How To Give A Wedding Speech If You HATE Speaking In Public

Hate public speaking, but want to give an amazing father of the bride speech, best man speech or maid of honor wedding speech? Listen to this episode of the Unbridely Modern Wedding planning Podcast featuring wedding speech expert and Emmy-winning comedy writer, Beth Sherman.

Host of the “Unbridely Wedding Planning Podcast” and Australian wedding celebrant, Camille Abbott, speaks with wedding speech ghostwriter and Emmy-winning comedy writer, Beth Sherman, about practical ways speakers can prepare and deliver a standout father of the bride, maid of honor, best man, mother of the bride, father of the groom or mother of the groom wedding speech. Also covered are in-depth tips on how engaged couples can do their part to set their speakers up for success on the big day.

Originally aired on the Unbridely Modern Wedding Planning Podcast.

Transcript of podcast episode

Glossophobia is not being afraid to wear shiny lipstick, but it is the fear of public speaking.

According to an article from 2019 on psycom.net, glossophobia is believed to affect up to 75% of the population. Some people may feel a slight nervousness at the very thought of public speaking, while others experience a full-on panic.

So, when your sister, best friend or daughter tells you that they want you to do a speech at their wedding, and you'd rather stay at home and pull out your toenails with the pair of pliers, you're not alone. And I've got you.

Contrary to popular belief, rather than try to hide those feelings or adhering to the 'fake it til you make it' principle, Beth Sherman believes that being honest and self-aware is actually funnier and a more smart approach for your speech.

Beth is a stand-up comedian, multi Emmy award-winning comedy writer for the likes of Letterman, Jay Leno and Ellen, and is also the founder of Authentically Funny Speeches, where to date she has ghost written and added laughs to more than 300 wedding speeches.

Today, Beth is going to share with us:

  • How to re-frame how you think about wedding speeches to make it less scary for you.
  • What an engaged couple can do to help the people who are speaking at their wedding -- and there's so much that they can do! I think you'll be surprised.
  • How to stop your voice from shaking, and why you need to get rid of the microphone the second after you've done your speech.

      I think you're going to love Beth and her practical, easily implemented advice -- because she knows that writing a great speech is only half of the solution. You've been going to say it. And that's when her previous performance experience really shines through.

      She's warm, direct, and has a wealth of knowledge on how to give the kind of wedding speech that will have all the guests raving, "That was the best speech ever!" Let's get stuck in to it.

      (PODCAST INTRO) Unbridely is a community of pro wedding vendors who believe in freedom and integrity in weddings; giving you options, solution, tips and tricks to create the experience and memories you and your fiancé really want and deserve. Because we believe that weddings are a team sport. With how-tos, stories and interviews with recently married couples, we find out what went right, and what they'd change if they could go back and do it all over again. (END PODCAST INTRO)

      I'm Camille and welcome to the Unbridely podcast. Hi Beth, and thanks so much for joining me on the Unbridely podcast.

      It's a pleasure to be here. I'm a fan of the show. "Weddings are a team sport." I love that tag. I love it.

      Oh, bless you, Beth. Before we get stuck in to how you're going to help my nervous couples, I want to know how you're feeling. Are you prepared for your UK driving test?

      (LAUGHS) Yeah, to people out there, I'm clearly, from my accent, I'm American, but two years ago, my partner and I moved to the UK. That's where she's from. I've been driving since I was 16 years old. That was some time ago. So I got my learners permit and just after this interview I am going to go and take the road test -- on the other side of the road. I know that the Australians are saying it's not a big deal.

      On the correct side of the road, Beth. On the correct side of the road.

      I'm trying desperately to make it feel normal. But there's that, plus in the States we don't have roundabouts or at least in California. We don't have roundabouts. For real? No, not the way they are -- not the way you have them in the UK.

      For sure. Yeah, they're serious about them in the UK. Very serious. We're behind you, Beth. We want you to get this. We want you to pass this. You feeling good?

      I'm feeling good. I'm feeling strong. I'm feeling like I really want to drive on the left.

      Awesome. I almost believed you. That's brilliant. So, Beth, before we dig into your masses of knowledge, what we really want to know is a bit about where you're from. Yeah, what you do and what your history is.

