I want to speak…!

I attended a wedding recently where a great Irish guy married and an equally as great Australian lady married. Two great families too, with most of the Australian contingent experiencing their first visit to Ireland and therefore their first Irish wedding. The wedding followed the traditional route when it came to the speeches, but there was more speakers than normal, nine in fact. There was the Father of the Bride, Father of the Groom, Brother of the Bride, Groom, Best friend of the Bride and four Bestmen (a brother of the Groom, a work colleague of the Groom, a college friend of the Groom and a best friend of the Groom).

When all of them had spoken, the main Bestman asked us (the audience) was there anyone else who wanted to contribute to the speeches and say anything about the Bride and Groom? Not a done thing in Ireland, but may be in Australia (I have never experienced a wedding there). Thankfully, no one volunteered! The speeches by my watch lasted one hour and 25 minutes. They were delivered after the meal, so no one was hungry or thirsty during their delivery. Overall, each speech had it is uniqueness and individuality, which made them all different in their own way and in fact enjoyable. Each speech had an average delivery time of 8-10 minutes (including the applause).

Why am I sharing this story with you? I guess, it is to give you some food for thought when it comes to a wedding that you are personally involved in i.e. getting married or family of the Bride and / or Groom. The above speeches were obviously planned as everyone had prepared scripts, PP slides and notes. But, really too many people spoke. We are told by wedding managers / coordinators that two people should speak at a wedding; the Father of the Bride and the Groom.

Who should speak at your wedding and why?

Make Innovation Formal…

Like everything in business (and indeed life), if tasks, duties and projects whether they be a once-off or on-going, do not get formal treatment, they will not happen. What do I mean by formal treatment? By formal treatment I mean, we set a day, time and duration to discuss what is involved, what needs to happen and the resources, people and money needed to complete the specific item. Tasks and duties can be daily meetings, weekly meetings, monthly meetings and / or quarterly / annual meetings that are on-going ‘set-in-stone’ activities that have become part of our daily work life. Or they can be project-like, where the task / duty has a specific goal and has a specific start date and end date that could have a short or long time duration.

The tasks and duties are the things we must do to stay in business i.e. they are the Maintenance Tasks (for those of you who have studied Time Management Skills). The projects are what we call the Progress Tasks (in Time Management) and are nice to do, will help us and the business develop, enhance and grow. If they were not done, it might not cause the business to cease trading or go about of business.

When it comes to innovation and re-innovating how we do things in the business; how we can change customer mind-set; how we can increase customer foot-fall; how we can increase turnover and how we can make our business be a destination of choice by people, we have to think of innovation as a Maintenance Task. It has to be treated with formality and given a set time, set day at least once per month.

Staff are always innovating and changing how they and the business do business, but they do not see it as a key part of their job, it is informal. It probably is not part of their job description. You as a business leader in your organisation or as part of a team, have to treat innovation as a task, duty, and / or project. Give it formality, give it a life-form, give it a department name, give it a leader to run and manage it and tangible benefits will follow...guaranteed...

Need, Learn & Do…

We all know and realise that communication and the ability to speak to, persuade and influence people is paramount in a career, especially when you have career ambitions. If you are self-employed, communication is your number one business survival tool. If you are one of those people and feel that your competency(s) in communication is (are) lacking, that you have a passion, an interest, a task that needs people to make it happen or to know about it; then you have a NEED to develop communication skills that will deliver on your expectations and goals.

Realising a need to improve, enhance and develop your communication skills is a major realisation, as most of us feel our skills in this area are ‘fine’, that we never have to use them much in our job and if we had to, we’d manage and get by. If you have any doubt about this, then there is a need for you to upskill in your communication skills.

How do you go about upskilling in communication skills? You LEARN!

Research courses and find and identify the best based on recommendations, accreditations and cost. Research and read books aimed at communication skills improvement and development. Attend and join speaking clubs (e.g. Toastmasters). Through these methods, you will learn ways, techniques and skills on how to help you enhance and become a better communicator.

How do you become a great communicator? You DO! That is you speak in front of people. You have to practice the learning in the real world. That is you speak at work, to your team, to your work colleagues, to your bosses / managers. You offer to speak at seminars, events (business and social).

By doing, you are using the learning, getting feedback and developing / learning more from it.

You want to be a great speaker; you need to be a great speaker, you’d like to be a great speaker? Whether it is a want, need or like, become competent in public speaking, and confidence and results will follow…

Wedding Experts…

We are now well into the season of wedding fairs, events, showcases, in fact they are probably coming to an end as when the main wedding season begins now, the wedding fairs cease. Did you attend many of these fairs, events and showcases? Many of them that you attended were hosted at hotels who were seeking your custom i.e. choose us as your ideal, perfect wedding venue. Did you learn anything from the service providers who displayed their goods and wares to you? Will you use any of the tips and recommendations that were shared with you on your wedding day? Will they make your day more memorable and enjoyable for you and your wedding guests?

When taking on board advice, guidance and recommendations from people who say and believe themselves to be experts in their field, do give them some of your time and attention. If they are a long time doing what they do, give them that bit more respect and attention.

Ask open-ended questions, seek their guidance through their past experiences and make notes on their marketing / advertising materials. These people know that weddings are big business and they want a piece of it i.e. your hard-earned income.

Before investing in their products or services, you really need to ask them the following questions:

  • Are they the expert in the field
  • How long are they in business
  • Have they success stories or displays to show their specialism
  • Do I really need their product or service
  • What will they add or bring to my / our wedding
  • Will it bring the ‘wow’ factor
  • Will our wedding guests notice the investment
  • Will they comment on it
  • Will they remember it
  • And most importantly, will you remember it…?

Do listen to the experts; they are in business, so they must be doing something right. Make sure whatever they do, that it is right from you…

Should I Use My Native Language in My Wedding Speech??

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Most Irish wedding speeches are delivered in the English language as most of the audience expect it to be and most of them anyway will probably speak or understand it.
For people who are fluent Irish speakers, it would be suggested that you do deliver part of your speech in Irish. This can be done at the start of the speech, at the end of the speech or throughout the speech. It is important that what you say is said in English too either word for word or in a different way, as your guests can feel left out if they do not understand what you are saying / have said.

For people not born in Ireland and who are getting married in Ireland where English is not their first language, it is expected that most of the speech could be delivered in their native tongue, though not all of it. One would have to make an attempt at delivering part of the speech or saying a few words in the English language.

If you are wondering what to say in the Irish language or in your native tongue, consider wedding blessings, wedding poems and opening and closing your speech in Irish.

Your wedding guests always appreciate people speaking in their native tongue, once they know what they are saying or that it is translated for them.

Finally, if some of your main wedding party and guests are from a particular part of the world, welcoming them in their native language or saying a few words during your speech would make them feel really at home.

Whatever language(s) you use during your wedding speech, cover everything that your specific speech is supposed to cover, prepare well, practice, look forward to it and don’t forget to smile!