Maid of Honor Advice
Maid of Honor Speech: How to Practice and Prepare
Once the maid of honor speech is written (even if it's not necessarily the final copy!), it's a good idea to do a couple of test runs. This will help polish the speech, work out any possible kinks, and increase your confidence level. And with enough practice, you'll be able to show your superior speech skills by clearly and fearlessly delivering the maid of honor speech at the wedding. Here are a few tried and true tips.
Individual Speech Practice
Once you have at least a skeletal maid of honor speech written down, wait a day or two and then read the speech with fresh eyes. This will help you tweak certain words or phrases or even reveal that you need to reorganize or change a large piece of the maid of honor speech. After you're somewhat happy with it (which does not mean it can't be altered more later!), try reading it out loud to see how it sounds.
Then take it one step further and present the maid of honor speech to the mirror. This works best if no one else is home so that you can present the speech at regular volume (loud and easy to hear!). I find that it's easiest to get comfortable and to begin letting your personality shine through by practicing at full volume.
Include Other People in your Maid of Honor Speech Practice
Start out by asking a close friend to listen to you practice the maid of honor speech. He/she can give you another person's perspective on things like clarity and understandability, wording, and offer ideas for improvement. As a close friend, they're likely to be kind and allow you to practice less self-consciously.
Once you've run the speech through a few times with a friend, expand the circle. A good time to practice the maid of honor speech in front of a few people (which is a bit more realistic) is around dinner or breakfast. Ask your family or roommates to listen while they eat (since they're a captive audience!). Then be sure to ask for constructive criticism. Once you get through this, giving the maid of honor speech on the wedding day will be just one more low-stress practice session.