Speech Props – Dos and Seriously Just Don’ts

Sound the klaxon. Warning. Warning. Wedding speech props can be harmful to your speech.

Okay so you’ve found some brilliantly embarrassing photos where the groom looks likeĀ a reject from awkwardfamilyphotos.com; that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to plug in your laptop and put on a Powerpoint presentation.

Yes it might get you a few easy laughs (and we don’t mind easy ones) but it could also land you in trouble, and even worse, just make you look a bit ‘obvious’.

6 questions to ask before getting your props out (oo, er missus)…

1 – Do the props add to the story?

Props need to be integrated into the story rather than just a random couple of photos in the middle. A good example we worked on was a groom’s presentation of his (fake) communication with his FB / twitter / insta obsessed wife. It started with the groom acknowledging how nervous his wife had been throughout the day (shaking, teary etc) before revealing it was purely to do with her I-phone withdrawals. He then presented the (mocked-up) texts that documented their romance to date as well as a few selfies that had not made the Instagram account. The speech concluded with a call for everyone to take a selfie with the person they loved (or who was sitting beside them) to upload to their wedding hashtag. Supposedly it worked well as a theme and the guests loved the extra bit of interaction.

2 – Are the props genuinely funny?

Don’t think that you should use props. Some ideas are old hat these days – literally in some cases. Wearing a different hat to depict the different eras of a person’s life? Er, no thanks. and whatever you do, don’t bring out a slice of toast when mentioning the toast. Cheap gags are better left in crackers.

3 – Can you handle props?

Don’t underestimate how hard it is to press a button on your laptop whilst speaking. And people are watching. And you’ve got cue cards. And you’re using a microphone. This is the wedding equivalent of the Crystal Maze – only there’s no little bald guys shouting instructions at you (a reference only our older cliental might appreciate). Just remember, multi-tasking on this scale is a bit like ordering a salad when a jam donut is being served to the table beside you. Your brain just can’t handle it.

4 – Can you use the equipment?

If you’re not a natural Powerpointer call in the help of a glamourous assistant, or if they’re lacking, the MC. Obviously this requires even more rehearsing to ensure you’re in sync.

5 – Can you rehearse on the morning of the wedding?

Yes it’s worth doing a recce beforehand but it’s crucial to get there the morning of the wedding too as inevitably some helpful person will have packed up all the equipment and rewired something vital. The most important thing to check is that everyone will be able to hear you. A microphone is the generally a very useful ‘prop’.

6 – Do you have a back up plan?

Let’s face it, when we still can’t get a printer to work (so much jam, never on our toast) there’s a high chance a Powerpoint presentation might go wrong too. Always have a back up speech which doesn’t rely on visual aides.

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