      I spent about 25 years -- well, I'm still doing it -- as a professional comedy writer. I write for TV shows in the US. Late night shows. So, the David Letterman show, Jay Leno, which is the Tonight Show. I spent several years writing for Ellen.

      And I also write for a lot of comedians.

      I did stand up for a long time, and lately I've been working on a lot of award shows writing the presenter copy. Sometimes they want it funny. Sometimes they don't. But I've written for the Screen Actors Guild Awards several times and the Oscars a couple of times.

      So, that's been the span of my career. And as I said, I live in the UK now and I didn't know what I was going to do professionally. It was something that we saw coming for a long time. And I thought, well don't really have a lot of transferable skills. I'd love to work in UK tv. But I can't assume that that's going to happen.

      And I started while I was on a TV job, on the side, I'd always been asked to help people with best man speeches and things like that. And I started taking on some private clients. And it turns out there was a market for it. People wanted someone who could help them make their speeches funny, but also connect to the personal side of it.

      And five possibly six years later, I think I'm going on six years. That's really the majority of what I do. There's an occasional TV job, but mostly I help people write heartfelt and funny wedding speeches, everything from templates to 'I write it for you.' And I love it.

      It's so satisfying to help someone because sometimes people are nervous or a lot of times people will come to me because there's a little bit of a minefield emotionally, there's something going on or there's conflict or sadness, there's a death or something like that. And so they have all of the other stuff they want to put in their speech, but now they have to negotiate this really difficult part and helping people do that-- it's just, it's fun. It's satisfying. As a TV writer, I feel like I'm finally using my powers for good.

      Absolutely. And I wondered why you thought, Beth, that a good wedding speech, for example, is a funny wedding speech. What do you think the value is of comedy in weddings?

      Well, first of all, it doesn't have to be funny. That just happens to be my specific skill set. I will say that a little bit of humor can go a long way. So if someone's not a funny person, they don't have to go up and be a stand up comedian. It's a matter of, I always refer to comedy in anything, but particularly wedding speeches as seasoning. So if you think of it as salt, sometimes just adding a tiny little bit of salt to something, chocolate, caramel, something like that. it just changes it in a way that's just wonderful. So if you're someone who doesn't particularly think of yourself as funny, you don't have to be.

      But if there are some opportunities to be self aware or specific or you're telling a story that has a natural punchline, and you want to get the most from it. If you're someone who's very outgoing and you like being in front of an audience, well sure, then your amount of seasoning, that's going to be movie theater popcorn. It's going to be salty, it's going to be, you know, you're going to have a lot of flavor because that's something that you're comfortable with. So I don't think you need a lot necessarily.

      I think the power of it is it can give a speech balance. These speeches are emotional, so giving it balance helps you as the speaker reset because a lot of people say, "How am I not going to cry?" Well, if you cry, you cry. It's an emotional speech. But if when you feel the emotional balloon, essentially inflating and you think it's this thing's going to explode and not in a good way, you can let a little bit of the air out with -- I say a joke, but it's not like a knock knock joke -- with a little bit of humor and it will let you reset. You'll feel yourself getting close to tears, but now you have this funny laugh line, you reset and your audience resets as well because you don't want something that's super saccharine sweet. You want to be able to sort of reset and make it something where you fill it up and then you let a little out, you fill it up and then you let a little out.

      That's great, Beth. And so when you're adding, you know, funniness or comedy to your wedding speech, like what I'm hearing from you is not only can it help you deliver it, especially if you're a bit nervous or a bit emotional, but also you're going to be endearing yourself to this room full of people, and you know, nine times out of 10, the person giving the speech doesn't know everyone in the room. And I feel like, you know, a little bit of humor, like I love how you said a little bit goes a long way. It doesn't have to be, you know, honking the red nose and you know, waving one of those rattle things.

      Absolutely not. Please. Please don't do that.

      Revolving bow tie?

      Please don't. If you're trying to be funny, I mean, we've all seen comedians who try a little too hard or we've all worked with people who try a little too hard. You don't want to be the boss from "The Office" where it's just excruciating and awkward. But you want people to have a good time. Like you said, it's a team sport. So this is a way of helping the team. It helps you. It helps everybody involved. It helps everyone enjoy it more. It helps get the information across. Your honesty and what you're saying helps tell the story more effectively.

