In this guide, we will discuss “How to not be nervous for the maid of honour speech” and a few tips to overcome feeling nervous or anxious during the big day. It is important to understand how it is normal to feel nervous, however, when we let our nerves control our lives then it can significantly deteriorate our quality of life. We will talk about some simple tips on how to prepare your maid of honour speech without having a traumatic or negative experience in the process.
How to not be nervous for the maid of honour speech?
If you are wondering ‘How not to be nervous for the maid of honour speech?’, try to make small pauses to breathe between sentences once you have started your speech. You could also imagine the bride and the groom are the only ones in the room, moreover, focus on them instead of the people invited so you can focus your attention on them leaving the rest of the other stressors out.
You have been chosen to be the maid of honour, congratulations. However, it could be a task that can make you feel both excited and nervous at the same time, you have been given a big responsibility. Maybe you have been thinking a lot about how you could make this day special for the bride and groom. There is no need to write a one-hour speech or something too complex, just a few minutes with some good memories about the couple will be more than enough. Subsequently, being nervous seems pretty normal and expected.
Let’s talk about some of the tips you could follow when giving a wedding speech and more importantly, how to overcome being nervous.
You should also be aware of How to calm someone down in case someone else is worried or stressed.
How to overcome public speaking nerves?
Most people would feel terrified about delivering a public speech no matter if it is at a meeting, school or a wedding. For most people, being the centre of attention is less than ideal and the thought of it can make you sweat.
Probably, this is a result of being ridiculed, humiliated or made fun off. However, not necessarily you need to be exposed to such situations but instead, you have seen someone else go through them, leaving a ‘mark’. Now as an adult you may have kept your distance during meetings at your workplace or even avoided speaking in public at university.
Remember the last time you had to deliver a public speech? Probably you didn’t have a choice and probably you remember how you had to endure such discomfort and stress. However, think about how different this could be from a work presentation, for example. What is required of you is to be yourself and share a special moment with the newly wedded couple, how bad can it be?
The purpose of the speech
Just as we have mentioned, think about the purpose of your speech. No one is really expecting to make you the centre of attention or wanting to make you feel uncomfortable. The title of maid of honour should not become a burden or a punishment but a privilege.
Find your source of inspiration such as letters or pictures, anything that can help you write your speech. Just remember to keep it simple by telling a short anecdote about the couple or a funny story (without being inappropriate).
Finally, when writing your speech avoid sensitive topics, using crude language, private references or inside jokes. It is an emotional moment so if you feel like crying you are allowed to, no need to hold back.
Try to pause and don’t forget to breathe
When you are delivering a speech, it doesn’t matter the nature of the speech, it is imperative to be aware of how fast we are speaking and our tone of voice. When we are nervous we tend to change the way we talk so try to make small pauses in between phrases and don’t forget to breathe.
It can be very useful to prepare your speech and deliver it while you are looking at yourself in the mirror or try to record yourself using the camera on your phone. Moreover, ask a friend or someone you trust to listen to your speech and give you advice on how to improve your speech presentation. Ask them to make some comments about your body language and if they were able to understand your speech or not.
We recommend looking over some breathing techniques that could be useful when delivering your speech, especially if you start crying or you feel like choking up. Take your time to deliver your speech, remember this is not a contest.
Bring notes if you must
Ok, so you are not required to learn your speech by heart and even if you do, nerves can make you forget half of it. If you have to bring a few notes with you then do so, many people do it so don’t feel ashamed. However, if you do decide to bring notes with you, try not to focus solely on the notes by only staring at them but also try to throw the occasional glance and make eye contact with the audience. If it is easier for you, try to pick one or two people from the audience to make eye contact with.
If you feel at some point you forgot what to say or don’t remember a few words, try to improvise and be concise.
Distract yourself before the speech
Anticipation can make anxiety increase little by little and when the time comes, you could start panicking. Enjoy yourself at the wedding but without having too much to drink to calm your nerves since it could end up being detrimental. Try to relax by mingling and taking pictures with the newlyweds.
Avoid isolating yourself or even thinking about hiding somewhere until the time comes. If you have practised enough and have committed to deliver a good speech that comes from the bottom of your heart then you are very likely to succeed.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Yes, sometimes nerves can get the best of us and mistakes can happen but guess what? You are allowed to make them. If you do make a mistake, take it easy, keep breathing and follow through. People are not going to ‘hate’ you or judge you for making a mistake and if they do then, it is not something you can control. People will always have a reason to talk.
You were chosen for a reason so, what really matters here is that you are still the maid of honour no matter what, you have earned the title and just make sure to ‘wear’ it with pride.
Why is this blog about How to not be nervous for the maid of honour speech important?
As we have discussed on ‘How to not be nervous for the maid of honour speech?’, it is normal you feel nervous about this very important day. However, it doesn’t have to become a traumatic experience but a memorable and happy one. Remember to keep in mind the purpose of your speech and unlike any other public speech, this one requires you to think about important details or highlights in relationship with the bride, the groom or both.
Moreover, keep it simple and remember to pause and breathe when delivering your speech. You could learn some breathing techniques that could be useful when you have to deliver your speech. Also, take some notes with you if you must, but avoid just looking at your notes without looking at your audience occasionally. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself (no matter the outcome) and make sure to have fun!
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Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to not be nervous for the maid of honour speech
How do I calm my nerves before a speech?
If you would like to calm your nerves before a speech, here are some recommendations:
– Practice your speech as many times as you need to feel confident.
– Flip the switch from nervousness into enthusiasm.
– Attend other people’s speeches.
– Arrive early on the day of your speech.
– Adjust to the scenery or your surroundings.
– Meet and greet the people.
– Take deep breaths and visualize your success.
How do you end a maid of honour speech?
If you would like to know how to end a maid of honour speech, try using phrases for the toasting portion of the evening such as “Please raise your glasses in honour of….. And….., bride and groom. Join me in honouring this marriage”. However, feel free to improvise and add your personal touch to the end of your maid of honour speech, remember to keep it simple.
How long is too long for a maid of honour speech?
It is recommended to write a 2 to 3-minute speech. Anything longer than that is considered too long and as long as it gets, the more nervous you may get. Just make sure to highlight some memories and stories about the beloved couple and follow with the toast. However, avoid any personal references or jokes you only understand since the audience will not be able to participate or be engaged in your speech.
How do I calm my nerves before my wedding?
If you would like to calm your nerves before your wedding, it is recommended to:
– Make sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before.
– If you have trouble relaxing you could try a herbal remedy.
– Take a nice warm and relaxing bath.
– Exercise without exceeding yourself physically.
– Listen to some relaxing music.
– Meditation exercises.
– Breathing and relaxation techniques.
How can I be confident and not shy?
If you would like to act confident and not shy, you have to believe it and act confidently. To overcome shyness, try new things to get you out of your comfort zone. Practice displaying confident body language by looking at yourself in the mirror, ask someone else to give you feedback. If you feel you lack skills then it is important to learn them before you force yourself to get out of your comfort zone.
What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues
- If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.
If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.
Seaver, M. (n.d.) How to Nail Your Wedding Toast If You Hate Public Speaking. Retrieved from theknot.com.
Stieg, C. (2019, May.) How To Chill If You’re Anxious About Giving A Wedding Speech. Retrieved from refinery29.com.