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What?...I have to Give a Speech!
You are delighted, for you have just been chosen to be the maid of honor or best man in a good friend's wedding. You- out of all the other friends that could have been picked, it was you that was the best friend, numero uno, the ultimate companion.
But wait, what does this mean? What are you responsible for doing in preparation for the wedding? And...oh no...you have to give the wedding speech!
You are awful at public speaking and the stories you have about your friend aren't appropriate for formal occasions- if you know what I mean. What are you going to do?
Don't worry. You aren't giving the State of the Union. Remember, you are giving a speech about someone that is very special to you. Someone you know personally, and care for deeply. If you are passionate about your subject, the audience will be interested. Besides, the wedding day is about the couple, so keep the speech about exactly that.
Here are a few tips for creating your "big" speech. Now breathe...and begin:
1. Don't wing it. Think carefully before hand about what you want to say about and to your friend. What is it that you want the audience to know about this person?
2. Write it down. Write it down before the wedding and practice the speech a couple times before the wedding day. You don't have to bring the speech with you to the reception, but writing it out and practicing will make you feel more confident. You can also practice the speech in front of people that you feel comfortable with.
3. Keep it Real. Emotions are OK. Just be yourself and speak from the heart. This is your best friend. You love them. Let everyone know it.
4. Let your personality shine through. If you're funny, be lighthearted. If you're serious, show your emotion. Your friend will appreciate you being yourself and not "putting on a show for the audience".
5. Keep it short! The audience doesn't want to hear the bride and grooms life story, nor do they want to hear yours! Keep the speech somewhere around 5 minutes.
6. Don't get drunk. I know, I know. It's a reception! Its time to party! But keep your friends' feelings in mind. You've had some good times together, and you will again (probably later that night) but don't drink too much champagne before the speech. You WILL start rambling and you WILL make a fool out of yourself.
7. Don't embarrass the bride or groom...too much. Start the speech with a special memory; it can be funny, but not to embarrassing. Remember, there are most likely children at the reception, so keep the speech G rated.
8. Next, share part of the couple's history. Did you first introduce them? Did you know they were perfect for each other the first time you saw them together? How has each of them changed, for the better, since they met?
9. End the speech on a sentimental note. Let them and the audience know how happy you are for the newlyweds. Wish them success. Tell them they are strong enough to work out any challenges that life will throw their way.
10. Raise your glass! Salute to the bride and groom. Smile...breathe...its over. Now drink your champagne.