Wedding Speeches – two little words, that actually cause an awful lot of frustration, trauma, and pressure for those involved. If you think that that’s an overstatement, I talk to people every single week of the year who have to make a wedding speech, and whose lives have been completely destroyed by it. Over 75% of us fear public speaking more than death, and that doesn’t factor in the added dilemma of public speaking and being funny at the same time, so it’s no wonder many people would rather juggle with sharpened throwing axes.
So, it’s time to rationalise that fear, understand it, and do something about it, and without sounding too obvious the problems all stem from the content. The reason you’re not looking forward to standing up and speaking is that you feel whatever you’re about to say simply is good enough; nobody will laugh, nobody will be interested. And chances are, if you’re feeling that way, you’re probably right.
All wedding speeches thrive on the same basic things: lack detail, humour, and length. If you get all those three elements right, then you will have success. You will stand up ready to make your speech knowing that the content, balance and timing are all spot on, and victory will be yours.
This is something that many many wedding speeches get wrong, and is is the single biggest contributing factor to wholesale guest boredom. Do not be tempted to go into any detail whatsoever.
If you’re a groom we don’t need a real time account of how you met your wife, best men avoid granular description of incidents, and fathers of the bride don’t give us every single qualification your daughter has notched up. The aim of a good wedding speech is to demand as little from the listener as possible, and nothing turns them off quicker tun having to sit through boring detail, when really you should be making them laugh.
Wedding speeches are an entertaining overview, not a job application.
Every speech in the world works better for having humour in it, and wedding speeches are no exception, but there does have to be some careful consideration. Humour is never scripted jokes that have nothing to do with the people involved, it’s not one liners you’ve grabbed from internet sites, and it’s certainly not anything that is edgy and borderline obscene. Humour in wedding speeches is warm, inclusive, and genuinely very funny.
Being funny, if it doesn’t come naturally, is a hard won skill, but like most things in life requires time and practice. The real humour can be found in observations around people, what they do, what they like and how they act…it just takes time to think of the best way to describe things so that people will laugh.
The length of wedding speeches is absolutely critical, and something which most speaker get catastrophically wrong. A great speech should never go over ten minutes, if you’re talking beyond that point, you’ll be talking to yourself as the majority of the guests will be tweeting selfies to people they hardly know.
Guests have an attention limit and ten minutes is where it’s at – so many guys I speak to want to shoe horn in more, but it’s really counterproductive, and grooms are the most guilty of this. Do not think for one minute that everyone loves you so much they really want to hear exactly how you met each of the ushers, it’s simply not the case. Less is more. However, if you’re talking for less than 3 minutes, it could take some explaining afterwards.
So, if you can get the three magic ingredients right for your wedding speech, then I can guarantee it will be a winner. Treat all wedding speeches as a good dollop of entertainment and not an opportunity to lecture and people to death, and you’ll be on the right tracks. And if you read it out and aren’t tempted to laugh at least once…then keep working on it. For more tips and hints on the comedy visit the Best Man speech Jokes page.