Should you try to memorise your whole wedding speech, use notes or bullet points, or take a full written version of your speech with you? Should you print it onto cards, paper or something else – your hand, for instance? Here’s my advice…

Groom using cue cards in his wedding speech

Stay Clear of Paper

  • A4 sheets are thin, and it’s tempting to type too much onto each page
  • If you’re feeling jittery, paper will shake in your hands
  • It’s all too easy to lose your place on the page

Relying on Memory Can Be Risky

  • Memorising your wedding speech may sound appealing, but with everything else going on you may end up forgetting your lines
  • In trying to remember the speech there’s a danger of sounding wooden
  • It can add a nerve-racking element to an already stressful job!

Notes Provide a Safety Net

  • If you know your speech well, concise notes can act as triggers for you to move onto the next section or subject, enabling you to look sharp and confident
  • It allows for a bit of spontaneity in your speech
  • But be careful – using notes can be disorientating, so make sure you do lots of practise with them in advance

Cards Work Best

  • Cards (A6 work well) can contain the full version of the speech without looking like you’ve typed an essay
  • Each card can contain a separate section of the speech, and this can help you pace yourself
  • You can use thick cards, helping to hide the shakes
  • The typeface should be large enough for you to read at arm’s length (try 14-point Arial)
  • Highlight certain words to show where emphasis is required
  • Remember to number each card in case you drop them at the wrong moment!
  • It’s also worth asking a friend to carry a spare set of cards in case you manage to mislay yours

Guest post by Lawrence Bernstein of Great Speech Writing

Image from Claire Basiuk Photography