As Father of the Bride (or Groom), it’s likely that you’ve thought about making this speech since the day your little bundle of joy came into the world. Make sure you enjoy it.

Traditionally, you’ll be the first one up. It’ll be down to you to set the tone and if you are nervous and uncomfortable then your audience will feel nervous and uncomfortable too. So, prepare, practice and practice again.

When you are prepared and practiced, you’ll be less anxious, maybe even comfortable, and perhaps (dare I say it) happy and excited – which is exactly how you want the audience to feel.

Know they are on your side.

Everyone listening wants you to succeed. They’re there to have a good time so smile, even if your insides are doing cartwheels!

You don’t have to be Billy Connolly!

You don’t NEED to be funny, that’s not your job (let the Best Man worry about that). Your job is to welcome the guests, your future in-law to the family and toast the happy couple.

In amongst that, whilst savouring the opportunity to reflect on your relationship and share some anecdotes, complement your fabulous off-spring.

Having said that a little bit of humour won’t go amiss, however, humour should come from the real-life experiences you shared.

Include light-hearted stories of your time together, funny moments that made you smile (or laugh) at the time.

Remember at least half the audience will know the person you’re talking about; they’ll appreciate your honesty and the opportunity to be part of the experience.

How long?

Your speech should only be about 5 to 7 minutes long. Hardly any time at all in the greater scheme of things, but plenty of time to tug on some heart strings, raise a smile or two and a make a toast.

Remember it’s not about you.

The audience don’t want to know about you. TBH, they don’t even care about you. They’re there for the happy couple and to have a good time. They won’t care if you make them laugh, make them cry or make a mistake.

If you’re happy then the audience (including your little bundle of joy) will be happy too.


Do you have a speech coming up?

Book a call and let’s see how I can help.




Case Study: Jon Hancock

Jon was referred to me by a networking connection. It was 6 months before the big day and he was petrified of having to make THE speech. He told me…


The back view of the bride and her father walking down the isle.“I’ve been worrying about giving this speech since the day she was born.”

That’s 27 years of worry!

We worked both remotely and via Zoom several times leading up to and including the day before the big event.

Here is what Jon said of the process and working with me…


“The simplest introduction is that, for me, Jackie scores 10 out of 10 in every category.

I should point out at this stage, that I have recently been the most nervous, anxious, daunted and petrified father of the bride, ever! I am talking months/years leading up to, not just days or weeks. I was introduced to Jackie, (as a professional who might be of assistance), by a mutual friend/business associate.

In the world of being coached for public speaking, I am sure that my ‘father of the bride’ requirements was simple and common. But my needs were more than, just that, and consequently, the psychological guidance and additional support from Jackie was ‘above and beyond’.

I enlisted the help of Jackie many months before the ‘event’. I had no idea where to start, how to prepare and draft a speech, or, even how to present. I was petrified and completely ‘rudderless’.

Although public performance was my biggest worry, the content of my intended speech was still a major concern and a steep step that I was frightened to embark on. Jackie guided me through the speech drafting process, starting with a simple brainstorming session using an A1 board, followed up with some tweaking and amending sessions. The conclusion was, a finished product, written by me, that I was 100% happy with. Achieving this was very satisfying. Being happy with the product, undoubtedly contributed towards personal confidence for the ever impending day!

However, my biggest worry was performing in front of around 100 close friends and family. I have spoken on a public platform many times, always from a professional perspective, often with a difficult and hostile audience. So, a ‘father of the bride’ speech should be a ‘walk in the park’, right? …… wrong! I am sure that the ‘1 to 1’sessions were ‘bread and butter’ for Jackie, but not for me. I found her coaching invaluable, informative and professional. Of particular benefit for me, was learning about warming up, content delivery and personal confidence.

Jackie’s ability to deal with my deepest fears, my ‘worst case scenarios’ and my many insecurities on this subject were beyond my expectations, and, I am sure, beyond her remit. But, absolutely necessary and invaluable on my part. Jackie’s ability and 6th sense taught me how to replace my illogical thoughts and paranoia with calmness and confidence. This is a teaching skill area that seems to come naturally from Jackie.

Jackie and I kept the sessions to a minimum, a combination of a live, ‘face to face’ double session with a few live ‘Zoom’ sessions. Very efficient. Having said that, Jackie was on hand by phone, occasionally, unannounced, during my most vulnerable and fearful moments. Particularly leading up to the big day!

The day itself, and, more importantly for me, my speech, went absolutely perfectly. I could not have wished for better. I received many congratulations and appreciations!!

Coincidentally, I am about to undertake a new role, professionally. One which will require regular, detailed and more frequent public speaking roles from me. A prospect that I am, now, so much more comfortable with. Without doubt, this is thanks to Jackie, her teaching, support, commitment, professionalism and knowledge. Not least, her wealth of experience. I can safely say, that there was not one area of Jackie’s teaching that was unhelpful. I will readily and actively recommend Jackie and her services to anyone that might benefit, work colleagues and friends alike.

With thanks. Jon Hancock. (April 2023).”

If you have a wedding speech coming up – Father (or Mother) of the Bride (or Groom), Best Man, Best Woman- get in touch to see how I can help.

There are several ways we can work together:

A Power Hour – You have your speech written and you just need to practice and get some feedback. Cost: £120
The Power of Three – 3 x 60 minute sessions to help shape your content, find those stories and then practice your speech. Plus I’ll give you tips and techniques to help you prepare at home. Cost: £320
Bespoke – Tell me what you need and we’ll make a plan to suit you.

Book a call with me here:

Or email me at

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jackie 😊

Category: Blog