.

Delivering your speech

When you are delivering your speech at a wedding reception, whether it be the emcee, the DJ, or someone from the wedding party who speaks before you, when you are introduced and passed the microphone, take a breath. Begin your speech with a pause, not for effect or for a moment of reflection, insert a pause for yourself. Do a quick, internal check and make sure you are ready to speak, control your breath, your heart rate, and take a quick look around the room. Not only does this give you a moment to gather your thoughts and allow listeners to tune in, it will remind you to take your time and not rush through your speech. Inserting an opening pause will establish your presence and allow the noise in the room to settle; it also displays that you are confident and in control of the room.

Bringing your speech together

Throughout your speech, when you have worked in clever remarks or lighthearted jokes, deliver them clearly and insert a quick pause for laughter before moving on and starting your next sentence. When you are giving a speech at a wedding, prior to the ending with a toast, as the speaker, you may offer some advice, give a quote or share some meaningful words. At this point in your speech, address the newly wed couple by name, pause, and then begin to speak wholeheartedly. This is the portion of your speech that ties everything together; the well wishes you came to share are expressed here also, so live in the moment and allow everyone to join you.

Watch your audience

Inserting a pause into a speech should be done seamlessly, whether you use the moment to collect your thoughts, glance at a note card, or to take a deep breath, you are in control. Weddings can be very fun and comical times and they can also be very sentimental and evoke a lot of emotions. Pay attention to the vibe in the room before you begin your speech and depending on whether you wish to lighten the mood, or speak to the hearts of those in attendance, insert pauses accordingly. Well-placed and well-timed pauses help get and keep the attention of your audience. As opposed to pausing to deliver a punch line like you might do as an actor or comedian, when giving a wedding speech, you want to insert pauses into your speech to allow people time to reflect. After all… you worked hard on your speech and deserve to have everyone hear and enjoy it.