When it comes to the father of the bride speech, people expect that you will be witty, serious, and even very sentimental. After all, this is your little girl all grown up and getting married. Therefore, you want your speech to display emotion, but do not get soppy to where you are crying rivers in front of the group as this will not make the best speech, and it will also cause the crowd to be uncomfortable. The best way to deliver your speech is to prepare it on paper first, and then practice it in front of someone you know, and then in front of the mirror so you can see how you look when delivering the speech.
Begin your speech with an opening such as the story of how you felt when your daughter was born, or when she began school. The idea here is to set the stage for the rest of your speech. You want to draw the crowd in, but do not take the audience through your daughter’s entire life or you will not only bore your audience, but make them begin to wonder just how long this speech is going to be.
After your opening, you will then want to spend some time talking about how the bride and groom met and how wonderful it was to see your daughter find love. Talk about some of the positive ways in which the groom has changed your daughter’s life for the better. For instance, if your soon-to-be son-in-law is a witty person, did it help your daughter to become witty as well? Did meeting him help her grow as a person or become more confident? These are all things you can add to your father of the bride speech.
You can wrap up your father of the bride speech with what your daughter means to you. You might fully address her at this point in your speech. If you get a little choked up, it is to be expected, and everyone in the audience will feel your sentiment. End your speech with how you feel/felt as a father giving your daughter away (if they had a traditional wedding), and finally toast to the bride and groom for many happy years together.
If speeches make you really nervous, then you will want to run through your speech with someone you know. Practice it several times and even in the clothes you are planning to wear for the speech. That way you will be fully prepared, knowing just how your clothes feel when they are on as you run through the speech. Ask the person listening to you to time you to see how long or short your speech is, and do not just breeze through it. Practice your speech at least five times or more. The point of practicing is to go through the entire speech just as you’d like to deliver it. Then, when it is time to give the speech, your practicing will come back to you.
Keep in mind that everyone you will be speaking to has probably been in your shoes and had to give a speech somewhere, so it is okay to admit when you first stand up that you are a bit nervous, especially if your voice begins to shake. If you wish, you can write down all the points you want to cover on index cards, which often makes it easier for many speakers to stay organized and on track.
Lastly, on the big day of the event when you are dressed and ready to give your speech, head to the area where you will be speaking before anyone arrives, so you can get a feel for the room, the area where you will be standing, and then take the center for a few minutes. This will help you scope out the area, so to speak, so that you feel more comfortable in the environment. The main point of any speech is to be well prepared because the preparation helps to take off the edge and quell one’s nervousness.