The Extemporaneous Speech Delivery Style is the key to wonderful speeches throughout North America.
How Do You Deliver An Extemporaneous Speech?
Step 1- Practice your speech at least five (5) times.
Practicing five or more times will help you to become familiar with your material. DO NOT try to memorize your entire speech word-for-word.
Step 2- Write a BRIEF Outline
The Speech Delivery Outline contains just a few words to remind you of what you want to say during your speech. Don't worry about writing a formal outline--just a few reminder words to scan will be fine.
Step 3- View the Audience
Deliver your speech while looking at your audience and occasionally peek at your outline as needed.
What's In It For You?
By using the Extemporaneous Speech Delivery Style, your audience will love you because you will look at the guests and speak to them--not a piece of paper. You'll feel confident because you won't need to read word-for-word from your notes.
Note: If the wedding is taking place outside of North America, check out the speech delivery expectations for that country because they could differ.
For now, we'll concentrate on the expected speech delivery style in North America.
The Top 4 Recommended Speech Delivery Tips
1. Eye Contact
Look at the audience.
If the speaker looks away from the group--at the floor, ceiling, or notes--the audience is less likely to listen to the message. In fact, the guests may feel that the lack of eye contact is rude.
Vocal variety is a very important part of speech delivery.
Speak in a conversational tone as if you're telling some good news to a friend.
A speech delivered with excitement in the voice will keep the audience's attention. Just, don't go overboard.
Feel free to emphasize words by highering and lowering your voice. You can also enhance your vocal variety by stretching and shortening the words.
Be careful not to speak in a monotone voice, which often comes with reading a speech (and makes the speaker sound like a robot). It will probably bore the audience.
Along the lines of voice, good volume (not too loud and not too soft) enables the guests to better follow and understand the speech. Otherwise, the audience may have a difficult time listening to the speech.
The speaker's hands should be kept at each side, with gestures or hand movements occurring naturally.
When a speaker effectively uses gestures, he/she can add excitement to a speech and control nervousness at the same time. Try to keep your hands open to show your confidence.
Avoid holding hands, jerking fingers, fidgeting with jewelry, and waving hands too often. These are usually viewed by the audience as being nervousness.
4. Legs and Feet
Speakers who stand directly in front of the guests, balance their stance, plant both feet on the ground, stand briefly, and walk occasionally are likely to be seen as confident.
Be careful not to cross your legs or constantly walk back-and-forth like a pendulum. Not only could these broadcast your nervousness, but you could fall and hurt yourself. The back-and-forth walking will also drive people crazy!
Bonus Tip: Avoid the Podium!
If there is a podium, avoid using it. When speaking to a group, it gets very easy and tempting to lean on it (they're not very sturdy) or hide behind it as if you're using it as a shield.
The purpose of a podium is to hold your notes--nothing more. While you can return to the podium to review your notes when you need them, the best speeches are delivered when speakers step away from podiums and towards audience members.
By approaching the guests, you are building a relationship with them instead of hiding from them.
Remember to leave your notes on the podium and then leave the podium during your speech.
Where should you go from here?
Every coach says Practice! Practice! Practice! Why? Because it works. Wedding Speeches are no exception. Go to the Practice Page to find the fastest and easiest ways to focus your practices.