How to Tell your Story at a Wedding Conference
It’s an honour and a privilege to be invited as a key speaker at a conference. It demonstrates faith and trust in your worth and abilities. Any wedding planner worth his or her salt would be proud to deliver a talk at a wedding conference. Conferences are a great way to network and to exchange information and bounce ideas between like-minded people. Giving a speech need not be daunting, as long as you keep some key points in mind, you are sure to create a positive impression. Here’s how.
1. A Compelling Start
Starting strongly will help you establish a bond with your audience and give you a confidence boost. Whether a seasoned speech-giver or a newbie, speeches are invariably nerve-wracking. Begin with a bang by starting with a relatable story that will grab attention and engage the audience. An amusing anecdote about a wedding planning experience will surely bring the audience on side and make them want to listen to what you have to say. Your speech might have an awkward time slot but remember to smile and be enthusiastic. Audiences respond to people who generate positive energy.
Arriving early will also settle organisers and allow you to sort out any tech issues that might arise, especially if you will be using visual aids.
2. Use Conflict to Create Curiosity
Now that you have the audience’s attention, it’s important to keep your listeners hooked. The best speakers use conflict as a tool to do this. They narrate personal stories that contain elements of conflict to keep their audience curious as to what will happen next. These speakers try to stir emotions with their speech content. By using personal material they also ensure that the speech is fresh and does not sound unnatural or false. As a wedding planner; you will surely be able to draw on a wealth of experiences that are guaranteed to keep audiences wanting to hear more. Be open and conversational but remember to avoid straying from the point and be respectful of your time slot. The organisers will definitely thank you for not overstepping the time limit and no one likes to see their audience fidgeting on their chairs.
3. Show your audience, don’t just tell
Whether your speech is 15 minutes or an hour long, the objective remains the same. Keep your listeners engaged and eager to hear more. Talking at people, rather than to them is a no-no. Great storytellers keep their audience captive by creating visual images with words. They use lots of detail in their storytelling to create mental images in their listeners’ minds. By providing plenty of detail, listeners become involved in the narrative. So, for example, you might not just talk about a beautiful floral arrangement: you would say that it was approximately two metres wide and suspended from the ceiling, that it had lush green foliage and striking blooms in varying shades of pink ranging from the palest blush to deep cyclamen. You might mention that there were also hanging crystals that caught the light and flickering tea light lanterns. There might even be a fun story to relate about its installation. You could then go on to say how admired it was and how guests flocked to take selfies in front of it. In this way, you have taken your audience on a mental journey during which they get the full experience.
4. Stay Positive
One thing that great speeches have in common is the use of positive stories. Everybody loves a success story. Incorporating stories that end well will have your audience rooting for you and interested in what you have to say. The feel-good factor of your story will be picked upon by the listeners and inspire them to feel that they too can be successful. Establish credibility in your story by being specific and incorporating as much detail as possible. So, for example, instead of saying that you showed a particular couple a mood board, you might want to expand and say that you showed the couple a mood board which had pictures, room plans, fabric and colour swatches pinned to it. Your audience will find it easier to be carried along with your narrative, become involved and, most importantly, be inspired.
End with Wisdom
Using the tools of a classic story structure will ultimately help your storytelling be more organised, structured and successful. All good speakers incorporate the techniques of conflict, spark, change and takeaway into their speeches. Conflict arouses interest and engagement, a spark is a wisdom that allows the character to overcome the conflict, change is what positive event has transpired and takeaway is the message that the audience needs to take home with them, the distillation of everything they’ve heard in a few succinct words.
The take-home message of the above is that you too can be sure of giving a speech that will be well received if you just follow the simple rules of great storytelling as outlined above. Above all else, though, be prepared, respectful and enthusiastic.
If you or a loved one is tying the knot, contact our team to help guide you through the entire process. We will present you with a magical and unforgettable day that is all about you and your happiness. With over 800 successful weddings planned, your joy is guaranteed.