Dealing With Speeches & Nerves: Anna Roberts’ Advice For Grooms And Best Men

Dealing With Speeches & Nerves: Anna Roberts’ Advice For Grooms And Best Men

When it comes to your wedding day, one of the potentially most memorable moments after the ceremony itself is the delivery of speeches by the Groom, Best Man, and possibly the Father of the Bride. The inclusion of speeches is such a traditional part of the big day that it often means that people who are not necessarily used to taking centre stage and speaking in front of what could be hundreds of people are often thrown (sometimes unwillingly) into the limelight. This can cause a lot of stress (see, it’s not only brides who get anxious about being the centre of attention!) and concern about the correct way of approaching things, striking the balance of being entertaining yet not inadvertently insulting anyone present. There’s certainly a lot of pressure to get things right!

With this in mind, we spoke to Anna Roberts, founder of Nudge, which helps brands, CEO’s and individuals to empower themselves with the tools they need in order to face the media and speak to an audience with confidence.

advice for grooms and best men

Above: Anna Roberts, Founder of Nudge.

Below, Anna gives her advice to men who may be struggling to write a speech and provides some key rules to bear in mind when it comes to writing your speech and delivering it with confidence on the big day. In addition, Anna also has some tips for how to deal with nerves, to ensure that the speech is remembered for all the right reasons! We hope you find Anna’s insights useful when planning your wedding.

How to Structure Your Speech

Introduction:

♡ Introduce who you are and how close of a friend you are to the Groom

♡ Reference what a wonderful day it’s been (There’s a great opportunity here to go off script and recount a particularly heartwarming moment) 

♡ Praise the bride and bridal party for their incredible efforts of putting the day on and how privileged you are to be amongst them. 

Main Body:

♡ Break up the main part of your speech with an array of brief stories, memories or life-changing moments about the groom, his parents or the bride.

♡ Give a good all round and glowing picture of the happy couple. 

♡ Three to five various tales are more than enough. Keep it short and PG-rated (Remember there may be Grandparents or children in the room) and never EVER mention any ex-girlfriends of the groom. 

Conclusion:

♡ Wrap things up with a lovely heartwarming reflection of the Groom’s best qualities, how happy you are for the couple and how optimistic you are about what’s in store for them in the future. 

♡ If you can’t come up with anything overwhelmingly “Awwww” then add in a quote from the couple’s favourite author, musician, writer, idol or something of relevance for the couple (Think outside the box, I’ve heard Winnie the Pooh been quoted at a wedding which got the tears flowing)

♡ Finish with a toast and enjoy the evening!

advice for grooms and best men

Dealing with Nerves

No matter how well prepared you are, if you’re not used to speaking in front of an audience (or even if you are!), you may be worried that your nerves will get the better of you. Here are Anna’s top tips for dealing with nerves.

You are the messenger, not the message

It’s not about you. “But, I’m the one standing on stage, how can it not be about me?” Well, very simply put, you’re not there because you love the sound of your own voice, you’re there with a job to do. So with that take the pressure off yourself and focus on getting your memories and emotions across to the crowd.

You won’t forget what you’re going to say

When you’re on stage talking about a close friend on their wedding day, you’re talking about knowledge, experiences and emotions only you have felt. No one else shares exactly the same history or memories as you do and therefore it’s a story that only you can tell because it only comes from you.

Preparation is key

If you’re able to control 90% of the speech, why think about what could go wrong? Your ideas, your words and how you deliver it have all been prepared and rehearsed so there’s very little left to chance. Remember, it’s a privilege to address an audience on behalf of your best mate on the biggest day of their life, so don’t take it lightly. 

advice for grooms and best men

Golden Rules

With all the above taken into account, we’ll finish by revealing Anna’s ‘golden rules’. Keep these in mind when you are both writing and delivering your speech, and you’ll find it hard to go wrong!

Rule 1: It’s not about you, but not everything has to be about the groom. “One memory that stands out is…”

Rule 2: If in doubt, keep it short. “I’ve got one memorable tale of…”.

Rule 3: Praise the Bride “Doesn’t she look stunning this evening.”

Rule 4: Don’t get drunk beforehand. “Arghks evnjvdai aifahioe” is memorable for all the wrong reasons. 

Rule 5: Work to your strengths. If you’re a comedian, work it. If you’re sarcastic, great. If you’re shy and want to die in front of a crowd, divert the attention by referencing other people in the room and the shorter the better (3-7mins is a good ballpark to aim for).

Rule 6: Read everything from an A4 sheet of paper. If you must, take numbered cue cards up with you, and please don’t read off your iPhone. 

advice for grooms and best men

For more information on Nudge and the academy of online courses devised by Anna, check out the website here.

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