This week I attended a close friend’s wedding, and had to give a speech. It was a baptism of fire – so to speak – into the world of public speaking, and it would be fair to say that I crashed and burned. Despite being quite prepared, it quickly became apparent that carefully planned content, does not equate to a crowd pleaser. The fathers of the bride and groom, along with the brothers of the happy couple, mopped the floor with my rookie attempt; so after reflecting on their tactics, I have put together some fail-safe tips on giving a speech at a wedding.
1. Talk about yourself.
This approach was taken by the brothers of both the bride and the groom. Apparently self depreciation is the best way to break the ice, and will make you come across as a stand-up human being.
2. Use comedy.
An obvious point to make, but one I managed to miss.
3.To take the heat off yourself, pick on a few members of the audience.
The opposite of heckling, whereby you heckle the crowd.
4. On the topic of heckling, strike up a deal with a few friends and ask them to make encouraging noises at regular intervals.
This is sort of like “shill bidding” at an auction, as the crowd are fooled into believing your speech is better than it really is.
5. It’s all about the finishing note.
The best way to finish is with a toast. Any excuse to knock one back, always goes down well.
6. Hide behind the microphone
Contrary to popular belief, speaking loudly into the microphone is better than having people call out at regular intervals – “Speak up.”