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Being the Maid of Honor is a privilege. You have the chance to experience behind-the-scenes memories that no one else will leading up to the bride’s wedding. While MOH duties are certainly an honor to have, the speech might seem like a daunting task. You can, however, follow the path to a winning wedding speech by avoiding the pitfalls below.

You haven’t written an outline for your speech.

As Maid of Honor, you have a seemingly endless list of responsibilities. The bride is likely counting on you more than anyone else to help her prepare for the big day. Writing an outline will help you to avoid nerves when speaking to that wedding crowd. It will also help you to stay on topic and avoid straying away from your main points. Even if you’re a natural at public speaking, a rough outline will help create a bit of structure to set your speech up for success! Don’t be ashamed to have a sneaky peek at some ready samples of maid of honor speeches, anyway because yours will be unique.

Your speech contains details that could cause serious discomfort.

If the bride has done some wildly embarrassing in the past, avoid sharing those stories with her guests. Maturity comes naturally with the marriage that will be her future; your MOH speech is not the place focus on the past. Also, avoid inside jokes that will either make most people uncomfortable or scratch their heads. The bride is counting on your speech to help foster an atmosphere where love sweeter than wedding cake fills the air. The last thing you want to do is disappoint (or even disgust) her on what should be one of the best days of her life. Instead, try to paint the best picture of her that you can and speak words of genuine hope for her future.

Your speech takes too much (or too little) time to deliver.

With any speech that you write, conciseness is an important key. A MOH speech should only last about two minutes. When the speech takes too long, people’s minds quickly wander. They can also become offended, assuming that a wordy speaker does not respect their time. Remember that a wedding has many parts. While your speech is important, it is not the focal point of the wedding—the bride and groom are. Try recording your speech and time yourself. If that speech is going on eight minutes, you know you’ve gone way over the target time frame.

Your speech makes everyone want to throw food at the groom.

Maybe the groom is far from your first choice for the bride. Come wedding day you still can’t figure out what she sees in him. In the words of a wise young lady who lived a life filled with compassion, “If you look hard enough, you can always find something good to say about anyone.” Find something to say. Leaving him out of the speech is not a great option either, so decide what to say about him. A few kind words are all you need.

Your speech seems stiff and dull.

Don’t put the crowd to sleep. If you don’t deliver the speech with excitement, the audience (not to mention the bride!) will notice. Speak with passion and enthusiasm. You don’t have to be funny, but you should keep the tone lighthearted and fun. One perfect way to do so is by sharing a story (see more about how to do this here). If you can sing, share a story through song!

Speak with sincere kindness and hope throughout your speech and follow the above advice. If you do, then you will deliver a lovely speech come wedding day.

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