While a common misconception of the term “public speaking” is talking to a huge number of audience, this isn’t always the case. As a matter of fact, you’ll find that small group public speaking engagements are more common. Examples for this are sales pitches, corporate presentations, workshops and indeed wedding speeches.
However, regardless of the audience size, speaking in front is just as nerve-racking. Your audience may be smaller, but the amount of pressure remains the same. Take note of the following tips in order to ensure the utmost effectiveness of your speech.
- Know who are in your audience. We’re sticking with the importance of knowing who your audience are i.e. your guests. Doing this will already give you a head start towards establishing a solid connection. This will make it easier for you in getting your speech across. This will also help you in coming up with a speech that is highly relatable.
- Exercise small group dynamics. Since the wedding is set to a minimum, the wedding guests will be able to interact more closely to each other. This is a good opportunity to engage with them. You, as the speaker, can be garrulous or talkative, but let them react, laugh, applaud you and indeed reminisce. Aside from facilitating engagement, this is also good way to make sure that they truly get what you are talking about.
- Mind your pacing. Because the group is smaller, you can easily tell how well the guests is keeping up with you. You can simply detect a puzzled look, a curious mind, or a totally uninterested individual. Once you start noticing these signs from your audience, you may want to slow down or fasten up a little bit.
- Energize! A small group’s energy is far less bigger than a large group. You have to consistently maintain the energy of the crowd to make sure that none of the listeners are dozing off. You can look into their eyes and further establish that one-on-one connection.
- Maximize movement. In planning your movements, make sure that your visual aids, if any, won’t be blocked. After making sure that everything is okay, you can then smartly use movement for impact and emphasis. We suggest practicing your movements ahead together with your speech. This way, you can properly plan and avoid exaggeration or under ration. Do note, however, that movement when delivering an actual wedding speech should be kept to a minimum.
Just because your audience is smaller than the usual does not mean that they are of lesser value. Keep this in mind, having a more limited set of an audience gives you the opportunity for a more intimate relationship with them. Use this to your advantage to ensure the utmost effectiveness of your speech.