The wedding day is one of the most important days of the newlyweds and their families’ lives. Being an essential moment in one’s life, his/her wedding must be perfect in all respects. So, both the ceremony and the reception must be excellent. An entertaining part of a wedding reception is represented by the speeches (usually) given after the food is served. When it comes to wedding speeches, father of the bride toast is probably the most important oration at any marriage reception, mainly because it’s the first speech to be given at the weddings in some countries. Unfortunately, not all the persons that must deliver a discourse are public speakers; that’s why they are not aware of the importance of a speech’s presentation – the way that oration is delivered to the audience (see some speech examples here).
Before telling you the three most powerful secrets of a successful presentation, let me explain you first why this is so important. You should know that an excellent presentation has the power to transform a poor content into a great speech. On the other hand, the poor presentations turn great content into boring wedding speeches. While preparing your father of the bride speech, you must remember that both its content and presentation are important, that’s why you should avoid focusing on only one of these. The truth is that almost all people “judge a book by its cover” and the way of delivering the oration is actually the “cover” of the discourse. Furthermore, “attitude is everything”, even when it comes to delivering a toast.
By involving the guests in your discourse, you achieve these great things: you make the guests feel important, keep the audience focused on your father of bride speech and create yourself the image of a confident and happy man. Here are the main methods of interacting with the public: use a conversational and familiar tone (and never speak like telling the lesson in front of the teacher), ask questions (tag questions), address directly to your audience (use the second person singular pronoun “you”), include your public in the speech (e.g. “you all know what it feels like…”) and look at the guests in the eyes (avoid fixing them).
The most important persons with whom every bride’s father must interact during the father of the bride wedding speeches are: their daughter (the bride) and their son-in-law (the groom). The speaker must congratulate his daughter for her choice, welcome the groom in his family, wish the newlyweds a wonderful life together and offer them useful tips for a happy marriage.
The second essential secret of a great speech is to practice it at least 7 times before the wedding toast. While repeating the speech, it’s useful to keep discreetly in your hand a few cards with the oration’s main ideas written on them (and from which you can inspire – not read – while delivering the discourse at the reception). It’s also recommended that, while practicing the speech, to imagine that you are on the stage at the marriage reception and all the guests are looking at you, listening your oration. By doing this, you will get used to speaking in front of a large audience and get rid of the emotions. The practice of the wedding speeches has another two important advantages for the speakers: it helps them memorize the content and estimate the duration of the father of the bride speeches (they should not exceed 5 minutes).
If you want to deliver your speech like a professional public speaker, the third thing you should do – besides interacting with the audience and repeating the oration – is to focus on the image of yourself that you produce in the guests’ minds. During the wedding speeches for father of the bride, the speaker should generate the impression of a respectable, elegant and positive person. In order to do that, he must answer this question: “How should I behave (what words, actions, jokes should I use) during the speech in order to look like an elegant, respectable and sincere person?”.