Public speaking can be terrifying for a lot of people. There are people who love to be the center of attention and others who don’t mind hiding behind a podium.
Speaking to a large audience may not be your cup of tea, but learning how to do it smoothly can prepare you for the wedding toast.
Don't Read It
The biggest mistake is reading your entire wedding toast from a piece of paper. It’s great that you don’t want to miss a word, but it’s not recommended.
It’s important to express your wedding toast from the heart. Write an outline of your speech onto a small note card with highlighted key points. Remember, you’ll have the microphone in one hand so keep the note card on the podium or table. You can look down quickly without missing a beat to guide you through the wedding speech.
Making eye contact with the audience will help put you at ease. Find someone that has a friendly face and hold eye contact for at least three seconds.
Turn to look at the bride and groom when ending the wedding toast. You don’t want to look at the ground or hurriedly around the room when speaking. The audience can tell if you are uncomfortable.
Practice makes perfect for your wedding toast. Make sure to keep it short and sweet. Start with speaking in front of a mirror using your eyes and a smile when rehearsing.
Memorize your speech, but have the note card in front of you. Once you’ve gained confidence, grab some friends or family members who will let you practice in front of them.
Rehearse to the end of the speech by making the toast with a wine glass. Be open to feedback, and make changes if needed.