Here’s the thing, not everyone has experience with public speaking (and even many who have experience still hate it). Suddenly being asked to deliver a maid of honour speech to a room filled with 100 people (that you may or may not know) can feel uncomfortable (or downright terrifying).
Despite how nervous you might feel about your upcoming wedding speech, there are some tips and tricks to make the process as painless as possible.
I’m a professional wedding speechwriter who has written nearly 200 wedding speeches for clients of different backgrounds, interests and comfort levels. In this blog, I’ll outline my top 5 tips for writing a maid of honour speech if you fear public speaking.
Tip #1: Keep Your Wedding Speech Short
The idea that wedding speeches don’t have to be 5 minutes long surprises a lot of my clients. In fact, shorter wedding speeches are actually preferred as it keeps the reception moving along on time and helps the audience stay focused and interested in the wedding.
For the maid of honours with a fear of public speaking, you can chop your speech down to as little as one minute and still congratulate the couple and make sure the person you’re representing with the speech feels loved and special.
- Introduce yourself
- Share how you know the bride (or whoever you’re representing with the speech)
- Choose a quality you love about the bride (or whoever you’re representing with the speech)
- Share a short memory that highlights this quality
- Transition to talking about the couple
- Share a wish for their wedding
- Congratulate the couple
Tip #2: Start Practicing Sooner Rather Than Later
The more time you practice your speech, the more confident you’ll feel delivering it! So give yourself some extra time to practice your speech and ask friends or family to listen as you practice reading it in front of an audience.
While it might be tempting to put off writing your speech because the thought of it makes you anxious, more time to practice will help you in the long run!
Tip #3: Skip the Inside Jokes
It can be tempting to want to reference all those funny moments you’ve had with your best friend; however, inside jokes are often meaningless to the majority of the audience.
If you’re nervous giving a public speech, then delivering something to an unresponsive audience can make your nerves go through the roof!
Save the inside jokes for a thoughtful letter or for a conversation with your friend. For your wedding speech, choose memories you can elaborate on, which help describe your loved one’s best qualities.
Tip #4: Don’t Drink too Much
Having a drink to relax might be tempting to help take the edge off; however, save drinking for after delivering your speech.
When we’re nervous or uncomfortable, it’s easy to have one drink too many, which can leave you slurring through your speech and losing your place, which isn’t enjoyable for anyone!
Tip #4: Bring up a Glass of Water to Sip
Speaking of drinks, anxiety can cause a dry mouth, which can make public speaking even more challenging.
Make sure you bring a glass of water up to the podium to sip to help avoid dry mouth. A glass of water is also an excellent opportunity to stop and breathe when you’re feeling nervous and need a moment to compose yourself!
Tip #5: Print Multiple Speeches
Avoid extra stress by printing additional copies of your speech and send yourself a copy on your phone. The last thing you need is to misplace your speech before the reception and get even more anxious.
Hand an extra copy to another bridesmaid to carry or have a spare in your purse for safekeeping—being extra prepared can help ease your nerves.
Writing Your Speech
If you’re looking for more tips on how to write your speech, check out my post on How to Write the Perfect Maid of Honor Speech!
If you’re feeling totally overwhelmed by this process, please check out my Etsy shop for a variety of wedding speech options. These speeches are all custom written for you and can be delivered in as little as 48 hours.
Good luck with your speech, and remember to breathe!
Until next time,