Lost for words? Top tips on how to write a winning wedding speech and deliver it like a pro

Lost for words Top tips on how to write a winning wedding speech and deliver it like a pro
Giving a toast doesn't have to be scary. Expert VICTORIA WELLMAN of The Oratory Laboratory shares a few secrets…

Spring is almost visible on the horizon which means excited brides are finalising seating arrangements and dreaming of their floral designs.

For grooms, best men and maids of honour, however, it is the thought of their impending speeches that keeps many of them awake at night.

What if they’re not funny What if they’re boring What if they get too nervous The pressure to get it right seems unbearable to most.

Maids of honour beware! Wedding speeches shouldn't be gimmicky or given off the cuff like Kristen Wigg and Rose /03/08/article-2110745-1216B3DC000005DC-672_468x455.jpg

Victoria Wellman and Nathan Phillips of The Oratory Laboratory join Martha Stewart to share their top tips for speaking in public

Being specific is central to capturing the imagination of your audience. You have to do more than say ‘we’re so close
we’re like sisters’ and then list predictable qualities like honesty, warmth and loyalty among her attributes.

Every woman thinks of her best friend that way. The trick is to use specific anecdotes of your experiences together to show why she’s all of those things.

No one else should be able to give your speech so stay away from Google! You are never going to find original material on the internet and a memorable speech is an original one.

Don't get carried away though by using a gimmick like a song or an A-Z list of personality traits. They've been done a million times before and make for a very long-winded, awkward delivery.

Everyone always seems to know this one and yet few pay heed: Less is more. It's much better leaving the guests craving more of your charisma and charm than sending them to the bar in desperation.

Also don't try and memorise the speech – chances are you're not a actor so every iota of energy spent remembering the next line is energy wasted. You should be concentrating on what you are actually saying.

And of course, read your speech to someone for feedback. A partner does not always the best critic make either.

The most honest friend – the one who will tell you when you look bad in an outfit or are behaving badly – is the one who's ear you should borrow.

The most obvious piece of advice is the hardest to digest. Have fun! Giving a speech about someone you love is like giving them a present you know they'll adore. It's a celebration, not a punishment.

HEADER HERETELL A STORY: Your speech needs a beginning, middle and endBE SPECIFIC: Use your personal experience of the subject and focus on detail
DON'T GOOGLE: A great speech is one that only you could have writtenNO GIMMICKS! Lists, songs and flashcards are embarrassing and unoriginal
LESS IS MORE: Keep it under five minutes and have guests panting for more
GET FEEDBACK: Rehearse at least once with your most honest friend
DON'T MEMORISE: No one remembers a great speech that was read but everyone remembers the one that should have been
HAVE FUN! Everyone wants you to succeed

Watch The Oratory Laboratory share speech tips with Martha Stewart