By Desire Mbabaali
You have walked down the aisle and married this special person with whom you are starting a new life. The vows have been exchanged, speeches given and everything is going just like you wanted it, and now is the time to give that groom speech. It is a pretty special moment and everyone is waiting to hear what you have to say… We care that your speech is breath-taking and that’s why at My Wedding, we share tips on how your groom’s speech should look like.
Preparation is the most important
Brenda Nambi, a wedding planner and Mcee points out that the first minefield when it comes to giving a speech is not preparing one. She goes on to note that during wedding preparations, many people don’t pay attention to writing their speech, “And I kind of understand because that is not really a tradition here. Someone presumes that when they are given the microphone, they definitely can’t fail to get words to speak. That is why people ramble on and on about some boring facts that no one wants to hear about. There are also cultures where giving a speech means that the whole clan is going to talk… and so the entire reception is made up of speech after speech, which is really exhausting.”
She however says that is not to disrespect people’s cultures, but let the people you want to give speeches give them before you come to do your groom’s speech. That way, you will avoid calling people to the stand to give their speeches in the middle of your own speech.
It is therefore the preparation that will beef up your speech. “When you prepare and write your speech before hand, it will help you structure it very well, work on what to include and exclude, but it will also help you be confident, because you won’t be fidgeting to remember all the things you should say, at that very moment,” Nambi says, encouraging that there is absolutely no problem writing your speech beforehand and reading your speech while delivering it.
“If you are not the writing type, and you are shy to get help, make a list of all the things you should talk about and keep referring to it during your speech. Your list should be well structured too, chronologically, from the first to the last things you will talk about. The reason for all this is because your emotions are very likely to be over the roof on your special day that it can be easy to forget things and people,” Nambi points out matter of factly.
When it comes to doing the real work of getting your groom’s speech ready, there are no strict rules to follow or break, but here is what matters;
A touch of humor
Rodgers Ssenkindu shares that when he was preparing his groom speech for his wedding in April last year, he had to do his homework. “I watched various videos on YouTube about speeches, and one thing stood out – throwing in a little humor while giving any speech does the magic. So, I realized that a wedding is a time of fun and laughter, and I tried to keep my speech light, not like I was giving a lecture. I wouldn’t say I am a funny person, but a little joke and sharing funny things about our wedding preparations made people laugh,” he says.
Albert Nyonyintono a public speaker however cautions that though humor has a way of putting people at ease when giving a speech, be sure not to go overboard with it. “You don’t want to be a comedian, or embarrass yourself and other people, so keep it controlled, especially if you are a talkative groom. But sure thing, let your speech be made light with a touch of humor,” he says.
What your speech should cover
It takes collective effort to pull off that wedding, and one thing you don’t want to forget is to thank the people who have been with you throughout this journey. You can give a token of thanks as well as sharing a few details about how they have contributed to your journey. “This can be the first part of your speech, thanking everyone for coming out for you, your entourage for being with you on your special day, your parents and your wife’s parents, and relatives, the wedding chairperson and their organizing committee if you have one, and other people who have been with you as a couple,” Nyonyintono says. He however cautions grooms to desist from mentioning names unless it is totally necessary.
Talk about you
The two of you are the center of this function, so talk about you.
“I see grooms just use one sentence to talk about their wives, and the rest of their speech praising other people. For me, the biggest part of the speech was about my wife and I. I recounted the first time we met, the time I knew she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life, how different a man she has made me, and how I couldn’t wait to face life with her,” Ssenkindu says. Christine Ayebare, a wedding planner also shares the same sentiment.
“The biggest chunk of the groom’s speech should be about the couple. Not over doing it, but sharing why your wife is different from others, and a few promises or gifts that can be exposed in public,” she says. She further warns that the groom should get his head around the ‘we’ phrase and eliminate the ‘I’ since they are speaking for themselves and their wife.
Keep it minimal
By the time you finish talking about ‘you’, you should be ready to drop the microphone. “The next part is to give your concluding remarks, thank people again, give gifts if any and maybe open a dance with your wife, or simply propose a toast.
The trick is; make your speech just minimal – it shouldn’t go beyond 10 minutes, but it also shouldn’t go below eight minutes. It is always tempting to stop a speech, especially when it is going well. However, what will help you use your time well is not including a lot of unnecessary details. Cut to the chase and just mention what is important,” Ayebare says.
Dealing with emotions
No shying away from this, weddings are quite emotional events, and you are likely to get emotional while giving your speech. “This could be fear, shyness, lots of happiness, mention it. The best way to handle these feelings is to be free and talk about them, while giving your speech. Not in details, but it won’t hurt to mention about the hole you feel in your belly, as you’re taking the stand on your big day. It will put you at ease, making your audience laugh, but to also make them know you are not perfect. It’s okay mentioning this is your first time giving a public speech, or how happy you are, that you can’t resist the tears. It is human,” says Nyonyintono.
He further advises that doing a good job on your speech during preparation will help you with the nerves because you will be ready for this speech moment.
“It won’t hurt to practice your speech too. Record your speech on your phone, have a friend listen to you and tell you how you can do it better.
If you keep these in mind as you prepare for that moment, your speech is on its way to being perfect.