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Public Speaking: Deliver Your Wedding Ceremony with Confidence in Just 3 Minutes!

Published: Monday, Jan. 14th, 2019


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The wedding ceremony is only hours away, and all of a sudden there’s an unwelcome twist in your guts: You’ve got the public speaking nerves, every officiant’s worst nightmare! 
 
Don’t let this perfectly natural reaction dissuade you from enjoying one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Everyone gets performance anxiety! It's part of our biology.

 

Barack Obama, Joel Osteen, and even legendary public speaker and investor Warren Buffet all had one thing in common -- they were terrified of public speaking. Now, people pay hundreds of dollars to hear them speak. 

 

 

image is of an empty theater stage, representing the unknown of the wedding ceremony, there is a red fabric backdrop and lights shine on the wooden slats of the stage flooring

The call of the stage... ah, ceremony...


  
Anyone can speak with clarity and confidence in front of any audience. The key is to find that “thing” that’s holding you back from being a great wedding officiant.

 

This easy 3-Minute Public Speaking Exercise helps you do just that, and in a few minutes you’ll feel relaxed, natural, and on-point when the time comes to deliver the wedding ceremony. 

 

 

 

1. Start by thinking of a fact-based topic that you know a lot about about.

 

This can be your job, your spouse, your favorite movie, a TV show, sports, food… really, just find that topic that you can talk about forever.

 

 

2. Go into a room by yourself and set a timer for three minutes.

 

Yes, use a timer. Your phone or a an egg-timer will do. 

 

 

3. Speak out loud about the topic you have chosen for three minutes, until the timer runs out.

 

Don’t worry about the flow or order, just start rattling off the facts. Don't overthink it.

 

The goal of this exercise is to teach you how to take control of the topic - and the timer and the uncertainty that is holding you back. It’s crucial that you speak out loud. You’re going for three minutes of uninterrupted flow-of-consciousness on a topic about which you are the expert!

 

 

image is a photograph of a young woman smiling as she gives a presentation in front of her coworkers, she's wearing a white suit jacket and green shirt and has curly natural hair

In just three minutes, you can learn to overcome any fears of public speaking!

 

 

Stop right here...

until you’ve done at least two of these three-minute flow-of-consciousness sessions.

 

The first time around will help you familiarize yourself with speaking about a topic, and the second time will get you into a “groove.” 

 

 

4. Now, do it once more.

 

...congratulations! Now, you know you can feel comfortable talking non-stop and out-loud for at least three minutes! That’s the hardest part of public speaking, and you just proved that you can do it.
 
You just broke the “I can’t do it” barrier. You also demonstrated that you can create your own content on a topic as long as you have control of the facts. 
 
It doesn’t matter if you stumbled, or if there were some clumsy phrases. You can work on that later. Plus, you’re writing the ceremony (along with the couple of course), so that’s not going to be a concern.

 

What matters right now is that you put together a three minute speech with ZERO need for notes.

 

 

Feeling confident yet?

 

 

5. Repeat this same process, but this time, involve a friend.

 

Ask a friend to watch you give your now-rehearsed speech. Call your mom, your boyfriend, and someone else… and repeat. Get their feedback, incorporate it into your speech, and do it again as needed.

 

 

image is a photograph of a young woman looking at the camera and smiling, with her hand up in a gesture to say 'You can do this!' as an encouragement for public speaking

You got this!

 

 

Why It Works:

 

As a wedding officiant, your job is to facilitate the public declaration of love between two people who have chosen YOU for this honored role. Now that you can speak ad-lib about a topic, it will be that much easier to follow a script -- one that you'll have spent a long time creating, reviewing, and practicing.

 

And remember: When anxiety or nerves strike, it is not the time to hit the bar... You aren’t Mick Jagger or Rhianna gearing up before a performance. This is the time for you to own the experience and realize that your emotions may play into that moment -- and that’s perfectly fine.

 

 

It turns out that most of our anxiety comes from unfamiliarity.

 

It’s the same reason that we're nervous on the first day of a new job, even if we're good at what we do. When it comes to public speaking, we worry about what we're going to say, how we're going to react, and other unknowns... Questions that you'll have already answered by preparing and rehearsing a ceremony script ahead of time.

 

So if that feeling creeps up on you, don’t ignore it -- embrace it. Treat it like a reminder from your consciousness, telling you to do your best up there. Listen to that voice, because it’s actually encouraging you! With the right preparation, you can gain strength from your emotions and learn to love public speaking.

 

 

Updated July 1, 2021


 

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About the Author
Lewis King

Staff Writer

Lewis loves exploring the space between power, discourse, and material reality where institutions like marriage are defined. He also wears other hats at AMM, like taking out the recycling and restocking the sparkling water.

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