What makes or breaks a wedding speech? A local wedding planner let us know

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We’ve all been to a wedding where someone delivers a great speech. However, when we find ourselves in the position of needing to write one, it can be difficult to find a place to start. Finding the right words, building up the confidence to deliver a good speech, and making sure the audience stays engaged can be difficult tasks.

That’s why we asked Baton Rouge wedding planner Leslie Campbell for her best advice on how to write a good wedding speech. “I have been doing this for over 15 years, so I have seen and heard a lot of speeches,” Campbell says.

Here are some of her best tips:

Keep it short.

Campbell says the best length for a wedding speech is between three and five minutes. “Sometimes the most meaningful words can be said very quickly,” she says. “You can condense a speech, and it can still be meaningful, and you don’t have to take up so much time.”

Make it heartfelt and personal.

Campbell says a wedding speech should include how long you’ve known the bride and groom, your connection to them, and a personal story. “A few great speeches stick out in my mind, but the reason they stick out is because they were authentic and heartfelt–just good thoughts and memories about the person and their relationship,” Campbell says.

Plan what you’re going to say before the wedding.

Having a good idea of what you’re going to say, writing it out, and practicing beforehand can help you be confident when delivering the speech, Campbell says. “Mostly, it’s so you can be prepared and not just get up and speak from the cuff. You have to have some idea of what you’re going to say, because otherwise you’ll get nervous and just start rambling. That would be my biggest tip.”

Be prepared and stay on topic.

Campbell says the delivery of the speech is important, and one of the best ways to stay on track when delivering your speech is to keep a hard copy handy in case nerves start to interfere. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bringing a copy of your speech. You should write it on a piece of paper,” Campbell says.

Don’t embarrass the bride or groom.

Campbell suggests keeping speeches family-friendly and sincere, noting to also not embarrass the bride or groom, who may not want lingering memories of potentially shameful incidents haunting their wedding reception.

Keep it simple.

Campbell says keeping it simple is the best way to go when writing a wedding speech. “Even if you’re not the best public speaker, you don’t need to feel like you have to get up there and talk forever.”

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