Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to Deliver a Great Toast...

Public speaking is said to be the greatest fear a person can have. Dry mouth, sweaty palms, jittery hands, all are common symptoms of speaking in public.

If you are giving a speech at a wedding or your own wedding and are already anxious about taking the mic, check out these tips from Martha Stewart Weddings to say your piece with grace:

  • Eat Something beforehand. You'll need your energy, and you won't be distracted by a grumbling belly.
  • Find a friendly face or two. Making eye contact with a few of the people you know in the room will make you feel more comfortable.
  • Be sure you have a drink (alcohol or not) in your hand or at least in your vicinity for when you are finished speaking. That said, don't have too much to drink prior. :)
  • Start with a smile. It will put everyone at ease and help you relax.
  • Speak up, slow down. Take your time so people can understand you and let it all sink in.
  • Avoid shuffling your feet, playing with your hair, or fidgeting.
  • Try not to use clumsy filled like "you know" and "um"
  • Keep calm. If you find yourself getting a little chocked up, take a couple of breaths or sips of water to pull yourself together before carrying on. Similarly, if you make a mistake or lose your place, just correct yourself, and continue.
  • Go out with a band. While anecdotes are great for garnering a few chuckles, they don't effectively wrap up a toast; end on an energetic upswing. When you are done, transition by saying something like, "May I ask you to stand and join me in toasting..."you could also end by saying "To..." and extending your glass in the direction of the honorees. Cheers!

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