Apr 2, 2015

I Ain't So Good at Speechifying

I, along with the fictional character from Atlantis whom I quote, am struggling to put together eloquent words.

"Whaaat?!" you may gasp all astonishedly.  "But you put together beautiful prose right here on the blog every week."

Ah yes, you are too kind.  But this occasion calls for a more elegant series of words and phrases.  A series that will take me somewhere between 2 to 5 minutes to say, will be touching yet humorous, and will, above all else, not embarrass me in front of the 50 - 100 people in front of whom I will be speaking.

And what occasion is this?  Why, none other than Sister2's wedding.


Like many other couples, Sister2 and Soon-to-be-Brother desire a friend to stand with them and perform the ceremony.  But unlike most other couples, they have invited me to do it.  And so I vacillate between excitement and growing panic as the months slip by.

I've got a speech written.  But it's ugly.  The proper words elude me.  The funny parts aren't phrased well and the joke falls flat.

I jotted it all down because I knew I had to start somewhere, and I wanted to solidify the framework of the speech.  I ignored the poor phrasing because a faint memory of quotes by Hemingway kept insisting that "first drafts are crap."  And you have to start somewhere!

So now I'm in the revision stage.  My outline looks like this:

  1. Introduction - greeting, statement of intent, and theme
  2. Personal Growth - how far Sister2 and Soon-to-be-Brother have come together
  3. Overcoming Adversity - making fun of their ridiculous dog
  4. Uniqueness - the things that make them different and perfect for each other
  5. Wrap Up - tie it all together somehow and transition into the rest of the ceremony

(And here I thought I wouldn't write 5 paragraph essays in real life.)

I like the outline.  I think it's a good foundation.  But it's hard to both write something that hits the right notes and that I can imagine saying in front of people.  Because we definitely speak differently than we write (or at least I do).  And I don't want to sound stilted and unnatural (it's going to be bad enough speaking in front of them with a glowing red face).

But I've got a month to figure it out before we all sit down together and plan the ceremony.  And then another month to fuss over it and practice talking in front of the mirror, Luke, Ryan, Roommate and whoever else will listen to me.

So I guess I shouldn't worry, right?  Words will come to me.  Eventually...

Have you had to give a speech in front of a large group and how did you decide what to write?  Do you turn red when people are staring at you?


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4 comments:

  1. Aw how touching and sweet that they asked you to do this! I don't know them personally of course but your outline looks great—#3 really got me ;) good luck! I used to be terrified of any and all public speaking, but as I got older and had to do it more I got more comfortable. I still get butterflies but feeling confident in what I'm saying is the best remedy I can think of!

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  2. I love the outline for your speech! I took public speaking in college and a lot of good it did me, I still get super nervous when I have to speak in front of others. My chest, arms and face flush and get all splotchy when I get nervous!!! I haven't give a speech really, but I have had to get up and speak in front of groups of people. I dont really have any advice because I get so nervous that I don't even know what happens while I am up there or what the hell I am saying haha. I just try to act confident and somehow it comes off that way and works?

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  3. I'm sure it will all work out :) I like the outline so far! I can't help because no-one has ever loved me enough to want me to say a few words, and my best friend didn't want to do a speech at my wedding, so...... yep. no advice!

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  4. Love the outline and how much work you are putting in to it. My sister would probably just say, Don't do it 2 ex husbands are enough lol

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