Everyone feels nervous about making a speech at some stage. It might be when they are first asked, at some time during the preparation for the speech, the night before, just before the speech, or even during the speech. The key point to remember is that this feeling is perfectly normal. Even the top actors get nervous before a big show, and they say it helps the adrenalin flow to provide the best opportunities for a great performance.
There are several things you can do to help overcome your nerves:-
- Get a good night's sleep the night before so you are not tired on the big day. Tiredness makes most people more edgy.
- Get some exercise in the days leading up to the speech so that you have a physical outlet to release some of that tension.
- Prepare your speech thoroughly.
- Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse. The better you know your speech, the more comfortable you will be and the less nervous.
- Take some deep breaths just before you speak. Breathing deeply pumps oxygen into your blood and it helps keep the brain focused and alert.
- Smile when you speak. Laughter and smiling are the best remedies for tension, and smiling is infectious, after all.
- Speak from the heart and don't be afraid to show emotion. Weddings are meant to be emotional.
If you are not confident that these things will help you, then think about joining "Toastmasters" a few weeks before the wedding. They run fantastic courses to help people, and they're lots of fun as well. They're in the phone book under "Toastmasters International" or online at www.toastmasters.org.au and they have clubs in many suburbs.
Finally, remember that at a wedding, everybody wants you to do well. The audience is receptive and happy. They are on your side, so relax and ENJOY the experience.