      You must hear this a lot from your clients and those that you're writing speeches for. I would imagine because with my celebrant hat on, as a marriage celebrant, I think easily 50% of couples. And that also includes 50% of fathers of the bride, of mothers of the bride, of parents who have to give speeches of best men and bridesmaids. They're petrified, Beth. I speak to these people all the time and they're shaking in their boots. They've been told that "I really need you to do a speech" And you go, "Okay, great. What an honor." And then it sinks in and you realize that you're petrified of public speaking. You have no idea what to say. How can we help these people who are just frozen on the spot with the thought of giving a speech at a wedding?

      Yeah, that's about half the people that I get are people who've just been informed that they're giving a speech. About half of the other people who it's a week before the wedding and they've sat down to write the speech and they realize, "Oh, this is harder than I thought." And they get in touch with me in a panic. And the other half are people, literally, they've just put the phone down from hearing that the couple's engaged and they're already in a panic and it's 18 months out.

      But I think what you said is the first step to alleviating someone's anxiety. You said when someone's been TOLD they're giving a speech. And I think something that couples can do is to make it sound like more of an invitation. Because if you say, “You're the best man or you're maid of honor, Dad, something, you're going to give a speech," that's terrifying. But if you say "We'd love to have you be part of our wedding, are you comfortable giving a speech?" It gives someone, even if obviously you want them to say yes, but it gives them a little bit of emotional wiggle room, it gives them the second for it to set in. And it takes a little bit of the pressure off in the sense of you're not being told, "And if you don't do this, it's ruined. It's just absolutely ruined. But no pressure."

      If you just make it seem like more of an invitation or a question, "Are you comfortable doing it?" I think just emotionally, it's a little more inviting. And you can say, you can even say, "You can get back to me," so they don't feel put on the spot, because my partner is someone who hates public speaking, absolutely hates it, really has an issue with it. One-on-one fine, fine at a party, but if it feels like public speaking, it's terrifying.

      So if she were just informed that she was giving a speech, if she were told, it would immediately shut down her entire brain. It ratchets up the anxiety levels.

      So Beth, you're saying then perhaps for couples who are getting married, even the facade of having a choice is better than telling people what they're doing.

      Yeah, we all know what the correct answer is.

      Yes, yes. So we've given this poor person the illusion that they have free choice, but they've chosen to help out their friends, their brother, their sister, and they've said, Okay, I'll do it." I find a lot of the time and I'd love to hear your experience, Beth. A lot of the time my couples don't give any parameters whatsoever, no structure or I'd like you to talk about this or anything along those lines, the clients that you're working with, do they get given some sort of format from the couple that's asked them to speak?

      Well, I was going to say it in varies, but it doesn't really vary. Usually one thing or the other, it's either none or it has to be three minutes because there's a strict timetable and neither of those is really helpful.

      What I would do is say, "We'd love you to give a toast. We'd love you to speak. Maybe in the area of about three, three to five minutes." Just give a number that they can aim for. It doesn't have to be exact. If they're telling some great stories and the speech is wonderful, you're not sitting there with a stopwatch. No one's going to start playing them off like it's the Academy Awards. There's not a cane that's going to come and drag them off stage. But if you give them a goal to shoot for about three to five minutes, that is hugely helpful to them.

      It's beautiful. Okay, so we've got a time frame. But do you find that many couples say, we'd love you to talk about this or we'd love you to thank these people? No, that's not something that's usually communicated to me.

      There's usually not a list of requests because for the more, I mean, sometimes it's "Dad's not around and I'm sort of speaking in that role." I mean, I would tell someone if there was something I didn't want them to mention. You'd hope that the person that you've asked is someone you can trust not to mention things that are not going to make people look good. And by people, I mean, the person speaking, the couple, any of the guests.

      A friend of ours married us. And my folks are considerably older and they love my partner. We'd been together quite a long time by then. But for some of the older members of the family, I did ask our friend, as the officiant, just don't say 'gay wedding.' He was a straight guy. I didn't know what he might say. And I just wanted to make it clear to him.It's just wedding. This is the message that we'd like to underline to everybody. I don't know that he would have said something.That's the only thing. Just don't word it like that. So if there's something you don't want said, that's helpful.

