My best friend asked me read a special poem from her and her fiance at their wedding reception. I’m very touched and I want to be there for her except I’m terrified of public speaking. Even thinking about being a bridesmaid makes me want to throw up. I don’t think I can stand in front of a whole group of people and read something without crying, shaking uncontrollably, or fainting. Help me!
Please don’t try to imagine everyone naked. That’s a terrible trick that never works; it’s time-consuming and prevents you from being able to look anyone in the eye later.
Please don’t have 42 drinks beforehand. You’ll still be nervous, and being nervous and drunk is a 100% guarantee that you’re going to upchuck prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears in front of 200 people who are going to talk about you for the next 25 years. Some crazy girl got shit-faced about 18 years ago at my cousin’s wedding and did an insane, drunken dance routine. My sister and I are still laughing at her. You should have 1.5 drinks first. That’s it. Afterward, do a Jaeger shot, but before, only 1.5 drinks.
One of the most funny, outgoing, not-shy people I know hates speaking in public. She gave a lovely toast at a wedding, and endeared herself and her nervousness to everyone by announcing, before she read her speech, “I’m very nervous, and I’m embarrassed because I think my leg is shaking.” There was laughter, there was sympathy; it was great.