Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Worst Vice?

Careful who you listen to!
Yep – the worst vice is ADVICE!  When you're feeling nervous, you have to be so careful who you listen to.

This morning, I got a message from my great friend Mark, pointing me towards a really well-written article in the Irish Times, by a chap called Cian Traynor.  He describes perfectly the feelings, worries and concerns that I hear over and again from best-men and grooms, so I thought I’d chip in a couple of my thoughts.

Poor old Cian certainly had a hard time of it on the run-up to the event. He had 2 weeks’ notice, but this may have been a blessing – I’ve worked with men who were losing sleep at the thoughts of the speech – up to 6 months beforehand!
 Why? Because all the comments, stories and advice just add onto our own fears, to make it seem like an impossible and horrible task. Here's what Cian had to say about this:

It took a week to shepherd sentiments into words. Consulting with friends who had been through the experience only heightened my apprehension. “I’m not going to lie to you,” one said. “It’s awful. Petrifying. You won’t be able to enjoy yourself until it’s over.” Another friend nodded gravely, adding: “Once you do this, you’ll be able to speak in any situation.”
James’s brother chipped in to say he’d been to one where the speech was skipped altogether because the best man wasn’t up to it.
… relishing all the best-man horror stories people felt compelled to share with me. Even at the altar, waiting for the bride, the priest said he recently attended a wedding where the best man was so sick with nerves that they had to get the speech over with before the meal.
Nerves really can be overcome, as Cian outlines in his story. To paraphrase Gloria Gaynor – You Will Survive!
The majority of people just need a little help to get their own words out with confidence. Toastmasters, group training, books, speech writing services – they all have their place – but in my experience, nothing prepares someone better than individual (and expert) support, appropriate guidance, practice in a safe environment and – here’s the important bit – A BIT OF FUN while you're doing it!
As Cian outlined, speeches are a great chance to say something meaningful to people who are important to you – it shouldn’t (and doesn’t have to) feel like a chore or a nightmare.
Contact me if you or someone you know is feeling the pain that Cian felt. Please have a look around the site and if you think it’s a great idea, let people know - together we can help the world! Ok, maybe just a few people in Ireland then, but that’s a good start, right?!