      That's a really good point, Beth. I like that a lot. So there might be, for my couples who I'm writing ceremony scripts for, I find that sometimes there's just some sayings or vernacular and they really don't like it. For example, my husband and I, I don't know why we don't like it, but we don't like the saying 'when two become one,' for example, we just, we don't get it. We don't like it. It doesn't work for us. And so we specifically told our celebrant, Can you please avoid any sort of fluffy romantic speech about to becoming one, because we'll just lose it. During the ceremony, can you stay away from that?" And so yeah, if you know, you prefer things to be phrased and of course, you know, pronouns and things along those lines are super important as well.

      So this poor person, let's say, let's say it's a best man. He's come to you, Beth, and he's gone, "I've got to say this speech, and all I know is that it has to be around three minutes. I'm petrified." What do you say to him?

      The first step is sort of the psychology of it and just managing and I'm sure you do a lot of this is managing his expectations because the first thing is just the pep talk of "They picked you for a reason. People love you. And as a performer, I can tell you this is going to be the best audience you will ever be in front of, bar none." The audience -- they want, first of all you're up there essentially representing them -- so they want you to succeed. That's the difference. Cause people have bad experiences with speeches in school or at work. And that's because the audiences either don't care or they're horrific or they're cruel. And this is not open mic night at the Chuckle Hut. People want to laugh and have a good time.

      So when you go up there as the best man, they are guests of the couple and they know that the couple loves you and trusts you enough to have that role in the wedding party and to put a microphone in your hand. So there's already a level of trust and hey it's the best man speech people want to laugh people want to have a good time. They just want to hear the stories and -- it's not a great thing -- but because a lot of best men don't prepare, the bar is pretty low. So if you go up there and you share some great information you tell some good stories you show what wonderful people they are which will also show your level of affection towards them, they have a laugh or two. That's a ten. I mean these speeches are graded on a curve. If you go up and surpass expectations, they will carry you out on their shoulders.

      I get a lot of great emails on Monday mornings, and people say "My god, everyone came up to me and said it was the best wedding speech they'd ever heard." And that's not credit to me. That's because the bar is low and these people put the time in. They put the effort in. They prepare because there's nothing worse than someone getting up there and four words in, you know the only thought they put into this is while they're walking onto the stage. And it's just such a missed opportunity.

      It's so true, Beth. And it's a brilliant thing to remember of course. You know, yes it's not a cold audience. You're not having an interview. They're not sitting there with scorecards. They're sitting there wanting to love you and wanting you to succeed. And yeah you've got the implied confidence of the couple getting married. And so yeah everyone else is on your side. So that's brilliant. Okay so we've pumped him up, Beth. We've pumped up this best man. He's like "Okay great. Now what do I do?"

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      Well, in preparing the speech, and again, this is in any form of helping or anyone without my help, I always think that honesty and truth is helpful in telling your story and it's also great for humor. So when you're writing your speech and I try to break speeches down into six parts, so you've got the introduction, thanks and acknowledgements, then your half of the couple and why they're great. The other half of the couple and why they're great, why they're great together and then the toast.

      So in that introduction part where you go up and say, "Hey, I'm Dave, I'm Steve's best man," tell people how you're feeling at that moment. First of all, also because someone may have just said, "Please welcome Dave, Steve's best man." So that it doesn't sound redundant, you can share that information and let us know how you're feeling and if how you're feeling is absolutely petrified. I mean beyond a normal about of jitters because you're going up and doing something that has some stakes to it. If you are terrified, the paper shaking, the voice is cracking, tell people because they can see it. It's the acknowledging the elephant in the room and if that's the fact that you are covered in flop sweat and shaking like a leaf, say, "You know, as you can see, public speaking is not something I enjoy. So, if I pass out while I'm doing this, just drag me back to my seat and when I come to tell me I was great."

      And even if you deliver any sort of joke that you make, you don't have to say that exactly, but if you're self-aware and you acknowledge the elephant that's in the room and you do it in a way that's compelling. And you don't even have to deliver that like a comedian. You could deliver that staring straight at your paper, you're shaking piece of paper, you're being vulnerable, they're going to laugh because it's a joke, you're setting their expectations. There's nothing worse than sitting in an audience and watching someone suffer. And everyone has to pretend it's not happening. So acknowledge that it's happening.

