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Written by Tyler Goodyer Last updated: February 20, 2016
Writing and performing a wedding toast is incredibly hard and writing a good one can be nearly impossible. With so many people making toasts on the wedding day, as the groom it is important for you to make sure that your toast doesn’t fall flat. So here are some tips for a top notch toast.
Length: The first thing that you need to remember is that wedding toasts are about three to five minutes long, any longer and people can become bored, especially if you’re one of the last toasts.
Practise: Before the wedding day, you should practise your wedding toast, just to ensure that you can get through it without flubbing and stumbling over your words. Practise your speech in the mirror or in front of your friends to gain confidence and figure out what doesn’t work.
Learn the speech: Before the big day, take some time to sit down and learn your toast, you don’t have to learn the entire thing, but just make sure that you’re not reading the toast word for word. It looks like you don’t really mean it.
Smile: As it says in Annie, you’re never fully dressed without a smile, so don’t be naked when you’re stood in front of all the guests. It will put your guests at ease; make them feel more comfortable laughing at your jokes. It makes the entire toast a lot more enjoyable for everyone.
Keep eye contact: Eye contact gives a level of sincerity to your toast that is difficult to achieve otherwise; eye contact also makes it seem that you’re comfortable as a public speaker. Make sure that you keep looking around the room; I find that switching between looking at three different places in the crowd works effectively.
Add jokes: Jokes are an easy way to break the ice with the crowd; it will make them smile and let you relax. Some people are uncomfortable adding jokes to toasts, but jokes really do lighten the mood and will make you feel more confident to deliver your toast.
Making lists: If you just stand at the front of the room and just roll down a shopping list of names, they will get bored as there’s no body to it. Feel free to say thanks to people, but try to group people together when you’re thanking them. You only have five minutes so you don’t want to waste time!
Adding too many jokes: I recommend that you do add jokes to your toast, but adding to many jokes can kill the humour. I would stay away from puns; they’re only ever funny to the one making them. Just make sure that your toast is affectionate and charming, as well as funny.
Rushing: It is incredibly common for the reader of a speech to get nervous and start to rush through the toast. If you start rushing you can stumble over your words as they fly out of your mouth. Take pauses to add effect to your words and also so you can collect yourself briefly.
Embarrassing or offending: It is easy to fall into the trap of telling short stories about people that they don’t want anyone to know. It’s also important that your toast is suitable for the audience; try to keep it family friendly.