Do you have an upcoming wedding speech that you are required to give and the mere thought of it makes you weak in the knees? Well, you're not alone. Many people have a fear of standing in front of a group of people and delivering a speech. Giving a wedding speech is no exception.
This fear or phobia ranks right up there with the fear of heights and small, tight spaces. Even giving a brief wedding speech can be terrifying. It's the fear of saying something foolish and making yourself look inept in front of others. I'll bet anyone reading this article can relate to that. But we all have to do it eventually. So, if you have a wedding speech to deliver for a friend or family member I have some tips to help you through it.
10 Tips to Building your Confidence
1. Prepare First Know exactly what you are going to say in your speech and how you want to say it. If you lack enough information about the bride and groom, do not be afraid to ask around. People enjoy helping out with a wedding speech.
2. Be Brief Most amateur speakers try to say too much in a single speech. To quote Shakespeare, "since brevity is the soul of wit,' say only what you must say in your speech and not everything that pops into your head.
3. Accept The Fact That You Will Be Nervous Even the most experienced speakers get nervous. Use that energy to give the delivery of your wedding speech a boost. Walk around a little, if there is sufficient room and use some had gestures. Just don't over do it.
4. Focus On Your Audience And Not Yourself Most stage fright is rooted in preoccupation with yourself.(ie. How do I look, how do I sound, Will I mess up) Don't focus on yourself. Instead, focus on your audience and on what you want to say to them in your wedding speech. Think of the audience as friends who want you to succeed. Talk to individuals before your wedding speech to get to know a few of them. Locate them in the room and make eye contact as you speak to them one person at a time.
5. Practice In Front Of Others Practice your presentation in front of supportive audiences like family and friends. It may be uncomfortable at first, but the more times you do it the easier it will become.
6. Visualize Yourself as a Success In the days before you present your speech, practice relaxation techniques. Choose a quiet place and lie or sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes, breathe slowly and try to picture yourself presenting your wedding speech with confidence and thoughtfulness. See yourself clearly as you receive compliments on your presentation.
7. Breathe Deeply While you are waiting to begin speaking, take three slow, deep breaths through your nose, filling your abdomen. Breathe out through your mouth and think 'relax.'
8. Give Yourself Affirmations Just before you give a speech at a wedding or anywhere else try giving yourself a pep talk. Tell yourself things like, 'I can do this' and 'If I make a mistake, it's okay, everybody makes mistakes.' Accept your mistakes as part of life's learning process.
9. Act Confidently Remember that no one knows what is in your speech. If you make a mistake, no one will know that you messed up as long as you hold your head up high, and stand up straight with your shoulders back (not as if you are an army private standing at attention, but as someone who exudes confidence). It is a fact that, if you act in a confident manner you will be perceived that way by others. Therefore, you will feel more confident as you deliver your wedding speech.
10. Do Not Take Yourself Too Seriously If you've made an obvious mistake in your speech, for instance you get the bride or groom's name wrong, acknowledge it with some humor aimed at yourself. People tend to empathize with you and feel embarrassed for you when you've made an obvious error. It will not only ease your tension, but their's as well.
In conclusion, try to remember how good you are going to feel after your speech is done when you know you have done your best. Be proud of your effort and enjoy the rest of the wedding celebration.