Is it Okay to Read my Wedding Speech from Paper?

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    Almost all of the people who we see speaking in public, whether it be a wedding speech or a business presentation, have some form of notes to keep them on track, to help them not forget anything, and to reduce the pressure on them trying to remember what to say next. When it comes to preparing a wedding speech, you should write down everybody and everything you are going to mention on the day of the wedding; preferably onto a Microsoft Word Document. Each time you visit it to complete it, make sure to save a backup, as this is your ‘working document’.

    However, amidst the meticulous planning and preparation, a fundamental question arises: Is it okay to read my speech from paper? We’ll also discuss alternative delivery methods that can complement or substitute reading from a script, offering insights into discovering the approach that aligns best with your speaking style and desired impact.

    Read from memory

    People who deliver speeches without using notes i.e., speaking from memory, know their speech content very well. They know their subject inside out and have probably delivered the speech many times before.

    One of the fantastic aspects of delivering from memory is that it enables you to sustain constant eye contact with the audience, thereby nurturing a deeper emotional connection and engagement and it can enhance authenticity, as it shows that you’ve internalised your message.

    When it comes to weddings, delivering a speech is a singular event, and attempting to do so from memory, regardless of how thoroughly it’s been rehearsed or practised, is not recommended and can be challenging.


    Read pointer cards

    After you have your speech written on paper and practised, you can always transfer it onto pointer cards. Pointer cards are postcard-sized cards, where you list down keywords on the cards, that allow you to jot down keywords or key prompts to help remind you of the flow of your wedding speech without relying on the full script.

    The thing is, will those keywords jog your memory when the pressure’s on, and can you make sure you cover everything you had in mind to say?


    From your phone

    Your mobile phone can be used as a medium that displays your whole speech or keywords i.e., like pointer cards on it. It’s convenient because it’s more likely you’ll forget a piece of paper, or pointer cards before you forget to bring your phone. Additionally, if you’ve got any last-minute updates you can easily make them on your phone.

    The difficulty is trying to see the speech from a small screen. There also is the chance of becoming distracted due to notifications or calls.


    From a tablet

    Like a mobile phone, a tablet can be used as a medium that displays your whole speech or keywords. In this day and age of technology, tablets are now becoming popular as a medium to help speakers deliver speeches/presentations.

    Using a tablet means that you’ll have a larger screen, giving you more space to display your speech notes making them easier to read. It also conveys a sense of professionalism and tech-savviness.


    Is it okay to read from paper?

    The best way to deliver a wedding speech, that people accept and are used to, is reading it completely from paper, saying every word on paper, and sticking to the script. Paper doesn’t rely on battery life or technical functionality, so you won’t have to worry about your speech being interrupted by technical glitches.

    However, you must remember that carrying around physical papers can be bulkier and less convenient than having your speech stored on a digital device like a phone and there’s a chance you could misplace your paper speech.

    You must stand tall and deliver your meticulously rehearsed speech with genuine emotion and sincerity, straight from the depths of your heart.

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