1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
I know this advice isn't as fun as envisioning a room full of nearly naked wedding guests, but the truth is that nothing has a more direct effect on confidence than preparation. Remember whether it's you or someone you care a lot about, this is going to be the most important day in somebody's life, so isn't it worth that bit of time beforehand? I'll save in depth speech writing advice for another day but I will share some basic preparation advice that will stand you in good stead; List, Draft, Test, Re-draft. List some important points to mentions, potential anecdotes, thank yous etc, then formulate them into a draft, test this draft for time and flow with a confidant and finally restructure a re-draft based on findings and feedback. And don't forget to learn it, finding your place on a screwed up piece of paper after a long day and some Dutch courage can really knock you out of kilter.
2. Get your head in the game
You're standing in front of a crowd of expectant faces and in your mind you, to them, are just another obstacle in the way of a slice of cake. If you don't deliver a speech worthy of a presidential inauguration you will ruin the whole day...This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when standing to give your speech. The faces staring at you are most likely your nearest and dearest and you know what, they want you to succeed. If you remember one thing make sure it is that. I've witnessed some pretty awful speeches but have never seen a best man disowned or berated off the back of a shaky, monotone speech. They will most likely laugh at mundane jokes, "aww" at predictable sentiments and applaud you afterwards, because you got up there and did it, it's more than they did.
3. Have a Drink at Hand
Umm, err... yup, they're the most popular non-words for many nervous speakers, but there's an easy way to avoid them, and this goes for interviews too. It's always good to have a drink handy anyway, in case of that dreaded coughing fit or sudden dry mouth, but a sip of water is a great delaying tactic. The reason we umm and err is to fill what we are seeing as an uncomfortable pause. But next time you want to buy yourself some thinking seconds, just take a sip, compose yourself, and continue.
There you go, follow these tips and your next speech should go a lot smoother, and you might even enjoy it! If you want help writing a speech contact us for a quote today.