For anyone speaking at a wedding the day can be split into two clearly defined halves. The pre speech half of the day is made up of trying to enjoy what is undoubtably a lovely service, whilst at the same time resisting the urge to jump in a taxi and head for the nearest airport/ bus stop/ cliff top. The after speech half will see the speech maker wandering around in a near enough orgasmic daze from the sheer relief of getting it over and done with. For many performers it’s this roller coaster of emotions that drags them back to the stage again and again. Unfortunately, many people tasked with saying a few words at a wedding will be completely unaccustomed to speaking in public. In todays blog I would like to offer a few tips to keep the nerves at bay.
Firstly, and this is a lot easier to say than do, relax and enjoy the morning! This is hopefully going to be the only time your son/daughter/best mate gets married and you want to be able to remember it rather than gritting your teeth and smiling whilst holding a sick bag! At this point it’s worth remembering how well received the speakers have been at any other wedding you’ve been to. No one in their right mind goes to a reception wanting the speeches to go badly. A wedding crowd will usually be the most receptive, relaxed and friendly crowd that you could hope to talk to and they will want to enjoy it with you! There will always be a few people who will ask if you are nervous, take this in your stride and tell them you haven’t really thought about it yet and just concentrate on the service for now.
Hopefully you are fully prepared and have your speech written out and broken down into cue cards. Before you leave the house in the morning double or even triple check that you have your speech with you. If it makes you feel safer, copy the speech and give it to a friend or partner as a back up, if the worst should happen and you lose your notes then at least you know there is another copy. If you manage to lose both of them then you are well within your rights to freak out and pretend you lost your voice on the stag/hen doo!
Find out the running order of the speeches so that you know exactly when you will be speaking. If you have chance, go for a walk somewhere by yourself and read through the speech a few times in your head. Take some deep breaths and think about how much fun you are going to have when the speech is finished and everyone is coming up to congratulate you. Most importantly remember how happy you are to be involved with such an amazing occasion, you have been asked to speak because what you have to say is very important to someone and the fact you might look a bit nervous when you start is absolutely insignificant. Take a deep breath, push your shoulders back and deliver the speech with the confidence it deserves.
Best of Luck!