      I've had so many fathers of the bride who are absolutely terrified. And just tell people. "Look, public speaking is just, I'd rather be wrapped up in a bunch of snakes. Like I'm terrified of public speaking, but there's no one else I would do this for." Or "I'll keep the short and sweet. I hate public speaking. But there was no way I wasn't going to speak today." How can you not root for someone when they've shared that with you? It goes such a long way. It helps you and it helps the audience enjoy your speech more.

      It buys you some time, too, doesn't it?

      It buys you some time. It gets you that first laugh. It breaks the ice. And it's not just a joke. You're sharing information. Because always with humor, it should be secondary to the message that you're trying to get across. It's the seasoning. It's so effective. Even without humor, just admitting to someone that it's, I guess, my default is humor. "Yeah, because I'd rather close my hand in the car door than be up here. But I'm not going to not give this speech." Because then people are rooting for an underdog.

      Exactly. Oh, Australians like that's our favorite sport. I kind of skipped past though. Before I stood up there as Dave, as Steve's best man, do you think, Beth, there are things that I could do as Dave to be better prepared up there? I mean, obviously I needed to write my speech and think about it, you know, prior to five minutes before going up and not have it on a napkin. So I've done that. I've written my speech. But do you think there are any tricks in delivering this or getting myself prepared? You know, when you stand up there and you hear someone's voice literally shake, is there any way to stop that from happening?

      I would say the first thing is practice. Speaking involves coordination. So write your speech, read it out loud over and over and over again. It's going to help you refine your speech because the way we write things and the way we speak sometimes are very different. And I always try to, I think it's very helpful to make your speech conversational. You don't necessarily want it to sound like a greeting card, a Hallmark card. So make it conversational. And as you're reading this speech that you've written out loud, you will hear where it doesn't sound conversational, where it sounds like you're reading Shakespeare. "Forsooth, and I have, Lord has brought these two people together."

      No, this your buddy, Dave. So make it conversational, then when you're practicing it, practice it in a conversational way. And the act of practicing it, it helps your timing, it helps your coordination. It's you're going to go out and play a basketball game, you do drills. You practice just to get that muscle memory going.

      Try not to have too many drinks before you go up. It's a coordination thing. Now you've practiced it. Now you've got some muscle memory and some coordination between your brain, your eyes, your mouth, print out your speech.

      It's totally fine to read your speech. People say, well, and then I have to memorize it. That's part of the panic that they go into. I'll tell you, I probably wouldn't memorize my speech if I were going up and doing it. I did stand up, but that was material that I developed slowly and over a long time. So suddenly memorizing two pages if it's not something that you do all the time, don't bother because that's not what you should be focused on. You shouldn't be focused on memorizing it. You should be focused on the content. So when you print out your speech, print it out using a really big font, 16, 18, something really big. Make sure you put numbers on your pages. So if you drop them or it's just something happens when you put them all back together, it's easy to put them back into the right order, such a small thing, but it does --

      it'll save you six minutes of going, ahh, ahh, ahh. And on the paper, between every thought or joke, forget everything you know, everything you were taught in English class, for this, what you want is white space between every thought. So that, in this big font, and there's white space between every thought, because part of your practicing your speech is to get it maybe 50, 60% memorized, so that you can look up and you can make eye contact with people as you're delivering it, and then look back down at your speech.

      And having that big font, and having that white space between each thought is going to help you, because sometimes that will make people nervous, because you're nervous, and then you get up there, and you start delivering your speech, and you get a little bit of momentum, and you're feeling okay, and then you look back down at your speech, and it's just a page of dense text, and you can't figure out where you are, and every second that you're trying to find your place -- no one in the audience cares -- but to you, every second will feel like an eternity, and that's when the alarm bells start going, "Woop, woop, woop, woop, we're going down, we're going down," and it'll take you out of the moment.

      So, that is such a simple thing that you can do, that really makes a huge difference on the day. For the shaky voice, a friend of mine is a performer, and she's got really bad anxiety, and we did an interview with her. It's on the YouTube channel. She gave some very practical breathing exercises that you can do, that that will relax you, which will relax your voice before you go up to speak. So, a few minutes before you go up there, see if you can find a nice quiet place just outside the room, or in the toilet, wherever it needs to be, and just take 10 deep breaths, try to calm yourself down, even if you don't think you can calm yourself down. Just take those deep breaths, get some oxygen in your brain, try to relax those muscles, because what that shaky voice is, it's tense muscles.

