This is session number 134 of the Absolute Mind podcast and this show is all about the Best Mans speech. Even though being the best man is only a token part of the wedding, for those given the task problem of performing the speech, it’s undoubtedly a nerve-racking time.
Okay, so your friends getting married, and they’ve done you the justice or disservice of asking you to deliver the best man speech. As well as all the important stuff like organising the stag do in various other hilarious events that you’ll probably choose not to tell about. You also have to get prepared to deliver a speech and do your best friend, the Groom, the honourable duties. Let’s face it, the pressure does seem to be mounting for you.
Some of the fears about delivering a best man speech.
Generally, the biggest fear about delivering a best man speech is about doing a good job and not looking stupid. With the attendance of weddings generally being in the hundreds, there are lots of nervous eyeballs watching and listening to every word. Making a fool of yourself is not something anybody wants to do.
What if the words simply do not come out? This is quite strange fear but very real nonetheless. Because most people don’t practice standing up delivering speeches to large groups of people, we often find ourselves imagining doing that but the worst possible thing happens. No word that you come out of our mouths, were blank, stuck, paused in time with everyone nervously watching. Not knowing what to say, or not having the right words come out is a very common fear.
Will the bride and brides family like it? The only way to know is to ask afterwards. Truth be known, if you are thinking this way before delivering your speech then at least you got a heads up. You should be able to tailor your speech so that you feel it will fit. Why start a speech with any preconceived anxieties about how certain part will go? Perhaps run some of the content past a friend or colleague and get them to sense check it.
Some tips in delivering a great best man speech
The biggest problem is usually fear, and that fear is anxiety. Therefore as with all anxieties and fears, it is highly recommended that you reduce any other external stimuli. These are things like caffeine drinks, energy drinks tea’s and coffee’s for at least 48 hours before the big day. If you do drink lots of these drinks normally, then I’d highly advise that you begin to reduce these a good few weeks before the event so that you don’t crash on the day that you need to perform.
Creating anxiety and fear will be easy on the day. Make life easy for yourself and get rid of those external forces which build anxiety.
Practice makes permanent. Therefore if you practice your content and know your content it with far more likely that you will be able to deliver your content in just the right way. A great tip for that content, break it up into multiple sections that are easy to remember and, remember each section, each chunk, each part so that you are able to pull it all together on the day. Also, the segregation of the content allows you to miss a piece and then come back into another paragraph or another chunk quite easily.
Whenever you practice your speech make sure you’re practising it realistically. Make sure you’re standing and projecting and talking out to the back of the room to make sure that your voice is being heard. You need to make it as real as possible so that when you do come to do the real task you’ve practised what it is that you’d like to make permanent.
What is your body saying?
Your body language will play a huge part in the role of delivering successful best man speech. Even if you know the content, if your body is closed off and not expressive, it will be very difficult for people to engage with you, warm with you, most of all deemed it as a success. Interestingly though, by acting confident in using your arms and projecting, pausing all the right times you find that your audience really connects and engages with what you’re saying. Have a little look at the Amy Cuddy TED talk about power poses and use these tips to your advantage. Also………. Pausing to emphasise different sections is a very effective method while delivering your speech.
And I wouldn’t be authentic here if I didn’t include the use of hypnosis to allow you to calm your nerves and build confidence way before the event. Hypnosis is a fantastic tool for you to memorise certain processes but also to allow you to build confidence for a particular event.
Acting as if! From now on, act as if this is something that you really want to do. You start to bring yourself into a state of confidence, and this will also help to mitigate any unwanted banter from the rest of the groomsmen. Showing your confident and not fazed about doing the event because you are practised, will inhibit some of the unnecessary and certainly undesirable comments and statements that you would normally have received. After all, that’s what friends are for. Lol