Speeches can be some of the most memorable and treasured moments in a wedding. They are a beautiful opportunity for the people closest to the happy couple to share memories, give their blessing and create greater closeness among the guests.
Unfortunately, the joyful candour possible is often annihilated by the simple fact that public speaking is continuously rated among the top fears in the world.
This means many of the guests bestowed the great privilege of making a special toast may spend more time worrying about their wedding speech and what they will say than actually enjoying the wedding!Â Sweaty palms, nausea, forgotten words or simply being preoccupied with your speech until it is over can quickly take away the true joy of the occasion.
Here are some quick tips for overcoming fear, having ease at the mic and giving a great wedding speech!
Before Your Speech
Notice what your are telling yourself â If you are saying things like âwhat if I forget the words?â, âI wish I didnât have to do thisâ, âI hate giving speechesâ, none of those are helpful, and if you are preoccupied with that energy, that is exactly what you will create.
Try replacing all the statements you are telling yourself with questions. Some of my favorites include: âWhat would it take for this to be fun?â, âHow can this turn out better than I could possibly imagine?â or âWhat else is possible?â
Ask: Is this fear or excitement? âÂ It’s so easy to assume that we are afraid of things that are actually quite exciting! Butterflies are not necessarily a bad thing before your wedding speech. They only get in the way when you conclude you are afraid. We all hear amazing stories of little old ladies lifting cars when they have adrenaline coursing through their veins. Learn to use this adrenaline and excitement to your advantage.
During Your Speech
Let down yourÂ barriers â WeÂ think we have to protect ourselves in front of people so we often erect walls around ourselves. Vulnerability and authenticity are actually two of the most seductive and captivating characteristics in front of a crowd. Before you speak, take a couple of deep breaths and intentionally push down anything that makes you want to protect or defend yourself or try to get it right. It’s a little uncomfortable at first, but the difference it makes is dramatic.
Donât take yourself too seriously â When you are uncomfortable, your audience gets uncomfortable. Shake off your jitters with a bit of humor and let them know that you will all live through your speech and could even possibly enjoy it!
Forget everything you have been taught about speeches â Instead of giving a speechâŠ just talk!Â The most memorable wedding speeches do not feel like speeches. Rather than writing everything down and reading it, try just putting bullet points on a note card.
If you have been asked to give a wedding speech, you probably know the bride or groom well. Your life with them has been your preparation. Why do you love this person? What are some of your fondest memories that other quests may not know? And what is your wish for them and their new spouse going forward? Tap into that energy, trust yourself and just talk to them.
After Your Speech
Don’t judge your speech during the applause âÂ When people are clapping, it’s easy to want to wave them off or divert your eyes down, especially if you don’t think you did your best. Resist this urge. Take this moment instead to be grateful for the couple and for everyone in the room listening to you. If you stay in this grateful and confident energy at the end, people will actually remember your speech as much better than if you start judging yourself.
Forget about it â The night is about the happy couple, not about you. No matter great or how terribly you feel your wedding speech went, when itâs over, itâs time to get back to celebrating. Every time anything pops into your head trying to figure out how well you did or did not do, say to yourself âhow does it get better than that?âÂ Good or bad, you are asking to have an even better night!