Public speaking is America’s biggest phobia, according to a survey on American Fears conducted by Chapman University. So how do you give a wedding toast if you’re shy? After all, one out of four of your neighbors are terrified of getting up before a crowd and talking.
It’s not as hard as you think. Here are some quick tips:
- Don’t drink before talking. Keep your head clear for obvious reasons.
- Script your toast. You don’t want your head to go blank. Ultimately, the root cause of nervousness is your fear of embarrassing yourself in front of a large crowd. Your heartfelt, scripted remarks, removes your fear of spacing out and fumbling through the toast.
- Talk clearly and project your voice. Timid toasters often keep their heads down and mumble their words. Instead, hold your head high talk with confidence.
- Rehearse. Even though your toast is scripted, rehearse it at least twelve times. That’s correct: twelve times. You want to know it so well that you don’t need your notes. Nonetheless, you WILL use your notes, because that removes your chance of blanking out.
- Keep it short. Almost all toasts are too long. Few people are pros. So, wedding guests appreciate toasters who get to the point and wrap up within a couple of minutes.
- Start strong. Introduce yourself and your connection to the couple. You might say, “My name is Lori Smith, and I have the honor of toasting the most wonderful friend I’ve ever known.”
- You have two goals: make ‘em laugh and make ‘em cry. And do it quickly. In other words, humor and sentiment are key ingredients to making a great toast. Sentiment is easy, humor, though is hard. You can find a corny wedding joke online and use it to transition to the sentimental. For example:
“I just saw two nuclear technicians getting married. The bride was radiant and the groom was glowing.”
Corny? Yes, but it’ll get a nice chuckle. Then marry the quip to the sentiment:
“And you know, [bride’s name], you truly are radiant today. And as for my friend, [groom’s name], we don’t typically use the word “glowing” to describe a groom. But I’ve noticed something about him. Every time your name comes up, his eyes light up. Every time you walk into the room, his eyes light up. Yes, it’s safe to say you’re glowing today, [groom’s name].”
At this point, you’ll hear “awww” rise up from your captive audience.
Finally, run it by someone you trust to critique your toast. How to give a wedding toast if you’re shy? Follow these steps and you’ll feel so prepared, you shyness will quickly fade the day of the big event. You CAN do it. You WILL do it. Relax, and enjoy the experience!
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