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It's your wedding day ...
... and you want to make the perfect wedding speech. Is there a secret formula or ingredient to make your speech special and memorable?
Maybe there is, maybe not! You may have read about a groom in the UK who gave a touching, emotional speech on his wedding day before revealing that he was referring his favourite football player, Mesut Ozil from Arsenal. All in good humour and the video quickly went viral.
But we don’t recommend that other grooms try to do the same.
The Marathon Man
I was sitting in IKEA last week and two ladies behind me were having a conversation which was just background noise until one of them informed her friend that the groom’s speech lasted 1 hour and 5 minutes! This got my attention and I turned to chat with them about it. As I expected, I learned that the main talking point after the speech was how long it had been and not the contents of the speech. For the groom, it was his moment of glory but for his audience it was something of a marathon!
How Long Should a Groom's Speech Be?
Professional after dinner speakers are usually booked to speak for about 30 to 40 minutes but many of the very best professional speeches are 10 to 15 minutes. Now, if a professional would never attempt to speak for over an hour, why should an “amateur” think it’s ok to do so just because he’s the groom? General wisdom suggests that a wedding speech of between 5 and 8 minutes is perfect. Resist the temptation to go beyond that.
It’s the bride’s big day so first and foremost, pay attention to her.
For what it’s worth, these are a few pointers when planning your speech.
Speak And Be Heard
Many wedding speeches have been ruined by bad acoustics. What’s the point if nobody can hear you? Before you start, check if a microphone is available just in case you need one. In another life, I received a piece of advice that served me well. Someone with many years of experience said “if you want to say something, make sure it’s worth saying and if you say something, make sure it can be heard”. Good solid advice I think.
What To Speak About
When You Speak
1 You are not a stand up comedian or professional story teller, don’t try to be one on this occasion!
2 You are not there to entertain yourself, think about your audience.
3 Stay sober! It’s never a good idea to hit the drink before making a speech.
4 Stay calm and pace yourself. The first two minutes are the most important to capture your audience and set the pace for your speech.
5 When speaking, speak clearly and slowly.
6 You're among friends. Be yourself!
Don’t overstay your welcome. Five to eight minutes is perfect for a wedding speech. Keep it short and memorable.
I’ve never heard anybody complain that the wedding speeches were too short!