Geoff Woliner is more than just a local standup comedian and funny guy. He’s a great source of advice when it comes to speeches. And what more important speech is there than the wedding toast. Check out Geoff’s advice to pass along to your Maid of Honor … and pass it along to the Best Man, too!
So, the big day is coming up. Dresses are fitted, vendors booked, groomsmen warned. There's a feeling of excitement in the air. Things are proceeding nicely and everyone is ready for the show. Everyone, except your Maid of Honor.
She still has to give that big toast, and chances are, she's terrified. With public speaking being the #1 fear in America, it's a pretty safe bet your Maid of Honor has a few butterflies. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your Maid of Honor gives a memorable, heartfelt, and funny speech that will make her the toast of the town.
1) Re-assure her and tell her to focus on you. After all, this is a speech honoring you and your relationship, and it should take on the form and feeling of a private moment between you both. As she speaks, be sure to smile at her and nod to re-assure her that you're with her every step of the way. It'll put her at ease and also bring the crowd into the moment you're creating.
2) Give her the full roster. Your MOH will know many of the attendees at the wedding, but a good many will be strangers. Go through the guest list together. The more she knows about the people in the room, the more at ease she'll be on the stage. And if she works in a funny story about someone she doesn't know that involves you, it'll take people by surprise and have them eating out of her hand.
3) Suggest a third party sounding board. To help with positive feedback, suggest someone your MOH can bounce the speech off in advance. Someone who will be supportive, but also know what to recommend she leave out of the speech. This can be a mutual friend, but it's even better if it's someone close to you who she doesn't know so she can get a completely neutral perspective.
4) Let her know that it's OK! At the end of the day, this is a great moment between the two of you, but if she flubs a line, it's not the end of the world. You're not going to disown her. You're not going to spread vicious gossip about her on Facebook. And you're not going to tell the whole crowd about that one time at the sorority house ... well, you get the idea. This speech will shine the light on your friendship, not define it.
5) Work with the DJ to give her a great intro. Chances are, you know her favorite "pump-up" song. If possible, work with the band or DJ to play that song as she's introduced and walking up to the mic. It'll be a fun, unexpected surprise that's guaranteed to put a smile on her face and get her in the right frame of mind. Walk-up music is used for all big-time speakers and athletes, and since your Maid of Honor is going to be the star of the show for the next 3-5 minutes, she deserves no less.
Your wedding day will be an incredible parade of laughter, tears, awkward dancing and memorable moments. Help your Maid of Honor create one of those moments, so she – and you – will never forget it.
Geoff Woliner is an award-winning comedian and founder of Winning Wit, the premier wedding speechwriting service in America. If anyone in your wedding party needs a hand writing or delivering their speech, contact Geoff@WinningWit.com.