Part 2: Preparing Your Speech with Theatrical Techniques

Part 2: Preparing Your Speech with Theatrical Techniques

Welcome back to our series, "Wedding Speeches: Lessons from the Limelight". In our first post, we introduced the concept of drawing from the arts of theatre, improv, and stand-up comedy to elevate wedding speeches. Today, we delve into the theatrical world to uncover how preparation, memorization, and stage presence can transform your delivery from standard to spectacular.

Developing content

Unlike theater actors, wedding speakers have to write their own content (although they can get some help from our self-service speechwriting services).

The words spoken in a theater play versus a wedding speech might appear very different on the surface, but if you dig deep, there are some striking similarities:

Emotional Depth: Wedding speeches convey a range of emotions, from joy to nostalgia, much like a play aims to evoke feelings from its audience.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to show emotion during a wedding speech.

Character Focus: Speeches highlight the characteristics and stories of the bride and groom and their relationship, akin to character development in theater. But the way in which it must be done is different. In theatre, the playwright and actors are able to show what a character is like by their behavior, live on stage, as they react to the situations in which they find themselves.  In a wedding speech, you have to show the character of the bride, groom, and other important participants through anecdotes. You recount how they behaved at some point in the past and, in doing so, you reveal something about their character. This is why anecdotes are so important in wedding speeches.

Pro tip: when choosing and writing anecdotes for a wedding speech, remember that they are not just supposed to be funny – they should let the audience see aspects of the subject’s character.


The Importance of Preparation and Rehearsal in Theater

In theater, preparation is everything. Actors spend countless hours memorizing lines, understanding their character's motivations, and rehearsing their movements. This meticulous preparation ensures that once on stage, they can convey their character's story with authenticity and emotional depth. Similarly, the foundation of a memorable wedding speech lies in its preparation. Whether it's a touching "father of the bride speech" or a witty "best man speech," the effort behind the scenes makes the performance shine.

Pro tip: Begin your speech preparation early to allow ample time for refinement and rehearsal.

Adapting Theatrical Methods for Memorizing and Delivering Wedding Speeches

  1. Memorization Techniques: Actors often use techniques like repetition, visualization, and the 'method of loci' (associating parts of the speech with different locations) to memorize their lines. For wedding speeches, consider breaking your speech into sections and associating each with a specific memory or emotion related to the person you're addressing. This not only aids memorization but also helps convey your message with genuine sentiment. See our series on memorization techniques.
  2. Rehearsal: Just as actors rehearse with their co-actors, rehearsing your speech in front of a trusted friend or family member can provide valuable feedback. Paying attention to their reactions will help you refine your timing and delivery. Use WeWriteSpeeches’ advanced tools to craft your speech and get it done early, then practice, practice, practice. It’s the rehearsal that breathes life into your words.

Using Staging and Presence to Enhance Delivery

  1. Stage Presence: In theater, an actor's presence on stage is not just about being seen; it's about being felt. Their posture, eye contact, and movement all contribute to how their message is received. When delivering a wedding speech, stand confidently, make eye contact with your audience, and use gestures to emphasize points. Remember, you're not just speaking to the room; you're connecting with every person in it.
  2. Use of Voice: Actors use volume, tone, and pace to add depth to their character's words. Similarly, vary your speaking pace to keep your audience engaged, lower your tone for dramatic or emotional parts, and project your voice so even Aunt Tracey at the back can hear every word clearly.
  3. Staging: While you might not have a stage for your wedding speech, consider your environment. Position yourself so you're visible to all guests and free from distractions. If you're using a microphone, practice with it beforehand to ensure comfort and control over your voice projection.


Theater teaches us that there is a great deal of preparation behind every great performance. Adopting theatrical techniques of memorization, rehearsal, and presence can elevate your wedding speech from a mere reading to a performance that captivates and moves your audience. Remember, at the heart of theater and wedding speeches is the power to tell a story that resonates and remains memorable long after the curtain falls or the wedding drinks stop clinking.

Stay tuned for our next post, where we'll explore how to deal with the challenge of building interactions into wedding speeches.

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