5 MAID OF HONOR SPEECH TIPS IF YOU HATE PUBLIC SPEAKING
Tip #1: Keep Your Wedding Speech ShortSometimes people are surprised when I tell them the ideal wedding speech length is 2-3 minutes because they think it has to be 5 minutes or even longer. Shorter wedding speeches are actually preferred as it keeps the reception moving along and helps the audience stay focused and interested in the wedding. For the maid of honor who hates 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 feels loved and special. Parts of the maid of honor speech:
- 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 LaterThe more you practice your speech, the more confidence you’ll feel delivering it! So give yourself extra time to practice your speech and ask friends or family to listen so you can practice reading it in front of an “audience” too. While it might be tempting to put off writing your speech because you’re dreading it, more time to practice will help you in the long run!
Tip #3: Skip the Inside JokesIt 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 not looking forward to giving this public speech, then delivering something to an unresponsive audience can make it worse! Save the inside jokes for a thoughtful letter or for a conversation with your friend. Instead, choose memories you can elaborate on for your wedding speech, which help describe your loved one’s best qualities.
Tip #4: Don’t Drink too Much AlcoholHaving an alcoholic drink to relax might be tempting to help take the edge off; however, save drinking for after delivering your speech. When we’re nervous, uncomfortable or unhappy, 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! Plus, if you’re nervous you might not be eating much, which will make the drinks hit harder and faster.
Tip #4: Bring up a Glass of Water to SipSpeaking 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 a 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 SpeechesAvoid extra stress by printing additional copies of your speech and sending yourself a copy on your phone. The last thing you need is to misplace your speech before the reception! 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.
Bonus Tip #6: Ask to Skip the SpeechIf you’re a Maid of Honor who hates public speaking and the thought of this upcoming speech it’s affecting you a lot (e.g., you’re not sleeping well, your eating patterns are changing, you’re drinking more etc.), ask your friend to skip the speech altogether. There is no rule that someone HAS to give a speech and forcing someone to do something they’re really dreading will not turn out well for anybody. Explain to your friend that you care about them but that it’s affecting you negatively, and you want to ensure you can be there for them on their big day without any distractions. As a bonus, consider writing your friend a heartfelt letter instead. Give the letter to her the night before the big day or as part of the wedding gift! This way, you can tell her what her friendship means to you and congratulate her on the wedding without making your nerves go wild.
Questions? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,