Ten tips for a top performance

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

To help you deliver a truly memorable wedding speech, use these ten pearls of wisdom

  1. Don’t let nerves stop you eating before your speech Food really helps the nerves and provides a big energy hit. Many performers swear by this trick.
  2. Remember to breathe ‐‐ deeply and rhythmically It pumps oxygen into your blood and keeps the brain alert.
  3. Imagine it’s over This is a very popular NLP (neurolinguistic programming) technique. Before you stand up, visualise the end result, with you feeling elated and relieved and everyone else around you smiling and clapping. Thinking how great you’ll feel will relax you in the present moment.
  4. Have a laugh Just before you stand up, think of a funny story or event that really tickles you, and let yourself laugh at it ‐‐ even just a little. It will loosen you up and feed a sense of fun and enjoyment.
  5. Smile! Be welcoming and warm. It sets the tone straight away and people will warm to you without knowing why.
  6. Relax It’s your time, so take it. Everyone will listen to what you have to say because they want to. The speeches are always fun. Remember this and you’ll deliver your words with confidence and ease.
  7. Make eye contact with the audience Look around you. The trick is to imagine that you’re simply chatting to everyone there.
  8. Speak slowly and clearly Many speeches get the response, ‘It was good, but I couldn’t make out half of it’. Bearing this in mind will prevent you from jabbering.
  9. Forget yourself Take the weight off your ego by reflecting that the wedding is about other people, not you. Try not to take yourself too seriously ‐‐ if people shout out heckles, go with it.
  10. Enjoy yourself Your life doesn’t depend on your speech. You’re not getting paid and it will be over in a few hundred seconds. Just give it your best shot.

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