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The Bride’s Survival Guide: Giving A Reading At A Wedding Ceremony Even If You Hate Speaking In Public

You might be among those people who hate and are afraid of public speaking. So what happens if your friend picks on you to give a public speech on her special day when she is adorned in her best wedding dress?

It is hard to turn the bride down when she asks you to read a poem at their wedding celebrations. If you are nervous, your vision can easily blackout as you walk in front to go and give out the speech.

Remember, the ceremony will most likely have a group of people who have come to celebrate with the bride and groom. It might a group enough to make your palm sweat. But it would help if you did everything that you can and nail the poem and live to tell the tale of what transpired.

The following are what you should do to overcome the fear of public speaking if given a chance to read at a wedding ceremony.

  • Always remember that it is an honor: You have to keep on repeating to yourself that you have been honored. And even if it is making your knees to buckle, it is still an honor. You happen to be unique to the couple, and that is why they picked on you; they are glad for you to take an essential role on their special day. The reception might be a sign of party time, but the ceremony is the time which is truly important to the couple, and you are going to be an essential person and part of it.
  • Ensure to do your homework: You always have to remember that, when it comes to poetry, it is sneaky. You might think that you know the meaning behind the poem, but you might be off base. What you are going to read, be it a song lyrics, bible passage, a proverb – you have to ensure that you research on it so that you know how you are saying it and what you are saying. Apart from sounding interesting, you will know when to pause to get an effect and when to emphasize.
  • Practice, practice: You have to practice the reading everywhere: in your car, in your apartment, in front of your roommate, the  mirror, your son or daughter, or friend. Recite the poem to the bride, to your mother, and to whoever you think will be interested to hear you reciting. Practice, even if you know, you will have the poem in front of you during the ceremony. You have to learn the readings so well so that you can quickly look away without having to lose a line.
  • Make lots of notes after reading from something that you love: You can decide to hold a poetry book, but in case there is nothing of the sort, go to the stationery store and try buying some colored cards which match your outfit for the day. You can rewrite the passage on the card and make some notes so that you are reminded of things such as where you are supposed to pause and at least take a breath, the parts that you should rush through and where you should slow down, and how you need to pronounce words which you have trouble with.
  • Footwear is an essential and integral part of the day: How do your shoes affect your reading of a poem? When you wear high heels, and you are to walk through the mud to the podium, the chances are that you will have it rough, and thus, by the time you arrive there, you will be anxious and stressed up. If you must put them on, practice beforehand on how to walk through the mud with high heels. You have to wear shoes which will prevent you from wobbling, falling, or slipping.

  • Avoid improvising or inside jokes: You might make a joke as you step in front of everyone and think that you are going to get a thumb up, only for it to go awry and make you regret it. You should not try to be off the cuff or funny if that is not what is expected in the readings: no side jokes, no cute gestures to those in the crowd as you stand up. Just ensure you stick to the program.
  • You should be ready for something to go wrong: As you practice the poem, you should expect that, on the day of the presentation, something might go wrong unexpectedly. You might practice it until you get tired of even hearing it. You might also re-write it in bigger fonts in case your eyes blurred, and you are unable to read it from the book.

You might even know it off the head. But on the wedding day, the microphone might go off, and you might be forced to project your voice even over the white noises of the outdoor venue that the ceremony is happening. If that happens, you don’t have to panic. Just compose yourself and do what you can do at your best.

  • Welcome positive feedback: The poem might take five minutes of the relevant day, which is all about the bride and the groom. But that should not stop you from wanting to be recognized for your job that you did in the five minutes. After finishing reading, you might glance at where your mother is seated, and she might give you a thumb up.

Sometimes it has to take a crowd to make someone feel good. But during an event like a wedding, you only require approval and appreciation from one person, and it will make you feel good.  If that happens, you have to bask at the moment.

So if you are the bride and have asked someone to speak at your wedding, you can share this article with them so that they know what to do to overcome the fear of public speaking. Otherwise, check out other wedding information that might be good for you at the ultimate bride’s survival guide.


Photo by Jonathan Borba

Photo by Studio Negarin

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