Public speaking scares the pants off of most people, and as much as you don’t want to think about it, you know that you’re going to have to do it if you’ve accepted the brave and noble post of “Maid of Honor.” It really isn’t a big deal, as much as you might be freaking out over it. Honestly, most of us just want to skip listening to speeches and eat dinner, but that probably doesn’t make you feel better. The best thing you can do is sit down and write it (and skip the bar before you step into the spotlight). Here are some quick tips to make your speech writing a lot less painful:
Everyone Loves an Anecdote
If you don’t want to glue your nose to an index card throughout the duration of your speech, tell a story. Stories are also more interesting and tend to express your feelings for the couple without the repetition that drags so many other speeches down. There are a million ways to say that you love the couple, but you should chose the one that is unique to the relationship you share with them; hence story. A story shows us (instead of telling us) what your relationship is like.
But not THAT Anecdote
Leave the embarrassing and inappropriate stories for the rehearsal dinner. I thought this was pretty common knowledge until a wedding I attended recently, where the best man spent ten minutes rambling about the first time he and the groom went to a nude steakhouse together. Though the story was pretty funny, it wasn’t really the right time and place for its recounting. In short, remember your audience. You don’t want your great aunt to take the dinnerware back out of shame.
Short and Sweet
Nothing is worse than a speech that rambles on forever when the guests can see the cupcakes calling their names at the front of the room. Your speech is your time to express well wishes for the happy couple, but do so briefly. If you analyze all of the boring speeches you’ve ever heard at weddings, you’ll find that most of them are expressing the same thought over and over again. This can make for some lengthy speeches and some pretty bored audiences. A short speech will also be easier to remember, which is always a plus for the nervous MOH.