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Karen Lombardo

Clear and compelling messaging makes the difference when communicating who you are and what you offer. Words on paper, on a website, or on the vows you speak on your wedding day represent your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Your message comes alive and delivers with intent.

It is more than just words on paper and images on the internet. It is personal. I hope you enjoy the blog posts and learn more about the written word and how it can best speak for you and your business.


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Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety for Your Wedding Speech
Best Man Speeches / Bride and Groom / Father of the bride speech / Maid of Honor Speech / Mother of the bride / mylittlelovenote / putanotherwayllc / Rehearsal Dinner / Wedding Vows / Weddings

Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety for Your Wedding Speech

Mar 5, 2024

Public speaking anxiety is often the primary concern deterring individuals from accepting the Maid of Honor or Best Man roles. Indeed, the fear of addressing a crowd is so daunting that some opt out of participating in weddings altogether.

I also share your apprehension towards public speaking. However, embracing comfort, confidence, and thorough preparation paves the way to triumph. Collaborating with a speechwriter can streamline your preparation for what typically unfolds over a mere 3-5 minutes. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so daunting, does it? Let’s dive deeper into mastering wedding speeches and how to deliver them without the nerves.

Four ways to overcome wedding speech delivery anxiety

I know it is easier said than done, but your “person” asked you to be a part of their wedding celebration, and I will get you through it.

Full disclosure? I have never been a maid of honor or had to give a speech, but I have done readings during the ceremony, and I feel your pain and stress. Let’s get to it!

  1. Be prepared. Working with me on your speech will give you the words, and then, together, we can prepare you for your speech. I am often asked about using index cards, which is a personal choice. If you can memorize the speech, stay focused, and deliver it, kudos to you. However, do not be afraid to use cards. I have done cards for the bride’s father and the best man. The benefit of using index cards is timing.  The cards are written in sections, so you pause appropriately and do not speak at warp speed because you are nervous. 😊
  2. Be genuine. My role is transforming your sincere emotions and cherished memories into a speech. Rather than writing it on your behalf—which would lack authenticity—I thrive on hearing tales about the couple and crafting language that resonates with the speaker’s unique personality.
  3. Indeed, practice makes perfect, or in this case, a sweet and heartfelt delivery. I can coach you and practice together (Don’t worry; I have worked with couples in CA, RI, NH, and MA from my home in New York!) Public speaking gets easier over time, so practice that speech in front of family and friends to ease the stress of that special day.
  4. Absolutely no alcohol before the speech. I do not think this requires explanation but trust me, you will not be:
    1. More relaxed.
    2. More Confident.
    3. Better Prepared.

No, you cannot focus, remember the words, or tap into the confidence you built practicing this speech. Raise a glass when it’s over, and enjoy the rest of the event!

Don’t fear a moment of silence. If you lose track of what you’re saying or start to feel nervous, and your mind goes blank, it may seem like you’ve been silent for an eternity. In reality, it’s probably only a few seconds. Even if it’s longer, it’s likely your audience won’t mind a pause to consider what you’ve been saying. Just take a few slow, deep breaths. (Mayo Clinic)

When all else fails? Speeches can be made at the rehearsal dinner!

Today’s weddings are flexible and unique. As we write the wedding vows and speeches, we work with our couples and the wedding party to create a stress-free and relaxed environment. Few people are comfortable with public speaking, so as an alternative, we suggest minimizing the formality of the speeches, and let’s make a toast instead! The rehearsal dinner is the perfect option for speeches.

Martha Stewart agrees: Toasts are often a big part of the evening, and unlike those at the wedding reception, where the order may be well planned, rehearsal dinner toasts tend to be spontaneous. In this intimate and casual setting, guests often feel comfortable sharing their memories of the couple and wishing them well. If the groom’s parents are hosting, his father might begin by welcoming all the guests and offering a toast to the bride and groom. The father of the bride can stand next, followed by the attendants and any other guests who want to speak.

During the toasts, the bride and groom have a chance to say a few words of thanks to all of the people taking part in the wedding. This is also the traditional time for them to present gifts to the members of the wedding party (and perhaps the parents) to thank them for their support.

Most rehearsal dinners are much less formal than weddings, and the audience is manageable. Note to the couple: much to my sorrow, your guests may not be saddened that the speeches were delivered at the rehearsal. We have all been to weddings when the speeches exceed 30-45 minutes. These speeches are meant for you as a couple, so choose whatever makes you both happy!

Need some help with your wedding speech?

The Mayo Clinic affirms that feeling nervous or anxious in specific scenarios is perfectly normal, with public speaking being a prime example. This form of stress, often referred to as performance anxiety, manifests in various ways, including stage fright, test anxiety, and writer’s block. But why let anxiety overshadow the happiness of your special day? Relish in the joy of your occasion and entrust the intricacies and writing to me. We will collaborate closely with the bridal party and parents on speeches and craft a ceremony that beautifully mirrors your love for each other.

Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety for Your Wedding Speech

Resources: Mayo Clinic

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