Are you preparing a wedding speech? Three tips to help you to prepare for any presentation.

We’re coming up to wedding season and many grooms, brides, best men and parents of the happy couple will be preparing for a speech that fills them with dread and yet they desperately want to do well.

Those feelings aren’t so different from those of us who have to present for work … we don’t have the same level of emotion to deal with but we still want to get it right and often dread the delivery.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Practice makes Perfect” and practice certainly makes a difference to the way you come across when you present. However, I would argue that “Practice makes Permanent” which isn’t always perfect! And to be frank, the only way to know if you are delivering a good presentation is to get good feedback.

Preparation for a presentation needs to include feedback on your practice and that can be hard to come by. So, what can you do to help yourself when you haven’t got anyone you can practice in front of or who you don’t think will give you specific and useful feedback on the way you come across?

  1. Say your presentation out loud so that you can identify the words that trip you up or you find hard to pronounce. This will also help you to identify if there are any words that you are overusing so you can choose some alternatives to replace them with.
  2. Record yourself as you practice. Use your phone to record your voice so you can hear where you need to speed up or slow down to introduce variety, build excitement or add authority.
  3. Ask your partner, friend or colleague to watch you practice but give them clear instructions on what you want feedback on. This way they will be concentrating on the elements that you want them to and they are more likely to be specific with their feedback.

And one final point. Whether you are making a wedding speech or presenting for work … remember, your audience want you to do well. They are on your side!