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Author Topic: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck! Update! Wedding was yesterday!  (Read 11356 times)

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SamiHami

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I live in a state that allows notaries to marry people. So far I have performed five small weddings. When I say small, I mean the biggest one had about a dozen people in attendance. I'm okay with that. A couple of my acquaintance has asked me to perform their wedding ceremony. I agreed before getting the details. It turns out there are going to be 50 to 75 people at this one and I have got horrendous stage fright! I really do want to do it...I'm not looking for a way to back out. I am looking for a way to get over my nerves and do a good job for them.

I have always had horrible stage fright. Like, when I was in college and took Public Speaking three times. I dropped it the first two times because I couldn't work up the courage to speak in front of the class.

You would think by now, at age 50, I'd be over this nonsense. But, noooo...the fear runs deep!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 02:20:33 PM by SamiHami »

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English1

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 10:14:09 AM »
It's still only two people you are marrying. It doesn't matter how many others are watching. Blank them out and concentrate non the couple. Does that help?

Benni

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 10:18:02 AM »
Practice in front of a mirror, over and over and over.  This helps me get rid of my nerves.  It especially helps me if I make faces at myself and get really silly, because I am then training myself to relax over the speech/ceremony/presentation/church talk/etc. I am about to give.

Pick one person to look at in the audience, one person that looks attentive and supportive.  That way you look like you are speaking to the audience.

SamiHami

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 10:54:59 AM »
Well, my DH will be there. Maybe I'll look at him. Don't know if I can trust him to not make silly faces, though!

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 11:01:26 AM »
I don't know if this will help, but it's interesting:

I read that the root of stage fright is fear of rejection.

Deep down in our little simian brains, we're still part of a tribe. In a tribal society, rejection -> banishment -> death.

So really, what you're scared of is that you're going to die!
Bingle bongle dingle dangle yickity-do yickity-dah ping-pong lippy-toppy too tah.

Luci

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 11:22:48 AM »
I have no suggestions, just hugs.

You can do it. The next one will be easier.

lilfox

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2015, 12:43:12 PM »
Practice in front of a mirror, over and over and over.  This helps me get rid of my nerves.  It especially helps me if I make faces at myself and get really silly, because I am then training myself to relax over the speech/ceremony/presentation/church talk/etc. I am about to give.

Pick one person to look at in the audience, one person that looks attentive and supportive.  That way you look like you are speaking to the audience.

I don't have stage fright but I do sometimes lock up during public speaking, so I second this.  Rehearse til you have it down cold and feel comfortable that you know what to say at all times. (I rehearse at least 5 times before any conference talk) Don't worry about pauses or stumbles, people naturally edit them out when listening to a speaker.  And do glance into the audience and focus on a smiling, happy face.  It's a wedding, you will have many to choose from!

Good luck!

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2015, 01:08:57 PM »
Find out if you have a local chapter of Toastmasters and if yes, join.

ITSJUSTME

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2015, 02:08:57 PM »
It's still only two people you are marrying. It doesn't matter how many others are watching. Blank them out and concentrate non the couple. Does that help?

This is what I was going to say - just concentrate on the happy couple & maybe their two main attendants.

Singers & speakers often find some object at the back of the room - a clock on the wall, a painting etc. and focus on that instead of looking at the people in the "audience".  That might also help.

Arila

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2015, 04:27:10 PM »
Find out if you have a local chapter of Toastmasters and if yes, join.

Seconded.

Also, in addition to practicing in front of a mirror, try also video recording yourself and watching afterwards. It will be really awful, but do that until you're comfortable, and it will be a smaller step to doing it live in front of people.

SamiHami

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2015, 08:16:39 AM »
Thanks for all the tips. I will definitely rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. I hadn't thought of recording myself...that's an interesting and scary thought! But I will probably try it. Don't know if there is a local Toastmasters; I've heard of them but don't know if they are in my area. I'll have to check on that.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2015, 01:56:51 PM »
Keep in mind that if it's not perfect, it will be memorable . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PubPWuEQp8

From Four Weddings And A Funeral.

Lynn2000

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2015, 03:50:35 PM »
I also really dislike public speaking but have to do it sometimes. My main strategy is to rehearse an insane amount, until I have what I want to say memorized and can then focus on making my delivery natural. I think of it like being an actor--you not only have to know your lines, you have to know them so well that you can concentrate on emotions and expressions instead of remembering the words. Just memorizing is dangerous because you could sound like an automaton--it has to go beyond memorizing to internalizing for me.

Also, I mentally or physically rehearse everything I have to do, including walking up on the stage, where other people will be standing, etc.. If I have to give a speech I try to practice in the actual room and I make sure I know how I want the lights to be (and how to adjust them), where the mouse and pointer will be, etc..

Another important strategy for me is to "think through" the event. I find that when I'm nervous about X, it's almost like the world ends with X. I can't think of anything happening past it. So I tell myself, "Okay, I will give this speech, and then when it's over, I'll go out to a nice lunch at the cafe. I'll go back to work and do ABC tasks. On the way home I'll pick up pizza from Joe's and watch Guardians of the Galaxy. Then the next day I'll..." I think of things that will happen days or weeks after X. Kind of a "life goes on" mantra. And then suddenly I find myself doing those things, because X is over.

I also take comfort in the idea that no one really cares about or is paying much attention to what I say. I know that doesn't work for everyone, though--some people get rather insulted when I suggest it as a strategy, but it takes the pressure off for me.
~Lynn2000

Thipu1

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2015, 07:03:53 PM »
I know exactly how you feel, SamiHami.

When I agreed to speak at MIL's Memlroal Service, I was a quivering little ball of nerves but it went off just fine.

Here are a few tips that may prove helpful.

1) You are not taking the stage at a Comedy Club.  You are the officiant at a civil Wedding.  No matter its size, your audience will be supportive. The only thing that matters to them is that the HC is legally married. 

2) Keep any remarks short and sweet. You don't have to worry about offending any religious sensibilities at a Wedding like this.

As other posters have said, focus on either the HC or a member of audience. That can help a lot. 

I stutter and always dreaded speaking up in class but,when I became co-curator for a museum show, I found that I had no problem addressing a group of docents about the show or leading tour groups through the exhibit.

You may have anxieties about speaking in public but you know what you're doing and why you're doing it.  That's the most important thing to keep in mind.



NutellaNut

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Re: Why did I say yes? Now I'm a nervous wreck!
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2015, 11:41:41 AM »
Can you try out one of the newer trends in ceremonies?  Switch places with the happy couple, so you face away from the audience.  This accomplishes two things:  1) you won't be looking at 50-75 people, you'll be looking only at the two people you're marrying, and 2) those same two people will be facing the audience, which is very nice for them and their loved ones.  I've seen it done at several weddings and it can really help the wedding be special.