We've come a long way baby. Times have changed and now brides and other women in bridal parties are making speeches. But just how much practice do you get? Perhaps the last time you made a speech was in school.
You'll want to look back on your wedding videos with pride, not block your ears because you didn't take the time to write or practice a great speech.
Your voice tone and vocabulary are 45% of your presentation when you stand and thank the appropriate people for your wedding day - no matter how beautiful your dress, makeup and hair are.
Leave your audience "speechless". Pick a them - humorous, insirational or heart-felt. Keep it consistent - with theme the others are using. Be descriptive with images and metaphors. You also consider poetry - but keep it you.
Professionals practice one hour for every minute of their speech. OK in the non-professional speaking environment its still a good rule of thumb. Practice on video or your smart phone recorder. Or better yet take in a session with Sharon - she can give you instant tips and exercises for your individual needs to strengthen your voice and your toast. She will help you re-write what isn't working and coach you till it sounds right and feels comfortable. This will add volumes to your confidence and your presentation - and you will actually enjoy making your speech.
Practice projecting your voice - sing in the shower or in the car to your favourite tunes. Deep breathe into your diaphragm ten times, three times a day. Practice speaking in a way that you are understood - articulate every vowel, consonant and diphthong (secondary sound in a vowel).
Sharon Danley - is also a professional voice coach and voice-over specialist. She is available via phone for convenience and private sessions for voice and speech coaching to the entire bridal party - including the guys.
Give every letter in every word its full-intended value. That way your voice will be completely understood and you will have a musical quality and soothing tone to your voice that will leave your audience spell bound and you feeling even more elated.
"I hired Sharon to design and deliver personal training in professional communication to a team of senior executives at Royal Bank Financial Group, a program that received excellent feedback…I was amazed at how much my own voice production, tone and breathing improved with her techniques."
Janice R.D. Eichner, VP, Communications
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Its the quality and sincerity of your words and the clarity with which you speak and deliver that counts - not the length of the speech.
Write your speech out, practice, tweak and practice till it feels comfortable and you feel confident it has the kind of impact you are looking for. Make sure you thank everyone who helped with finances and time. Look directly at them with a heartfelt smile when you are honouring their name publicly.
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Check with the rest of the folks speaking and make sure there isn't any repeats and that you feel good about what's being said too.
Leave Your Guests Speechless
Deliver Your Bridal Toast Like a Professional