They should have gone to Toastmasters

Site Admin Uncategorized August 4, 2013 Leave a reply

Being a member of toastmasters Lewisham is becoming more than just a nice thing to do. Once you get into it, the philosophy and learnings start to seep through into other areas of your life. For example. Today my partner and I attended to a wedding. Its been a long time since I went to one and for the most part, it was a beautiful day full of love and enjoyment. There were however, parts where I cringed and unfortunately they were the public speaking parts.

The couple were wed by a Pastor. Apparently he had been a Pastor for 22 years, and in some aspects of his performance, this was obvious. For instance his vocal variety was excellent. You knew he was in charge and made people want to listen to him despite having an accent. However, there were 3 things he kept doing which would have sent me into a fit of rage had it been my special day.

  1. He kept getting the couples name wrong – this might not have been so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that he kept referring to the Bride as ‘James’ –I’m sure you’ll agree it’s not a very feminine name!
  2. The couple had been together for 2 decades, had already built a life together. You could argue why bother cementing the deal now but that’s a whole other blog! The point is that the Pastors sermon was totally inappropriate for this particular couple. Why would you talk about how to stay together when they had successfully managed this up until this point? Why would you talk about leaving the parental home when they were actually grandparents? It made no sense.
  3. Finally, there were times when he mumbled whilst his head was down in his bible – not good. but when he wasn’t doing this, his stage presence was awesome.
Moving on to the speeches. The only saving grace here was the fact we were fed first and it was a fantastically delectable buffet. I was quiet surprised at the fact that everyone in the bridal party who traditionally would prepare a speech, read their ‘speech’ from a crumpled, limp piece of paper pulled out from some sweaty crevice (it was a warm day to be fair).

These speeches were delivered with such brevity, they were over before you could get into them. They all lasted less than a table topic answer which begs the question, why bother with the crimpled paper? Others, who came up spontaneously, did much better.  But they were not great.  For example, all the speakers used way too many fillers -the ‘ums’ the ‘ahs’, the ‘you know what I’m sayings’ and the ‘you get mes’ actually eclipsed the content! Alas, I am a tough audience!
So Lucinda, what are you trying to say? I hear you ask Well several things really. It is the wedding season so if you have one coming up and especially if you are part of the bridal party, here are some useful tips:

  • Preparation can help your confidence with public speaking and help avoid embarrassing moments
  • It is important it is to pitch your content to your audience. Different audiences need and respond differently to your messages/ jokes etc.
  • Too many fillers switch people off. Try and pause instead. A pause might feel like forever to you, but it doesn’t to your audience.

Want to discover more? Get yourself down to a Toastmasters club -Lewisham Speakers would be preferable! Let us help your wedding speech rock!

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