Tis the Season to be Wed (and Prepare That Speech)!
The sun is out, the birds are singing and many people are tying the knot. A wedding and all it entails (after the planning/money, etc) should be a really lovely and happy event.
However, for some people, not so! It’s the time when the Best Man, Best Woman or Father of the Bride are suddenly thrown out of their comfort zone and into the spotlight. The ‘speech’!!!
Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, is an absolutely massive fear. A few years ago in the US, according to a huge survey, it was biggest fear (even before dying) on people’s lists. I have a lot of clients at this time of the year who are literally panicking about having to make a speech.
So, a couple of things to remember:
It’s a HAPPY event, everyone is there to celebrate, no matter what and they will be ‘on your side’.
Keep your focus on what you are saying and to whom. Let’s explore a few points here.
You are saying some pleasant/good/funny things about your friend, straight away you’re on a winner!
Just tell your story, saying the words and looking around the room, no need to catch anyone’s eye, just do it generally.
Very important: GET YOUR FOCUS OFF YOURSELF. This is the biggest reason people panic. They are so busy thinking about themselves “what if I trip over my words/they didn’t laugh (therefore they think I’m rubbish)/am I sounding confident/oh, that came out wrong”, etc, etc!
How on earth can you possibly connect to the audience if you are so busy thinking about yourself, concentrate on what you are saying to them, not how you are saying it.
You don’t know what they are thinking about you, so just forget it and get on with your speech.
When I work with clients on their speeches I always tell them it’s about having a conversation with some people, that’s all. It’s not an audition or your film debut.
But the biggest thing is about “state” control. More about that on my next post.
For many more tips please see my Public Speaking page