This isn’t a post about what to say in your speech. That’s entirely up to you. This is a post about HOW to make it through a speech if you’re crippled with fear or nerves. For some people, giving a speech is no big deal – a walk in the park even. For others, it’s their worst nightmare. The most important thing to remember is that it’s your wedding day and that you’re surrounded by the people you love. If that’s not enough comfort for you and you’re still shaking in your boots, then you might want to…
* Memorise your speech. Write it all down and practice it in front of a friend or the mirror. Then do your best to commit it all to memory. That way on the day the words should come out smoothly and you’ll feel confident in what you’re saying.
* Have a full version of the speech written out in front of you. You don’t have to use it but you know it’s there for back up. Write down a summary of what you want to say and use that to go off. It will sound a lot more natural and you can keep eye contact with your audience. If you’re way too nervous or don’t think you can do that, then go back to reading off the full version.
* Breathe, breathe, breathe! It might sound cliché but it really does help. Before you start your speech take three big deep breaths. It will help to calm you down and will clear your head.
* Have a glass of wine or beer beforehand. There’s nothing like a little alcohol to settle your jitters. Just don’t overindulge!
* Choose one person to talk to. Look for someone in the crowd that makes you feel secure and talk directly to them when you’re giving your speech. It will give you focus and you won’t be aware of other eyes on you.
* Tell yourself you’re a great public speaker. It’s not at all helpful to focus on your nerves, as it will only make the situation worse. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re strong and confident and the speech will be over before you know it.
* Make it short and sweet. If you don’t think you can pull off a longer speech, just say what you need to say in a succinct way, then get on with the celebration!
* Put it into perspective. Don’t over think the speech or the fact that it might not be perfect or come out the way you had hoped and planned. If you look at the big picture, it’s only a small part of a special day filled with lots of other memorable moments.
The most important thing to remember is to speak from the heart. What you say is a lot more significant than how you say it. No one will expect you to be flawless, nor will they be critically evaluating your performance. So just have fun with it! And when you’re done you’ll feel silly for worrying so much in the first place