      And you know what? If your voice shakes a little bit, that's okay too, because it's an emotional moment, it doesn't have to be perfect. People will understand that you're nervous, they don't think you do this for a living. This is not a theater show, or stand-up where someone seems really nervous, and you go, "I paint 70 bucks for the ticket. Why are they so nervous?" I mean, you are someone who doesn't do this all the time, so if you come across as being a little bit less confident, performance-wise, it's not the worst thing in the world. People understand.

      You've just taken so much fear away, your breath, I really love it, so you know, actually getting prepared to start with, being asked to do the speech rather than being told, that's brilliant, writing something before you walk up there, doing our breathing exercises, I loved also how my background's in music, so I've got a performance jazz degree and I'm actually a bass player. And one of the things that I was taught was to never acknowledge your fear, to ride it out, to go straight through it, but then again, that was playing an instrument that wasn't vocalizing something, so you just find that fascinating that you say acknowledge the elephant in the room.

      Yeah, and I would acknowledge the elephant in the room, whatever it is, I mean it's also a good way to start any kind of speech off with comedy, is acknowledging the elephant in the room. I mean if the air conditioning is broken down and everyone has just sweat through everything that they have, that's something you might want to acknowledge. Pretending it's not there is more awkward than making a joke. Or if the air conditioning is working a little bit too well, those are the sorts of things -- or if something's gone wrong during the ceremony, in a funny way, obviously.

      Or if something's happened with the meal, or someone drops something in the middle of your speech, you can acknowledge that. Everyone else has heard it, everyone else has experienced it, so it's a great place to add humor. And also, you don't want things to be distracting, so if something is distracting, and if that distraction is your own nerves, then that's something that you want to acknowledge, the same way is you'd acknowledge someone dropping a tray of dishes in the middle of your speech. It's something that you kind of have to acknowledge. If you pretend it didn't happen, it looks a little strange.

      I really love that. Do you have any other tips, is there anything else Dave can do to alleviate his nervousness?

      Well, one thing the couple can do to help Dave's nervousness is let him know when he will be giving his speech. Because the anticipation just absolutely destroys people. Now, look. I was a comedian for almost 15 years. when you walk into a comedy club, usually right by the door. Right by where you walk in, there's the line-up posted. So there's so and so, they're doing seven minutes. Then it's Beth, she's doing six minutes, then there's so and so. And you know, from the time you walk in, "I'm before this person and after this person."

      So, if you tell people on the day, or have someone else tell them. You know, if you're the couple, you can have the planner tell them. Just make sure that someone tells all of your speakers, "Okay, so we're going to come in and we're gonna do this and then this, and then they'll serve the salad, and then we're going to do the speeches, and it's Dave, Charlie, Michelle, and Allen. Everyone got that? Dave, Charlie, Michelle, and Allen."

      And then they know when it's going to happen, they know who they're after, they don't have to feel like at any moment, you know, cat-like state of readiness. Or they just have to listen every time the band gets quiet or the music goes down, they don't go into a sheer panic. They know when it's going to happen, it makes a huge difference. I would want to know, that would be my first question, walking in, "Alright, what's the order?"

      I'm trying to think of one more nugget for what will make Dave feel extra prepared. Well, don't forget the toast! I hear from a lot of wedding planners that people forget the actual toast part, and by toast, so I listed those six things that go into a wedding speech. The last one is the toast, and by toast, I mean a literal, "Would everyone please raise their glass in a toast to the happy couple. I know I speak for everyone here when I wish them a lifetime of whatever health happiness and laughter." But a literal ask people to raise their glass in a toast, so that you get that moment, because you're creating momentum with your speech. You want your speech to be designed in a way that just builds and builds and builds and builds, the heart, the humor, everything.

      If you think of it as a ski jump, now you've come down the hill, you've gone off the jump, but you want to land it! You don't want to just kind of fly off, or I mean people want to see you get both skis on the ground and land it, and that's what the toast is, so you know build it up, and then pay it off! So the happy couple, everyone drinks, and then that's it! You can't follow the toast, because no one's listening at that point, right? They're drinking and they're like, yeah, even then now they're all talking amongst themselves. So do your toast, and then make a quick exit.

