- why should the men have all the fun! (Fun??)
The Bridesmaid Speech or maid of honor speech will often be given during a more formal hen night or at the dinner after the rehearsal. It's also customary for the Maid of Honor to say a few words at the bridal shower.
Once your speech is written and you're happy with it, you'll need to practice it - out loud!
Most people talk much too quickly when giving a Maid of Honor speech, so the first thing to do is slow down. It may feel painfully slow to you but you must give the guests listening a chance to take in what you're saying.
There are two easy ways to do this.
First, just make sure that you open your mouth a little wider than you do in usual conversation. This makes it a lot easier for the sound to come out and means that you speak just a fraction slower.
Another foolproof way of slowing down only works when you are reading your speech - which I would highly reccommend. There's enough to remember as Chief Bridesmaid without having to worry about words of a speech! Anyway - everytime you come to a fullstop or comma in your speech, just say 'fullstop' or 'comma' to yourself - easy and anyone can do it!
Try it now - just pick up a magazine or book that happens to be on the desk next to the computer. Now read aloud a couple of sentences, remembering to say the 'comma' or 'fullstop' to yourself. Easy!
Another way to slow down is to practise these exercises which will help you to open your mouth correctly. They'll also help your facial muscles stay in shape and keep you looking young!!
If you're going to make your bridesmaid speech at the wedding reception (as opposed to the hen night etc.) it would be a good idea to practice it with your bridesmaid dress and shoes on! You'll be surprised at how much your clothes can effect your ability to speak clearly. Your dress will be beautiful but may be a style you're not used to wearing. Perhaps it has a tight waist, or a very full skirt or is sleeveless or strapless or maybe in a colour that makes you feel a little uncomfortable. All of these things may distract you but remember it's not your special day.
If you're wearing shoes that squash your feet, try to take them off while you are speaking! Clenched feet will make the muscles in legs, back, shoulders and neck all tense as well which will make it more difficult for you to relax and breathe correctly.
Jewelry can also distract you - earrings and bracelets can jangle every time you move. If your hair has been put up ir migt feel as though it's going to fall down!
Now that you're aware of all these things you'll be able to assure yourself that your hair wil be fine and you can take off your earrings etc if they really do distract you.
As I've already said I would always recommend reading your bridesmaid speech. This has two advantages.
First, you don't need to spend sleepless nights worrying about remembering your lines.
Secondly, it gives you something to do with your hands while you talk.
Always underline the first sentence and final sentence of your speech along with any other important words. When you're reading your bridesmaid speech try to look up at the guests when you get to the underlined parts. One last tip - whether you write (or print) your speech on cards or on paper, only write on one side. You can guarantee that if you write on both sides, you'll read the wrong side when you're speaking!
If all else fails - smile. If you make a mistake, don't over do the apologies - most people won't have noticed, especially after a few drinks! You'll look beautiful in your maid of honor outfit so if you do go wrong - just smile. Smiling also creates saliva in the mouth which will stop yout mouth from drying up when speaking your bridesmaid speech!
Enrol on one of my online courses or book a skype lesson with me to give you the confidence to give your speech with ease.
This video course will teach you how to speak clearly and demonstates how to make what you say sound interesting. It is very much like the first lesson I would teach you face to face but you have the added advantage that you can watch it over and over again. There are plenty of opportunities for you to join in and repeat and try out the things I suggest. How to speak clearly and confidently will teach you how to speak so that you will find making presentations, talking to people at work or school much easier and less stressful. You also get a free download of my ebook. Remember - you can watch it over and over again forever!