How to deliver a mother of the bride speech

05 Jun 2018

Speaker coach Carole Spiers shares her top tips for the mother of the bride to ensure sure-fire speech success...

Traditionally, it’s the bride’s father, the groom and the best man who say a few words at a wedding, but these days we’re seeing more and more mothers of the bride stand up, take hold of the mic and make a speech of their own.

It may be that the husband doesn’t wish to do so, there could be a divorce in the family or it may be that the mother of the bride has her own special words to say about her daughter. For example, those special moments of when she was a child and how she has grown, when she went through the terrible twos, the special mother’s day breakfasts of burnt toast, and the endless days of shopping till you both dropped. The audience will love motherly anecdotes. 

She may also like to personally welcome the wedding guests together and offer a special welcome to the new extended family. And she mustn’t forget a special mention to her new son-in-law and why he is so well suited to her daughter.

The speech should follow the same format as the father of the bride and if they are both going to be delivering speeches, then they should make sure that they exchange notes beforehand. Yet public speaking can be scary, so here are some tips to help you along the way:

1. Preparation is key 

If you think a speech is going to take you half a day to prepare, the chances are that you may need to double this. 

2. Smile and engage with your audience

As you stand up in front of the microphone, smile and look around the whole room.   

3. It’s all about the ‘opener’

If you know exactly what you are going to say as soon as you start to speak, it will give you an inner confidence. 

4. Check out the AV in advance

Find out where you will be standing. Will it be at the top table or maybe somewhere else?

5. Voice tonality

Your voice needs to go up and down so that you add expression to what it is that you are saying. 

6. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted

It may well happen... people leave to go to the bathroom, children cry. Try and go with it, smile and carry on.

7. Pause

When you read a book, it has commas, full stops and paragraph breaks. It should be the same with your speech. 

8. Stay away from jokes

Jokes can fall flat so unless you have perfect comedic timing, it might be best to keep away from telling jokes.

9. Relive your memorable stories

Audiences love stories but make sure you have practised them beforehand.

10. Finish with a bang

Just like the start of the speech, the end is equally as important as the opener. Don’t speak for too long – 5-8 minutes as a rule of thumb. And finally give a toast to the bride and groom.

You may not win an Oscar for your performance but you may well deliver a speech that your audience will love and remember for all the right reasons. Good luck.

Carole Spiers is a popular speech writer and author of three best-selling books. As a speaker coach, Carole can train you so that you are no longer nervous and are ready to stand up and entertain your audience. Contact Carole if you would like her to write your wedding speech or help you to deliver it with no stress: www.theweddingspeechexpert.co.uk.

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