The pressure of the wedding speaker
When I was young I was invited to speak at my best friend’s wedding.
We were 20. I was honoured (and afraid) to be reading a poem her late father had written for her mum ( no pressure).
Typically, I was running late. I drove into the carpark and ran into the church.
The minister had already announced me (the first wedding speaker). I had to go straight to the front of the church, stand behind the lectern, and SPEAK.
I was so out of breath. At first no words would come out.
I didn’t want it to be obvious that I’d only just arrived.
I had to take big deep breaths as quietly and slowly as possible whilst reading each line of the poem. Between each line I had to pause for a massive intake of breath.
To me it seemed ridiculous. I must have sounded like an idiot with such long breaks between lines – surely?
Wrong – it was to this day one of the best readings/presentations I have ever done.
- I forced myself to to slow down.
- I had to concentrate on breathing.
- I read each line then looked at my audience regardless of how much I wanted to double over to catch my breath.
Today I’m a better presenter for it. On camera and off.
What did I learn?
From that day I realised I liked public speaking, but also I took those lessens and apply them even now – 30 years later. They apply to video recording, Facebook Live and live audiences.
- I try to slow down my naturally fast paced speaking voice
- I breath deliberately and deeply
- I pause and take in my audience and the message I am trying to get across
Over to you
How do you feel about presenting? Do you shy away from sharing your awesome business message becuase of nerves or not knowing what to say?
Let me help.