      I was speaking to another wedding planner, and she said, as soon as someone finishes their toast, she or someone else will swoop in and take the mic from the speaker. And that's because the next place a speaker goes, is that they head over, hopefully, to the couple, give them a hug and a kiss, get a great photo. And so if you're the speaker, make sure that you go over there -- and have an awareness that someone's trying to take a photo of this fantastic moment! But she said she's had some very awkward hot mic moments, where the speaker, still holding the mic, goes, wraps their arms around the couple, and that's when someone says, "Thanks for not mentioning the divorce!" Or, you know, "Uncle Stan is hammered."

      That's exactly when it happens!

      And you don't want the mic in the shot in the photo anyway, but you definitely don't want some awkward hot mic moment!

      That is the best advice, Beth. But I find a lot of my couples, you know, because they're mic'd up for the videographer, and they forget, they forget their mic'd up. And some of the stories that you hear from videographers have gone through the audio after the day, it would make your hair curl.

      Oh, I bet! Oh, I bet it would. I wouldn't trust myself! As soon as I finished, I'm not gonna drop the mic, because I know what they cost. But I am going to distance myself from it, so that I don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, after I've delivered this fantastic speech, and then go, "Well, Mom’s wasted!"

      Oh, my goodness! Yeah, there's so much that could go wrong there! So, you know, we've wrapped it up, we've put a bow on it, with handed off the mic, there's no more incriminating evidence, and we walk out of hero, right?

      I think so. Again, the expectation is the audience wants to hear how wonderful the couple is, and they want to hear it in specific terms, you're speaking for them, they already think the couple is wonderful, you are the person who is, you're sharing your point of view, and your stories, but they universally think that this couple is wonderful, so they are enjoying your perspective on that. And if they've gotten that, and maybe had a laugh, maybe shed a tear, and then you leave, and you leave in a reasonable amount of time, don't speak too long, it's a speech, not a hostage situation, they're going to be happy, they're going to be thrilled, they're going to come up to you, and they're going to say, "It's the best wedding speech I've heard."

      Beth, you're a gem! Thank you so much for talking with me today about wedding speeches and more importantly helping poor, nervous Dave.

      So I feel like we've gotten a really brilliant overview, how to get him started, how to talk him through, the little exercises of breathing to help his voice, the toast at the end, get rid of the mic, but what happens?

      Tell me how, well, whether it's couples, Dave, or I'm guessing you'd also do a bit of father of the bride stuff as well, because I guess they might need some help. I am the father of the bride whisperer. Yes, I've helped every member of the wedding; the couple getting married, the best man, the maid of honor, Mom, but dads are my biggest clientele.

      So tell me, well, don't tell me, tell my lovely listener, how can they find you, Beth, if they want your help? It's Authentically Funny Speeches dot com, and I've got all the products and services there. And in my free guide section, which is easy to find, I will put a wedding speech guide for couples getting married, how they can set their speakers up for success, I'll add some of the stuff that we've talked about so they can get that. And if you use the term UNBRIDELY checking out, you'll get 10% off any of my services.

      Thank you so much, Beth. I actually had a look at your wonderful interview with your friend about the vocal exercises and the breathing and everything, so I'll be sure to put the link to your YouTube in the show notes. So everyone can find that, go through that, make sure they don't have the shaky voice.

      Great and yes, YouTube is Authentically Funny Speeches. Same name on YouTube and on Instagram. Thank you so much, Beth. Thank you for your time. And please, listener, give your good luck vibes to Beth for her UK driving test. I'll make sure to put on the socials whether or not she passed and, you know, we can coach her through it.

      Thank you so much. My pleasure. And I'll try to remember to drive on the left.

      Please. Thank you. That about wraps it up for this episode of the Unbridely podcast.

      For the links and resources we mentioned, please head to the show notes. And if you love the show, please review and subscribe on the podcast platform you're on now, so you don't miss out on a single episode. Thanks so much for listening and remember, weddings are a team sport. Catch you soon.

      NOTE FROM BETH: I passed the driving test!

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