I went back a few weeks ago and watched my wedding video. We had a wonderful ceremony and like most weddings it wasn’t without its problems. The AC stopped working in the reception hall, which in the middle of June means everyone is going to sweat like mad. My friend from high school had to leave in an ambulance after accidentally putting her hand through the glass window pane and passing out in the bathroom – something I didn’t know until well after the wedding. (She’s a really great friend). Aside from those things, we were also the catalyst for what has become the worst best man speech of all time.
No, I’m not being mean, if you ask him, he will agree with you, and if you ask him what went wrong he will tell you.
“I was winging it.”
No, you didn’t read it wrong – my husband’s best friend made it up as he went along (for 30 minutes) about really nothing.
Personally, I think you should never wing it. Even if it’s a situation where you’re speech is something that everyone isn't looking forward to.
I understand that not every speech can be planned.
- Always have an idea of how you're going to introduce yourself. You should always have a standard greeting for yourself and your company, that way you're not stumbling through "umms" and "ahhs" as you try to think of things on the spot. This is also known as your "Elevator Pitch".
- Think about the subject being covered and what your knowledge of the subject matter is. If you were asked to "weigh in" for a brief moment, what would you say? You don't have to write this down, but at least give yourself an idea of what your take would be so you would be prepared if someone were to say, "Hey you, what do you think about blogging/social media/etc".
- Do some research. Learning more about a subject is always a great idea -- and if you think that you might end up having to weigh in on a subject you don't know much about it, take about ten minutes and Google it. It'll pay off in the end.
No matter what you're about to attend (wedding, graduation speech, networking event) you should always remember that you are not a bird, so stop winging it.
What do you do to get prepared when anticipating having to make a speech?