Wedding speeches are a big deal. Trust me when I say, good or bad, they’ll be remembered; especially the bad ones. With that in mind I thought I’d put together these tips for how to write a groom’s speech to help you create something great. Bonus: these groom wedding speech tips can actually apply to any kind of speech writing.
We all have those days when we’re just not functioning at our best. Oftentimes, it will be the day following the night before. For those yet to find themselves immersed in nappies and milk, this means after a heavy session in the pub; while for those who have taken that plunge already, well, the connotations are somewhat different. Hint: Pass the matchsticks…
Incredibly frustratingly, my most recent episode of functioning below par occurred on one of the few days in my week dedicated to writing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m always working, even if simply taking inspiration from my day and internally brainstorming ideas, I don’t ever switch off completely. But on my precious work days when I have a whole block of hours to sit and type I have to be on it.
I really need to be using the time productively and efficiently.
That did not happen this week. Basically, I started writing and…something went wrong. Call it what you will, but a form of writer’s block ensued. My proofreader/editor/advocate (aka husband) confirmed my worst fears – what little I had written did not cut the mustard. Though this is a rare occurrence, sadly, it does occasionally happen – especially the morning after the night before.
So here’s my advice when you NEED to write something and those elusive words will not come…
How to Write a Groom’s Speech (or anything else for that matter)
1. Take a Break
If you’ve written several paragraphs and you feel certain it’s tripe – walk away. You may return feeling differently about it.
If you’re really unsure which bits work, have somebody you trust cast their eye over it and give you their opinion – some of my best-received work is stuff I thought my husband was going to totally pan! But, he convinced me it was good, and, well – seems he was right.
If you establish that your initial effort has no direction, it may be that you’ve launched into writing without a clear idea or plan.
Cobble together a few themes/subjects/stories and before you begin, bullet-point everything to be included under each heading. This will help you keep focus as you write.
3. Write What You know
They say, if you’re going to write a novel, your first should be autobiographical. This also holds true for most types of writing. If you write about something you identify with, it will sound natural.
4. Find a Solid Concept
They also say: if something is on your mind, writing about it is cathartic and will help to exorcise those demons. This is true – but if trying to write a speech, perhaps not right now.
It’s all too easy to put pen to paper, find yourself sucked into a blackhole, and come out the other side having word-vomited a load of flumadiddle* onto what once was a blank page full of hope and promise.
Don’t waste your time on something that is veering into a (boring) soliloquy. Save that drivel for your diary.
*Real word, means nonsense. Great isn’t it!
5. Write First, Edit Later
A common school-boy-error is editing as you type; this is a big mistake because it can prevent you from ever getting your thoughts down.
Ignore spelling and grammar – and even factual inaccuracies. You can check names and dates later; right now you simply want to get the nuts and bolts of the piece hammered out.
Best Man and Groom Wedding Speech Tip:
6. Consider Your Audience*
It’s all well and good recounting a hilarious anecdote, but if it involves profanity or sordid exploits, it may not be suitable for Great Aunt Maud. Unless she wears a hearing aid, in which case you may just get away with it. But don’t rely on my say so – if you’re not certain, refrain.
*It’s been my intention to make these guidelines applicable to all. But, Best Men – I’m talking to you: the time for jokes about the groom’s exes this ain’t. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
I hope these pro tips help you to write a successful speech! Of course, if you’re seriously struggling, there’s one more option…
…The reliable failsafe:
7. Hire a Pro*
*Shameless self-promotion, ie. pay me to do it for you.
Then all that’s left is nailing the delivery – best of luck!