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Overcoming public speech nervousness

by Sck
Views: 4214

The taxi was late, and you’ve only just made it to the reception. You’re breathing hard, your hands have gone all clammy and your heart is pounding so loudly you look around to see if anyone can hear it. The speeches have already started. You start madly fumbling in your coat pocket for your speech notes. ‘Oh no, where have they gone?’ Then it’s your turn. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, may I please have your attention for… the Groom!’

Don’t worry, there’s absolutely nothing unusual about feeling nervous - it happens to the best of us. I’ve known grooms who would rather jump out of an aeroplane at 10,000 feet than stand up in front of a room full of people. And I’m not only talking about men who’ve never had to make a speech in their lives. Many lawyers, doctor’s, teacher’s and even businessmen can suffer with nerves on their ‘big’ day. Then again, some groom’s seem to make it all look so easy - but just how do they do it?

The two essential elements to a successful speech are preparation and delivery. Put a little time and effort into both and you will end up a winner, and wonder why you ever doubted yourself in the first place.

>> Speech Preparation

1. Your speech should consist of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Write down your speech on paper well in advance (weeks) of the wedding. Have it proof read by family member or a friend.

2. Keep it short and simple, and leave them wanting more. Use your best material at the beginning and the end of your speech. Start and end with impact.

3. If you don’t know most of the audience, it’s a good idea to identify yourself, for example, “Hi, my name is John and I met Chris at college.”

4. Include fond memories of the bride and groom from your own past. If you’d like to make the speech funny, by all means do so.

5. DO NOT mention previous relationships that the groom or bride may or may not have had (don’t spread rumor or gossip).

6. The wedding speech should be concluded with joyful, heartfelt words.Wedding Speech Express your very best future wishes, acknowledge the joy you’ve experienced in seeing this couple unite, and your happiness in sharing it with them. Speak sincerely and from the heart, and you’ll never sound contrived.

>>Speech Delivery

1. Go into the reception with a positive attitude, thinking that ‘The audience are going to like me and I am going to like them’.

2. First impressions count. The first impression is the lasting impression, so the first few moments of interaction are the most important in the rapport building process with the audience.

3. Be conscious of your appearance. You wouldn’t want lipstick smeared over your cheek would you?

4. Body Language. Be aware of your own body language. Stand up straight and look confident, coat unbuttoned, arms and legs apart, palms exposed, leaning forward and smiling.

5. Make eye contact, by taking slow ’sweeps’ back and forth across the room as you speak, so that everyone will feel included. This is a useful technique is for reassuring the audience and winning people’s attention.

6. Think of your audience. Try to engage with them, rather than speaking ‘at’ them. How about a little audience participation, for example, if you know one or two faces in the audience, speak to them, using their names.

7. Be prepared for interruptions. Yes, they do happen, so enjoy them, particularly the funny ones. These ‘comedy breaks’ provide useful thinking time, and also people will remember your speech as the one that got the laughs.

8. Laughs. If you’ve made a funny remark and are expecting a laugh, then wait for it. If it doesn’t come, tell the people that they were supposed to laugh and refuse to continue until they do.

9. Slow Down And Take Your Time. Each sentence of your speech may seem to be taking forever to you, but will really only be a few seconds to your audience.

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