When people are thinking about and talking about speeches, there’s a tendency, for several reasons, to dismiss the speech as just 5 minutes on the day. Maybe this is because they’re trying to downplay the event in their head, because inside the thought of standing up and speaking is causing emotional turmoil. Or, maybe they do really believe that it’s just a few minutes on the day, and then everyone forgets about it and cracks on with the celebrations.
I completely understand if you’re openly trying to lessen the importance of the speech for your own mental health. If you start ramping things up in your head, and understand fully the implications of what you’re undertaking in your father of the bride speech, then you might just work yourself up into a meltdown. That speech is your one and only opportunity to stand up and let everyone know just what your daughter means to you, and you need to do that in an entertaining and engaging way. It shouldn't be a list of accomplishments, it should have a good dollop of humour, and it needs to include all the key people in her life. So, it’s understandably, quite a tall order.
However, to think that it really is just 5 minutes on the day, is completely failing to grasp just how important this speech is. People remember what you said – they won’t remember the food, they won’t remember what you wore, but they will remember what people said. I speak to people who, for better or worse, are still reliving speeches that were given 30 years ago. I once wrote a speech for a guy who did such a bad job at his first best man gig, that the bride hadn’t spoken to him in 21 years. Never underestimate the impact of what you’re going to say - it’s never just 5 minutes on the day…it’s really about 7 minutes that lasts the rest of your life.